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15 Creative Summer Activities for Kids

Jen Betterley

Published on: May 23, 2013

Chalk dress-up dolls craft for kids by The Iowa Farmer's Wife

If playing dress-up is a favorite in your home, take a tip from Mom Adrienne of The Iowa Farmer’s Wife and make your own outdoor DIY dress-up dolls to deck out on a warm sunny day. Start by tracing your child’s body in chalk outline and then play stylist to your chic new homemade friends — this is one quick and easy activity that’s sure to be a ball for your young fashionista! See more of Adrienne’s fun images by visiting the full post.

Homemade juggling balls for kids by Maya*Made

Maya*Made shares an easy and crafty idea for creating a set of cool homemade juggling balls that she and her mini ringmasters enjoyed during their DIY backyard circus extravaganza one summer. Perfect for outdoor warm-weather adventures and afternoon play, these DIY jugglers are easily made using small socks, wide strips of cut t-shirts or colorful remnant fabric; rice; and a needle and thread. This quick project will not only keep the kiddies entertained, but will also help them learn a fun new skill!

Homemade story stones for kids by Inner Child Fun

Sometimes, the best summer boredom busters are the least complicated — and that’s exactly why we love these cheap and creative story stones featured on Inner Child Fun. To make your own, simply head outdoors in search of a handful of rocks and then have your little ones apply people, places, things or animals with a fine-point marker. To really bring your story stones to life, consider making a sidewalk city or scenery with chalk for your new characters to inhabit. Mom Valerie extols the virtues of this imaginative activity's ability to occupy kids for a long time!

Homemade edible body paints for kids by Crosbie Crew

Now here’s one fun summer idea that’s sure to bring smiles to your kids’ faces — edible body paint by the Crosbie Crew’s! This DIY and delicious paint is simply made with instant vanilla pudding and food coloring, and requires only a quick ten-minute chill time in the fridge to complete. Quick, easy, edible — what could be better than that?

Homemade paper kite for kids by Made By Joel

Get outside and fly a kite this summer — literally — by following this fun tutorial included on Made by Joel. Easily constructed with thick paper, string, sticks and tape, this cool DIY mini kite can be made in only 10 minutes, yet yields an afternoon full of high-flying fun!

Homemade giant backyard board game for kids on Design Dazzle

In need of a new family board game? Consider turning your deck into a giant board game, like this one featured on Design Dazzle. With squares including fun activities such as “Do the Chicken Dance,” “Make a silly face,” and “Rest for a turn and let your Mama kiss you” (aww!), this giant game was an absolute hit for Mom Desiree’s minis. And the best part? Clean-up time took less than five minutes! See the full post for more adorable photos of their fun game day, and ideas for creating your own deck game.

Homemade soap boats for kids by I Heart Nap Time

Spend a day at the races in the comfort of your own backyard with this clever DIY idea for creating soap boats featured on I Heart Nap Time. Mom Jamielyn says that her son had an absolute blast as he watched his dollar-store-crafted sailboat zoom down the rain gutter. The best part is that the project was quick, easy and an absolute win. See the full post for more info on getting started!

Kosher salt and ice sculptures by Creative Jewish Mom

Wax scientific this summer with this cool idea for making kosher salt and ice sculptures included on Creative Jewish Mom. A fun and simple artsy way to experiment with common pantry items, this project reveals intriguing bright colors and ice crystals as the salt dissolves the ice. We all love a “cool” craft that’s sure to inspire a summer filled with science exploration!

Homemade garden rock markers by Repeat Crafter Me

Looking for a fun way to involve your mini green thumbs in the garden this year? Consider trying your hand at making these adorable vegetable garden rock markers featured on Repeat Crafter Me. Finding rocks similar in shape to their edible counterparts is only half the fun ! See Mom Sarah’s full post for the complete how-to and for more fun photos of her other cute rock veggies.

Cardboard maze and playground for kids by Play and Grow

We are absolutely head over heels for this clever DIY cardboard “playground” featured on Play and Grow — and we have a feeling that your kids will be, too! To make your own backyard version, simply assemble cardboard boxes into a tunnel maze of sorts for plenty of crawling, hiding and exploring. Once your cardboard formation is complete, pull out a variety of colorful paints and let your kids run wild with decorating and bedazzling their new play structure. This is truly one upcycled project that shows off how a little creativity and cardboard can really go a long way!

Mud painting craft for kids by Curly Birds

Go au natural this summer and create mud pie masterpieces like these inspired by the creative minds of Curly Birds. An excellent idea for when you’re in need of a quick and easy afternoon artsy distraction, this project only requires paper, mud and any other backyard goodies (flowers, branches, leaves, etc.) that pique your child’s interest. Practically free, and loads of messy, mucky fun for the little artists in your home!

Homemade glowing jars by From Panka With Love

Light up the summer night with these fab DIY glowing jars included on From Panka With Love. Perfect for warm evenings spent stargazing with your kiddos or as creative bedroom nightlights, these cool jars do not require candles or electricity to give off their gorgeous colors — only a bit of sunlight to recharge the glow-in-the-dark paint! See the full post for more details on getting started.

Homemade summer memory jars for kids by Garden Mama

Hoping to capture all of summer’s special moments in one place? Consider making a memory jar like this one featured on Garden Mama. Though Mom Nicole and her kids chose to make their jars with treasures found on the beach, the options are truly endless as to what can be included in each jar. Any summer scavenger hunt with your kids will result in the capture of favorite summer memories!

Homemade sidewalk paint by Tend

Paint the town red (or green, or purple, or blue) this summer with this DIY tutorial for sidewalk paint offered up on Tend! To get started on your homemade paints, you’ll only need cornstarch, food coloring and water. And when the day’s smears and splatters have come to an end, simply wash down the walk for quick and easy cleanup. True joy results when your toddlers express themselves and show off their masterpieces for all to see!

Homemade spy glasses for kids by Crafts By Amanda

Hit the open trails this summer with some super-cool spy glasses inspired by Crafts by Amanda. Noted as being a hit among rambunctious boys, these DIY glasses are easily made with egg cartons, pipe cleaners, beads and colorful paint. Half the fun is making and bedazzling these neat specs, and once they’re ready the options are endless for the outdoor adventures that can be had!

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