The long summer break means having to think up endless ways to entertain your kids. Why not get them crafting? Sure, they won't want to get stuck indoors, so we have six ideas to get you outside too. You will need to go outdoors for some of these crafts, while some can be done in your own backyard. Check out these warm weather crafts which will keep your little ones entertained all summer long.
6 Fun and Simple Outdoor Summer Craft Activities for Kids:
1. Nature Collage
A great activity when you don’t have time to plan ahead, since all you need is paper, glue and your walking boots! Take your kids on a nature walk, to the park or even in your backyard. Anywhere that they can collect leaves, branches, petals and other pretty things. Since the materials you need are minimal, you can even do the collage in the park. Once your kid has collected all their bits and pieces, they just need to stick them down. Make it more fun by suggesting a theme or character.
If you do have some extra time to plan, have them make a nature collage sun-catcher. To make a sun-catcher, cut out the middle section of a paper plate and replace it with transparent paper such as tracing or contact paper. Stick the collage onto the transparent paper and hang it in a window.
2. Dancing Jellyfish
A great excuse to visit the aquarium for some inspiration, these dangling jellyfish will add a touch of whimsy to your garden. This is also the perfect craft for using up any leftover materials you have from other projects. For the tentacles, you can use gift ribbon, tissue paper, netting and anything that’s long and dangly. Cut or score these materials into curls if possible and trim them to the same length.
For the body, you will need a domed drinks lid; think Starbucks Frappuccinos. Thread the ends of the tentacles through the hole of the lid and tape them around the top. Stick colorful tissue paper to cover the lid and cover that with plastic wrap. Also optional: stick down gems or pearls around the bottom rim of the lid. Affix string or a hook to the top of the jellyfish to hang it in the garden. They’ll look especially pretty on a breezy day, flowing in the wind.
3. Summer Adventure Calendar
Use this activity to plan for the summer and put your treasured memories on display. The idea here is to fix a long string or rope between two walls or points, and add a peg for each day. It needs to be long enough to accommodate pegs for each day of the summer. Mark each peg with a number for the day of summer.
Get your kids excited about their summer plans, by having them plan out all the things they’re going to do. They’ll be so excited they’ll practically plan their own summer. Peg up tickets, print out pictures of the places you’re visiting or even write your plans on a small note. Once they’ve done the activity, get them to collect memorabilia such as brochures and photos that they can add to the pegs.
If you can’t keep the pegs up forever, your kids will then have an indoor activity for fall as they stick it all in a scrapbook.
4. Make a Kite
At the end of this craft, you will need to get outside so your little one can fly their new kite, but you can also make it outdoors. If you keep the materials simple, you could take them to the park or beach to make it and then test it out after.
You will need material for the body of the kite such as paper or tissue paper. Material for the structure such as drinking straws or popsicle sticks. Also string to make the kite fly high! There are several ideas using different materials. Check out these mini paper kites, drinking straw kites and this watercolor kite.
5. Stained Glass Vase
While you’re out and about seeing all the beautiful, blooming flowers, you might want to buy some for yourself. Maybe you’d be even more tempted if you had a pretty vase for them? Since there’s paint involved in this activity, it would be a good idea to take it outside onto the grass. Not least because the finished product will look lovely with the sun gleaming through.
You’ll need a plain glass vase or mason jar, ideally thick glass so that it won’t shatter. You'll also need tissue paper and glue. The best glue for this craft is any glue for decoupage activities; anything that has a clear finish and sealant in it. Of course, it’s always best to get non-toxic materials which is kid-friendly. Cut the stained glass shapes out of tissue paper; think diamonds and triangles. Add glue to the glass and stick down the shapes. Finish by applying a layer of glue over the tissue paper and to the rest of the glass. This will enhance the stained glass effect.
Not limited to a flower vase, use this effect with storage jars or decorative glass panes.
6. Rainbow Seashells
If you manage to get to the beach during the summer, you can make rainbow seashells. Collecting the shells is half the fun; your little one will love exploring the length of the beach to find the prettiest ones. Make sure they get larger ones if possible. You can then color the shells in one of two ways. Either using watercolor paints in or by dyeing them. To dye the shells, use the same dye that you would use for Easter eggs. Make it out of half a cup of boiling water, white vinegar and 20 drops of food coloring. Soak the shells in dye for up to five minutes. Take them out sooner for lighter colors.
Your little one may want to keep their dyed shells in their bedroom. But, for some extra outdoors time, suggest that they put them in the garden. Much like decorative garden stones, rainbow shells can liven up an uninspired patch in the yard. If your kid has fun on the beach, then make sure to check out our 15 fun beach activities for kids guide.