This post is part 2 of 3 in the series Summer Crafts with Kids.
Summer is all about being outside, splashing around, making the most of the extended daylight hours. Sometimes the kids need nothing but their imagination to entertain themselves the whole day long.
Sometimes they need more than that.
Here are a few ideas to break up your summer routine and inexpensively create new ways to have fun this summer.
The Water Blob
When I first told my kids that I was going to be making this, they were not interested in it at all. My youngest even begged me not to make it. (What?) Well, I decided to make it anyway. After all, I had seen this on Pinterest quite a while ago and I really wanted to try it.
There are a lot of websites that will tell you how to make a water blob. I used these instructions from the blog Homemade Toast.
Things I Learned from Making the Water Blob
Ironing it indoors would probably be a better idea than doing so outside (we went with outside and had a bit of wind, but, thankfully, plenty of helpers).
Also, really do be careful about not pressing the iron down too hard, and be sure to wait until it has cooled a bit before removing the parchment paper. The plastic is pretty easily burned and stretches if you are not careful.
The recommended thickness on the plastic sheeting was 4 mil (which I found at Lowe’s in the insulation aisle), but they did have thicker choices. I considered buying thicker plastic — 6 mil — but it was double the price at $22. However, because I have a 10-year-old who is almost as big as I am, maybe next time I will splurge and get the thicker plastic. You see, my boys managed to put holes in ours after about an hour or so.
All is not lost though, our finished product was really almost too big, so we are going to cut it down to about half the size, remelt the seam, and reuse it at my niece’s first birthday party next weekend.
Needless to say, this project was a lot of fun and both boy’s favorite craft of the day. It was also a big hit with my almost one-year-old niece.
The Pool Noodle Sprinkler
This was probably my favorite. I found it on Pinterest, of course, from the site Ziggity Zoom. You can find out how to make this sprinkler on their website. They have a ton of ideas for more summer fun and a whole host of other activities, crafts, and educational things. Really cool site and worth a look.
The thing I liked most about this “craft” was that a $1 pool noodle from the Dollar Tree + a few holes from a cordless drill + a cap from a water bottle + some duct tape = a really fun, cool sprinkler. How awesome is that? Simplicity can be SO nice sometimes.
This was a very easy project to complete, and you might even have all the things at home! Get the simple instructions here. All I had to get was the three spray bottles from the Dollar Tree. The “fun factor” of this project just wasn’t there for my boys as much. They thought it was neat at first, but got a bit uninterested after they found out it was a bit tedious to spray in a straight line. They prefer regular sidewalk chalk. Still, for what it’s worth, I thought it was pretty neat.
I love this simple, easy “craft.” My cousin introduced water bombs to our family a few years ago and we loved them so much we just had to make some for ourselves! When she made them, she used fishing wire. I thought the wire was a bit difficult to work with, so I switched things up this time and used Goody ouchless latex elastics. They worked perfectly! You can check Pinterest for a whole bunch of tutorials, but here is one that I like.
Rainbow Bubble Snakes
So easy, and just plain cool. Check out the tutorial from the website Housing a Forest. My kids really loved making these out of things we had around the house. All you need is an empty water bottle, a sock (we used an old pair that was outgrown), and some soap in a shallow dish. Oh, and food coloring, if you want the fun rainbow colors.
We made all of these crafts for around $25 one Saturday afternoon. While I don’t recommend you try to do all of these things in one day, I won’t discourage it, either. My boys really enjoyed helping with all the projects and, of course, playing with them, too. They enthusiastically called it “Water Crafts Day” when anyone inquired about their weekend. These are the days that will be remembered fondly years down the road when they look back at their childhood, and that is the stuff this momma loves.
What outdoor crafts do you recommend to other moms?
Read more from our Summer Crafts with Kids series!