Here are some quick and easy craft projects you can make with your kids this Summer using ordinary household items.
How to Make Pinwheels
Pinwheels are a lot of fun. When the wind blows, the pinwheel goes round and round and kids really enjoy watching them. Make your own from colorful construction paper. It’s quick and easy!
You will need:
- construction paper
- 12″ ruler
- single hole punch
- plastic drinking straws
- metal brads
Instructions for Making a Pinwheel:
1. Cut a 6-inch square out of any color construction paper you have. Fold the paper in half, diagonally. Fold it again diagonally and then open it out flat. Before you fold the paper you might want to decorate it with stickers or markers.
2. Cut along each folded line up toward the center of the square, stopping 1/2-inch before reaching the center of the square.
3. Punch a hole in the top corner of each triangle.
4. Punch a hole 1/2-inch down from the top of the straw.
5. Put the brad through the corners of the triangles. Then put the brad through the center of the square and then through the straw. Fold the edges of the brad over to secure it.
How to Make Paper Streamers
Why buy expensive paper streamers to decorate for a party when you can make them for free at home by using scrap pieces of construction paper or even regular print paper. Let the kids make paper streamers to decorate you next Summer picnic or birthday party.
You just need several sheets of 8-1/2 x 11″ paper to get started.
Paper Streamer Instructions:
Cut one of the sheets of paper in half the long way.
Then fold the paper over crosswise as shown.
Cut slits every 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide – one starting from the bottom and then next starting from the top. Do this all of the way across the paper.
Then open it up and you will see the cool design it makes.
Then tape or staple the ends together and keep making them until your streamer is a long as you need it. Use your homemade paper streamers to decorate you next Summer picnic or birthday party.
How to Make Finger Paints
Here’s a simple recipe for making your own finger paints at home. Kids love playing in paint and finger paints are washable and won’t stain fabrics. Finger painting is a lot of fun for kids too and older children can help make the recipe.
Finger Paint Ingredients:
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (Knox in the orange box)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups cold water
- food coloring
- dishwashing liquid
- white shelf paper
Homemade Finger Paint Instructions:
1. Soak the gelatin in 1/4 cup warm water, stirring occasionally so it won’t gum up. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan combine cornstarch and sugar. Gradually add water and cook slowly over low heat, stirring until well blended.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add softened gelatin. Divide the mixture into separate containers for each color.
4. For each color first add a drop of two of liquid detergent and then add food coloring a drop at a time until you have the shade you want.
Store your homemade finger paints up to six weeks in the refrigerator.
How to Make Homemade Bubble Solution
Kids love blowing bubbles in the summertime but spending money on commercial bubble solution can get expensive unless you find it at the Dollar store. Making your own bubbles solution could be cheaper and if not, at least it is a fun project you can let the kids help with.
This recipe uses Joy dishwashing liquid, probably because it is the best for bubbles, but you can also use Dawn, Ivory, and Palmolive.
The key secret ingredient for more colorful and thick bubbles is Glycerin. This is available at most pharmacies but it can be a expensive. You might also want to try Karo Syrup which is available at grocery stores and is cheaper but can be a bit sticky.
Bubble Solution Recipe
- 9 parts water
- 1 part dish washing liquid
- 1/2 part Glycerin
- Plastic container with lid
Mix all ingredients in a plastic container. Replace lid when you are not using them.
Giant Bubble Maker
Save your coffee cans. Cut off the tops and bottoms. Hammer the edges smooth. Dip the cans in a pan of the bubble solution and wave it through the air.
Have a bubble contest for the biggest bubble, smallest bubble, and the bubble that floats the highest.
How to Make Flour and Salt Dough
This four and salt dough recipe is used in many crafts and commonly used to make Christmas ornaments. Use your imagination and you can decorate your kids decorate their projects with paints, glitter and other craft objects. This dough recipe is perfect for Summer camp projects too.
This kind of dough is safe if the kids accidentally eat some of it.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1-1/2 cups water
1. Mix all ingredients well.
2. Roll out on a counter and cut shapes with cookie cutters.
3. Put the shapes on a cookie sheet so you can bake them.
4. Bake the completed designs in a 350 degree oven for at least 1 hour.
5. Paint and when dry dip in polyurethane, shellac, or use clear nail polish or Decoupage on them to seal the finish. An adult might want to do this step.
Make Dough Beads: You can also make beads for necklaces out of this. Just use a dowel rod or similar item to pock a hole in the center before baking. Then, once they are decorated the kids can string them on a rope to make a necklace or bracelet.
Now you have lots of fun, and easy, Summer craft projects to make at home with your kids using everyday household items.