8 Best Summer Crafts To Keep Kids Busy: Summer Craft Ideas

Super Fun Summer Crafts To Keep The Kids Busy Until School Starts Again

July 20, 2020 Updated July 24, 2020

tim-arterbury-VkwRmha1_tI-unsplash (1)
Tim Arterbury/Unsplash

Even if you don’t consider yourself a “crafty” person (in the sense that you’re good at arts and crafts), if you have kids, you’ll soon find yourself covered in string, glue, paint, and yes, Enemy Number 1 of any household: glitter. (Besides, everyone knows that the best kind of glitter is a movie starring Mariah Carey.)

Anyway, children are usually pretty into making things (including a mess), so arts and crafts shouldn’t be a tough sell. While various types of art projects are great year-round activities, there’s something extra special about summer crafts. Maybe it’s the idea of doing crafts at a summer camp, or continuing art class from school during the rest of the year, but as long as the kids are home, they’re going to need stuff to do. Crafts are also a great way to get rid of stuff around the house, like discarded fabric, jars, and yarn, and many a cardboard tube. Here are some fun summer crafts that will keep the kids busy until school starts.

God’s Eye

View this post on Instagram

“Mama you made sunshine!” – words from my 4 year old when he saw this, it now hangs above his bed. I made this two weeks ago for my students who needed more of a challenge after making the basic God’s eyes for St. John’s. Anyone else loving summer projects as much as we are?☀️ . . . . . #waldorf #waldorfhandwork #waldorfhandworkcurriculum #waldorfhandworkteacher #waldorfcrafts #waldorfcraft #waldorfinspired #waldorfathome #waldorfremotelearning #waldorfbeyondtheclassroom #waldorfdistancelearning #waldorfeducation #waldorffestivals #waldorffestival #sunshine #summercrafts #summercraftsforkids #summertimevibes #summercraft #godseyes #mandalaart #madala #manualidadeswaldorf #steinerhandwork #steinerinspired #steinereducation #steinercraft #waldorfmom #waldorfmama #waldorfteacher

A post shared by Waldorfhandwork (@peacewithnaturehandwork) on

Whether or not you went to summer camp, you’ve probably made a craft known as a “God’s Eye.” If you’d like, we can even give it a more secular name, like a “pretty stick and yarn square.” Here’s how to make one.

School of Fish

View this post on Instagram

SCHOOL OF FISH 🐠 ⁣⁣ Ready to dive into some fun summer crafting? 💦 Try making these cardboard and yarn fish! ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ MATERIALS:⁣⁣ 🐟 cardboard ⁣⁣ 🐟 paint (we used @kwikstixpaint )⁣⁣ 🐟 yarn (we used @darngoodyarn )⁣⁣ 🐟 googly eyes⁣⁣ 🐟 glitter, gems, stickers, etc.⁣⁣ 🐟 black marker⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ INSTRUCTIONS:⁣⁣ 1️⃣ Cut ✂️ a fish shape out of cardboard 📦 making sure to also cut slits along the sides. Swipe 👉🏻 to see an example. ⁣⁣ 2️⃣ Paint the cardboard fish cutout. What we love about @kwikstixpaint is that it’s mess free and quick to dry!⁣⁣ 3️⃣ Wrap yarn around the slits. Make sure to make a knot at the beginning and at the end to secure the yarn. We used sari silk ribbon yarn by @darngoodyarn 🧶 It’s our favourite!⁣⁣ 4️⃣ Glue on a googly eye 👀 and add a smile.⁣⁣ 5️⃣ Add more decorative touches to your fish with glitter, gems 💎 , stickers, and whatever else your crafty heart desires!⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ We have teamed up with @darngoodyarn for a collaboration! 🙌🏻 If you’ve never checked out their yarn, you can use the link in my bio to visit their website and pick out your favourites! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!⁣⁣ #darngoodyarn ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ SAVE 🔖 this activity to try later, SHARE it with a friend and don’t forget to TAG #learncraftgrow – we love 💕 seeing you try out our activities!⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ #learncraftgrow #craftsforkids #kidscrafts #kidscrafts101 #craftykids #activitiesforkids #earlylearning #learningthroughplay #preschool #preschoolart #kindergarten #kindergartenart #elementary #elementaryart #invitationtocreate ⁣ #undertheseacrafts #oceancrafts #summercraftsforkids #summercrafts #welovesummerplay ⁣#mycolourfulplay #playtoshine #diycardboardplay #craftycardboardmake #easyartathome #ureadyteddykidscamp_beach

A post shared by Learn.Craft.Grow. (@learncraftgrow) on

This is one of those junk-drawer crafts, where as long as you have some cardboard you can cut into fish shapes, you can decorate it with whatever’s sitting around: yarn, paint, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, etc. If your kids want a more permanent exhibition, you can have them attach their school of fish to a poster board (or another piece of cardboard).

