Chicagoans look forward to summer all year but, once it arrives, we often find ourselves overwhelmed with all there is to do. If you’re feeling burnt out from all the trips to the beach, driving to summer sports, lessons and camps, and running around town while the kids are out of school, we have just the thing for you and your family.
These easy summer crafts for kids are the perfect way to spend some stress-free time together. The materials and techniques required for these projects are simple, which means you can take a deep breath and enjoy a calm summer’s day with your kids. Double the fun by making them outside in the sun!
If you make any of these summertime crafts, be sure to post your creations and tag us on social @ChicagoParent and use our community hashtag #ShareChicagoParent! online.
Let the summer fun begin!
Chase the Dark
Create your own lantern jar with Mod Podge, colored tissue paper and a battery-powered candle. Use the Mod Podge to cover a mason jar with tissue paper squares, place the candle inside, then wait until it gets dark. Your kids’ eyes will light up as they see the beautiful glow from their colorful lanterns.
Customize your yard by painting rocks. Coordinate with your little ones and choose a theme for your rock painting — like ladybugs, fairy houses or animals — or go abstract and fill your garden with an assortment of colors, designs and images. You’ll want to make sure you use an acrylic sealer so your colorful rocks can withstand the elements and last all summer long.
Get the tutorial at Rhythms of Play.
Paint Pour Pots
Customizing your planters and pots is another fun way to add some personality to your garden or backyard. Start with a simple terra cotta pot, then select your favorite colors of acrylic paint. Mix each color with a pouring medium to thin it, then pour the colors over your pot to create an abstract and unique design.
Get the tutorial at My Paper Crane.
Bowtie Noodle Butterflies
This adorable summer twist on macaroni art is super easy for even the littlest artists. Decorate each bowtie noodle as though it were a pair of butterfly wings using chalk markers or paint. Then, glue the noodles down to a piece of paper and draw in the antennas and scenery.
Get the tutorial at Crafty Morning.
Take advantage of the summer sun by making your own suncatcher to hang in the window. Choose a template for your suncatcher, then fill it with your favorite colors using tissue paper, markers or paints, depending on which medium you choose to be the base of your project.
Get the tutorial at Craft Play Learn.
Tissue Paper Flowers
All you need to make this simple craft is tissue paper and pipe cleaners. Create a single flower, or grow your own tissue paper garden by layering different sizes and shades of tissue and arranging them around a pipe cleaner.
Get the tutorial at Kid Friendly Things to Do.
Sand Art Bottles
Didn’t you hear? The ‘90’s are back in style! Create a nostalgic work of art by dying sand with liquid dye or food coloring, then layering it in a cool vessel like a thrifted vase or a recycled jar.
Get the tutorial at Art Bar.
Sand and Shell Art
On your next trip to the beach, remind your kiddos to collect shells that can be washed off and used for this fun craft. Use Elmer’s Glue to draw a design on a piece of foam board, then sprinkle on the sand you collected at the beach. Glue on shells for that extra beachy touch.
Get the tutorial at Happiness is Homemade.
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