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Fun summer crafts and activities for kids

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Celebrate a hands-on summer

Celebrate the long days and lax schedules with these fun summer crafts and activities for kids. These hands-on activities are not only fun (and educational... shhh!) but they are sure to make lasting memories with your kids. We have rounded up the best summer activities from craft bloggers to keep your kids busy all summer long.

Fairy garden

Fairy garden | Sheknows.com

Have fun with your kids this summer by creating a magical fairy garden in your own backyard. "Using what's in your flower beds, and [a] few miscellaneous craft supplies, your kids can create their own fairy village," Megan Pyrah of the Brassy Apple blog tells SheKnows. Megan shared this photo of the DIY fairy house she and her daughter created, using things like ice pop sticks, clothespins, as well as weeds, flowers, grass and twigs. They created a fairy rock garden, a yard for teatime (using a flower as the umbrella for shade) and fairy houses from small wooden birdhouses. "This is a fun way to get creative and be outside," says Megan.

Duct tape coin purse

Duct Tape coin purse | Sheknows.com

Duct tape has gone way beyond the boring silver sticky tape that is useful around the house. With all of the cool new colors and prints, it has become a fun crafting medium for kids of all ages. You can make everything from flip-flops to a tablet cover and even a flower hair clip using the bright colors of Duck Brand duct tape; however, one of our favorites is this colorful Duck Tape Coin Purse. This craft is for beginners and is great for girls and boys alike! Check out the step-by-step directions at DuckBrand.com.

Rainbow bubble snakes

Rainbow bubble snakes | Sheknows.com

Your kids will have an absolute blast making these Rainbow Bubble Snakes this summer, courtesy of HousingAForest.com. The best part? You can make them out of items you probably already have around your house, including empty water bottles, duct tape, a sock, dish soap and food coloring. All you do is cut off the end of the water bottle and put the sock over the end, attaching it with duct tape or a rubber band. Put some dish soap and water in a container, dip the sock end into the solution and have your kids blow into the top of the water bottle. To make your snake colorful, pour some food coloring onto the sock to color the bubbles.

Summer bucket list

Summer bucket list | Sheknows.com

Create a summer bucket list with your kids by creating tags on card stock, punching a 2-inch circle on them and sliding them on a book ring or key chain. SimplyKierste.com shared this adorable idea, and she even has free printable templates on her website to make your own summer bucket list. What kind of activities should you include? She suggests activities that don't need to be planned far in advance, but can be done spur of the moment. Include things local to your area; however, some ideas could include visiting a museum, going bowling, family movie night, building a fort, inviting friends over for an ice cream party, having a water fight or a watermelon seed-spitting contest.

Also check out 10 things that should be on your family bucket list >>

Care packages for the troops

Care packages for the troops | Sheknows.com

You and your kids can help the U.S. troops know you are thinking of them by making care packages this summer. Check out Operation Care Package Kids Reach Out for specific things the troops need to include in the care package. The troops are currently asking for first-class stamps, white or black work socks and (my favorite!) hand painted pillowcases for troops in the combat hospitals to help "brighten their room and lift their spirits." Check out the website for more ways you can help.

Salt dough snake craft

Salt Dough Snake crafts | Sheknows.com

Boys and girls alike will love making this fun salt dough snake craft, courtesy of Frugalfun4boys.com. You can make this with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. The salt dough consists of:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon oil

Your kids make their snakes out of the dough and then bake them for 3 hours at 200 degrees F. Let the snakes cool before painting them. They are s-s-s-s-s-s-spectaular!

Constellation jar

Constellation jar | Sheknows.com

This summer craft for kids is perfect for stargazers — and for those wanting a cool night-light. Gabrielle Blair of DesignMom.com created this amazing light-up jar using a wide-mouth jar (like a pickle jar), a disposable cake pan, a small click light, an awl (or a pointed tool to poke holes in the tin pan) and scissors. After cutting out a strip of the pan to fit around the inside of the jar, poke holes in it in the shape of the constellations and place it inside the jar with the click light. Turn off the lights, turn on your jar and enjoy the stargazing!

Grow a Venus flytrap

Grow a Venus Fly Trap | Sheknows.com

Your kids will keep their science skills strong (and have fun doing it) with these unique gardening and science kits from DuneCraft. They have so many cool plants for kids I had a hard time narrowing down just one, but decided to focus on the one that I know my kids would like the best: the Venus flytrap. For just $4, you can pick up a Curious George Fly Trap kit or Carnivorous Creatures kit ($35) which features flytraps and savage sundews. The Venus flytrap is a plant that attracts insects, traps them in its jaw-like foliage and eats them. Gross? Kind of. Would kids love it? For sure.

Also check out kid-friendly gardening projects >>

Salad spinner art

Salad Spinner art | Sheknows.com

Yes, you heard us correctly. Your salad spinner does more than just make a yummy salad, it also creates art. This is so easy, fun and perfect for kids of all ages. How do you do it? "Place some paper in the salad spinner, dribble on some paint, replace lid and give it a spin," says Megan, who shares the step-by-step directions on her blog, BrassyApple.com. That's it! This would be great for everything from 4th of July bashes to birthday parties.

More crafts for kids

Paper crafting for kids
Crafts that help you bond with your child
Wooden spoon crafts for kids

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