Wacky Milkshakes

View this post on Instagram

Mixed-Media Gelatis 🍨 ⁣ ⁣For this fun process art activity we did our little spin on puffy paint ice cream and did puffy paint gelatis (although they look more like a crazy milkshake?)⁣ ⁣ This was actually our first time using the puffy paint and it was really fun! We used equal parts glue and shaving cream and a tiny drop of food coloring in each section of a muffin container. ⁣ ⁣ Then we cut paper cups in half and I traced them to the page so the kids would know where to put the scoops and then we glued the cups on afterwards and added our toppings to our cool treats!⁣ ⁣ MATERIALS:⁣ * Shaving cream⁣ * White glue⁣ * Food coloring⁣ * Paper cup (cut in half)⁣ * Construction paper⁣ [Optional] Pom poms, sprinkles, paper straws, spoons, paint sticks, glitter, washi tape, markers⁣ ⁣ WAYS TO CREATE:⁣ * Decorate the cup with markers, washi tape or paint sticks⁣ * Add glitter, foam balls, sprinkles, pom poms, straw or spoon⁣ * Paint with brush, fingers or a spoon⁣ * Experiment with color mixing⁣ ⁣ Be sure to check out #ureadykidscamp_cool because our counselors and friends have been doing an amazing job posting fun ice cream/popsicle related crafts + activities!⁣ ⁣ #ureadykidscamp #playtobloom #mycolourfulplay #puffypaint #processart #processartforkids #artsandcrafts #icecreamcraft #creativekids #littleartist #kidsart #childrensart #childrensartclasses #preschoolart #preschoolathome #artlessons #artteachersofinstagram #artprojects #keepkidsbusy #messyplay #messyplayideas #toddlerart #summercrafts #summercraftsforkids #kidscrafts101 #kidscrafts #invitationtocreate

A post shared by Devon @ U Ready, Teddy? (@ureadyteddy) on

Did you know you can make a DIY puffy paint with some shaving cream, glue, and food coloring? Well, you can! And you can use it to make a super cute milkshake art piece.

Jellyfish!

View this post on Instagram

CARDBOARD & YARN JELLYFISH 🌊 ⁣ Under the sea crafts are always a hit with my kids, so when we received our yarn 🧶 from @darngoodyarn we couldn’t wait to put these adorable jellyfish together! ⁣ ⁣ We’re so excited to have teamed up with @darngoodyarn for a collaboration! 🙌🏻 What we love about their yarn is that it’s made of recycled ♻️ materials and employs artisans from around the world! 🌎 If you’ve never checked out their yarn, you can use the link in my bio to visit their website and pick out your favourites! I’m sure you’ll love it! ⁣ To make our jellyfish, we cut our cardboard, painted it with @kwikstixpaint and added faces. We then poked holes using a hole puncher and tied our sari silk ribbon yarn through. #darngoodyarn ⁣ ⁣ My 3 year old has not put these diy jellyfish down since we made them. Swipe 👉🏻 to see! ⁣ ⁣ SAVE 🔖 this activity to try later, SHARE it with a friend and don’t forget to TAG #learncraftgrow – we love 💕 seeing you try out our activities!⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #learncraftgrow #craftsforkids #kidscrafts #kidscrafts101 #craftykids #activitiesforkids #earlylearning #learningthroughplay #teachersofinstagram #preschool #preschoolart #kindergarten #kindergartenart #elementary #elementaryart #invitationtocreate ⁣ #undertheseacrafts #oceancrafts #summercraftsforkids #summercrafts #welovesummerplay ⁣#mycolourfulplay #playtoshine #makecreateplay #diycardboardplay

A post shared by Learn.Craft.Grow. (@learncraftgrow) on

Normally, we’d tell you to avoid jellyfish at all costs (anyone who has ever been stung by one knows why). But these jellyfish are made of cardboard and yarn and won’t sting you anywhere (including the wallet, because they’re made with materials you probably already have!).

Tie Dyeing

If you take five minutes and look around your house, you’ll probably be able to find at least a few articles of clothing that could use some tie dyeing. Endlessly customizable and a great outdoor craft for a nice day, tie dyeing is another classic summer craft.

Crafty Raft

Gather a few supplies and make your own personalized mini raft! You can float it in the tub, or a bucket, or nearby body of water, or just admire it from land.

Watermelon Play Dough

View this post on Instagram

🍉WATERMELON PLAY DOUGH🍉 Play dough is great for developing one’s fine motor skills, imagination and construction concepts (E.g., How can I make my structure stand? How do I make it sturdy? etc.). Add a placemat or clay board, some rolling pins or a cardboard tube and some loose parts to extend your child’s play! What about some figurines? What are YOUR favourite things to add to play dough? 🍉#playdoughactivities #playdough #playdoughfun #playdoughplayactivities #finemotorskills #finemotoractivity #finemotoractivities #birthdaypartyideas #birthdaypartylootbags #birthdaypartyloot #summer #summercrafts #summercraftsforkids #playideasforkids #playideas #preschool #kindergarten

A post shared by Make It Your Own (@make_it_your_own_) on

Play dough and watermelon go together like…well, we’re not quite sure, but this is a pretty adorable take on play dough. Just make some in green, white, and pink and layer it up in a jar. You can even pop in a few small black objects (like beads) in the pink layer to make it look more like the fruit. Take this one step further and make it watermelon-scented dough. These could also make cute gifts of party favors.

Wine Cork Stamps

If for some reason, you have a few wine corks sitting around your house, you can make some pretty fun stamps out of them. Just make sure an adult is around to do the cutting on this one.