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5 Cool summer crafts for kids

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Creative ideas for a fun day

Looking for some cool summer crafts to keep your kids busy? These five ideas will draw on their creative, inquisitive tendencies.

Little girl taking photos of nature

Keeping kids busy in the summertime is easy when you have a cache of cool summer crafts to keep them entertained (and maybe learning a little, too!). These five crafts are sure to bring out their creative sides.

1Tray gardens

This easy craft is simple enough for any kid to do, while still drawing on the natural creativity of kids.

How to do it:

You'll need: trays and soil

"Give the child a tray and access to a garden. The idea is to put soil on the tray, find things around the garden, such as twigs to act as trees, etc., and use their imagination to make a garden on the tray," says Bev Newman of Bits and Bobs Crafts.

2Cardboard scenes

Everyone loves playing with old toilet paper rolls, and in this fabulous craft, kids can use them to make really fun, interesting and cool scenes.

How to do it:

You'll need: toilet paper rolls, scissors, glue, tray for the glue, cardstock and paint, if desired.

"Cut the rolls into thin circles. Take time to arrange the pieces into a pattern, or a flower or a design. You can bend them, manipulate them and twist them any way you want. Once you have decided on a pattern, dip the edge of of the piece in the glue and set it on the cardstock. Hold for 20 seconds (your kids can sing one verse of 'happy birthday' to time it) and then do the next piece," says Cyndi Finkle, owner of Art Works Studio.

Finkle says that once the glue dries, the artwork can be painted, if you want. Or, you can leave it as is.

3Nature photography

Kids love taking pictures, and these days, it's easier than ever. Take advantage of this love by giving kids a chance to photograph the world as they see it.

How to do it:

You need: a digital camera

"Give the kids an old digital camera and challenge them to take pictures of flowers, plants, bugs, etc. Then, either print them off or make a photo collage with them. Alternatively, suggest they pick and press flowers and leaves to make pictures or greetings cards," says Newman.

4Summer scrapbook

This fun craft is a summer-long craft that the whole family can get in on.

How to do it:

You'll need: a scrapbook, glue, background paper

"Creating a scrapbook or album to document summer activities is a great way to craft with kids. If you are tech savvy, there are great sites for that, too," says Shnieka Johnson, an arts and education independent consultant based in NYC.

To do this, make background pages available to kids so they can create a page whenever the inspiration strikes.

5Water painting

How to do it:

You'll need: small dishes or pails, water, paint brushes

This one is more art activity than craft, but for kids, it's just super fun. Hand out small dishes or pails of water and paint brushes to kids and have them "paint" on concrete, such as around a pool or on the sidewalk. The kids will love making fun paintings, and then watching them vanish in the hot summer air.

More fun ideas for families

Family time with fun and creativity
10 Family fun nights under $20
Super Moms guide to fun family activities

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