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12 Kids' Summer Crafts All Moms Can Master

Lindsey Hunter Lopez is a freelance writer and general mother hustler with degrees from University of California, Santa Cruz and New York University. Lindsey resides in Northeast Los Angeles with her husband, bulldog, and two hilarious p...

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Easy summer crafts for kids

Getty Images/Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows
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Easy summer crafts for kids

School's out! That means the crafting duty falls on you, Mom (or Dad). The days of sitting back and watching the classroom artwork roll in are over. Well, at least until August or September. Here are some colorful, easy activities for you and your little ones to try, including big bubble blowing and vibrantly painted pots. And after you've completed all these projects… there’s always Moana. Or summer school.

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Dinosaur fossils

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Dinosaur fossils

Press plastic dino toys into colored salt dough and voila — fossils. Continue the fun by burying them in dirt or sand and have your little paleontologists dig out and dust them off. Dig into the details at Design Dazzle.

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Biggest bubbles

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Biggest bubbles

Here’s a fantastic recipe for the biggest, longest-lasting bubbles from Busy Kids Happy Mom: 6 cups water, 1/2 cup dish soap, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon glycerin. Mix slowly into a large dishpan or shallow container and let it sit for a few hours. Then dip your wands, blow and enjoy.

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Flamingo finger puppet

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Flamingo finger puppet

Here's a craft incorporating trendy flamingos from the I Heart Crafty Things blog. Cut out the flamingo's body and beak from pink and black card stock. Cut or punch two holes for your child's fingers. Glue a googly eye and feathers onto your bird. Once the glue is dry, kids can put on a puppet show.

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Drip-painted flower pots

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Drip-painted flower pots

What a groovy project. Get a simple terra cotta flower pot and turn it upside down on top of some wax paper (so the paint doesn't stick). Drip acrylic paint around the sides of the pot in colors of your choice and let it dry. Plant a flower and admire your handiwork. This a good choice for younger kids because they can get messy with it — no precision required. Find more details at Edventures with Kids.

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Painted twig bouquet

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Painted twig bouquet

It's actually as easy as it looks — and the result is really cool. Gather twigs of various lengths, then paint them color-block-style (or any way you want). Once they're dry, arrange the twigs in a vase or Mason jar for some kid-friendly decor. See Homemade Ginger for inspiration.

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Tic-tac-toe rocks

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Tic-tac-toe rocks

Ladybugs vs. tadpoles... This is the cutest, and when you're done painting, you'll have a game set to reuse. Gather 10 smooth rocks, then paint half as ladybugs and half as tadpoles using craft paint. Paint a round wooden log slice (you can find these at the craft store) to make the "pond" with a grid of nine lily pads. Wait for everything to dry and start playing. Read all the details on the creative blog Atta Girl Says.

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Caterpillar clothespins

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Caterpillar clothespins

Use these adorable fuzzy bugs to clip artwork on a line, close snack bags or hang odds and ends. Simply glue pom poms to wooden clothespins, then add googly eyes. Check out We-Made-That.com for more.

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Pineapple thumbprint painting

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Pineapple thumbprint painting

Create a colorful piece of art with this simple craft from Beckham + Belle — no brushes required. Just dip thumbs into color finger paints or acrylics (depending on your child’s age) and create a large oval out of the individual prints. Then swoosh on the leafy crown. Once dry, hang up your tropical print for a summery vibe.

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Fruity fans

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Fruity fans

A Girl & a Glue Gun features a cute craft to keep kids cool: DIY fruit fans. Older children can use ice pop sticks, watercolors, paper and a glue gun to make adorable watermelon, orange, pineapple or apple fans. (You may need to help with hole-drilling.) American flag fans for the Fourth would be a great July project.

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Squirt-gun painting

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Squirt-gun painting

This one is big hit with kids. Craft blog Fireflies + Mud Pies has a fun tutorial. Fill squirt guns with liquid watercolors, clip watercolor paper on an easel, and start shooting. (Pro tip: Remember to do this one outdoors.)

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Play-Doh snails

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Play-Doh snails

Kids will have fun crafting snails and other creatures with sea shells. You can use Play-Doh and get right to creating, or if you're feeling extra crafty, make your own modeling dough. Pipe cleaners and googly eyes make great additions. Once you've graduated from snails, have kiddos build a sea environment or recreate the shells with dough. And when you're done, simply squish your Play-Doh snails back into their containers. See more on the blog Mother Natured.

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