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30 Fun and Easy Summer Crafts for Kids

Ah, the summer time warp. On the one hand, it feels so short (“We’ve only been to the beach twice!”), but on the other, it seems to never end (especially right now, when we're confined to the air-conditioned indoors more than ever). While we can’t help you squeeze in more time in the sand, we do have some fun and easy ideas for keeping little hands occupied. Check out our roundup of summer crafts for kids, and rest easy knowing your downtime will be spent watching your child’s artistic skills blossom, from now till the start of the school year.

50 Seriously Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids


summer crafts for kids juice box boats craft
Skip to my Lou

1. Juice Box Boats Craft

Summer is the season of sailboat races, and this STEM activity—a quick and easy project for kids that relies on recycled materials—does indeed produce a functioning vessel. In other words, let the games begin.

I heart crafty things

2. Patriotic Diy Bubble Wands

Is it just us, or do the wands that come with store-bought bubble solutions never really work? Solve the problem and kill some time on a summer day by getting your kid to help you craft a better one. You and your child can MacGyver a bubble wand that scores high on both form and function with materials found at the dollar store. The steps are simple so there’s minimal risk of a meltdown. In fact, the most likely outcome of this project is a finished product that will make your kid bubble over with pride.

Red Ted Art

3. Grass Head Men

Celebrate the season with a truly enriching, kid-friendly craft that requires little more than some composting dirt and a handful of seeds. When your child is done crafting, he’ll have an all-earth, googly-eyed sock puppet that sits in a pot and grows its own green hair. Your kid can even trim that grassy mop (which means that Barbie can get a break from the deranged hairdresser in your home).

summer crafts for kids ice cream cone craft1
Somewhat Simple

4. Ice Cream Cone Craft

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream that doesn’t turn into a drippy mess or result in a ridiculous sugar rush. Here, a simple craft that requires only a few, inexpensive materials (think: kraft paper and foam balls) and produces a pretend play prop that kids are sure to return to again and again—you know, once they’ve been cut off from the real thing.

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5. Painted Newspaper Sunflower Craft

The sight of a bold, beautiful sunflower is so summery. Different techniques and materials are used at every stage of this colorful craft, so there’s a suitable job for every child, regardless of skill level. (Preschoolers can practice cutting while toddlers hang out in watercolor heaven, too busy to care about sharp objects.) No matter who does what, this paper craft promises to provide a stimulating, sensory experience for all involved—and a finished flower that’s worthy of its place on the wall, too.

summer crafts for kids diy craft stick insect puzzles
The Benson Street

6. Diy Craft Stick Insect Puzzles

Take your child on a nature walk to find and study bugs, then craft a puzzle using the insects they discovered as inspiration. This DIY puzzle project is exceedingly easy to pull off, the process is 100 percent kid-friendly—provided a grown-up is in charge of the X-Acto knife, that is—and the finished product is pretty darn neat.

Raising Dragons

7. Pool Noodle Painting

Even if you don’t have an actual pool, stop by the seasonal section next time you’re at the store and pick up a few noodles—these summertime staples have major crafting potential. Case in point: this pool noodle painting project that encourages open-ended creativity and provides plenty of engagement as kiddos get to try out a new technique. We suggest you set up the paints and noodles outside, since this kind of process art can be a bit messy (especially with tiny tots). But once the painting is underway, your work is done. Park yourself in a lounge chair and admire your youngster’s Jackson Pollock.

8. Diy Ring Toss

Help your kid cut some paper plate rings and give them a paper towel tube, then bust out the tempera for a painting project that even the youngest ones can take part in. Don’t sweat it if the paint job is all the same shade of brown because your kid hasn’t mastered the skill of color-mixing just yet. This art project is more functional than the average scrapbook material since, once the paint dries, the resulting ring toss game hones motor skills and makes for even more fun. Three cheers for a craft that keeps on giving.

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9. Pirate Pool Noodle Boats

When the days are steamy, you can (and should) seek relief in the air-conditioned sanctuary that is your home—just be sure to have an enticing project up your sleeve so you can stay one step ahead of the young and the restless. When it comes to convincing your kid to come in and cool down, this clever boat making craft is your best bet. You might need to make a trip to the store if you don’t have a pool noodle, but otherwise the supplies are few and easy to find. Once you have the materials on hand, help your child assemble a simple ship that really sails (or at least floats, in the absence of wind). Best of all, once this mess-free craft is completed on the couch your kiddo can try out the new toy in the bathtub—giving you the ideal excuse to wash off the day’s dirt and grime.

And Next Comes L

10. Abstract Window Art

This creative window craft serves up a new way to enjoy the summer sun, sans the UV rays. This is a process art project—meaning that there are no rules or complicated steps—so your little one’s creativity can really shine through. Brightly colored, transparent contact paper and a pair of scissors are the only supplies your child needs to design a masterpiece that looks like stained glass and dances in the summer sun.

11. Tie-dye T-shirts

Your kids are already pros at staining shirts—at least this time it’s intentional. They’ll love adding color bursts to basics using fabric dyes, and you'll love getting them cool new styles on the cheap. From a drawstring beach bag to different pattern tutorials, Camp by Walmart on the Walmart app has everything they'll need to get started.

One Little Project

12. Glitter Seashell Photo Frame

Watch your child’s beach day collection come together with glitter and glue to form a sparkly photo frame, just waiting to be filled with a sentimental summer snapshot. Scrapbookers will relish this kid-friendly craft—and the same goes for anyone who has ever wondered what to do with all those shells if you can’t actually sell ‘em by the seashore. The construction of the frame is easy but it calls for a hot glue gun, so this project is best tackled by an older child with parent supervision. (Though when it comes to dousing the shells with glitter, even tots can safely take part—and excel.)

Pink Stripey Socks

13. Diy Dandelion Crown

Nature collections are a common result of an outdoor romp with children, so why not turn their treasures into wearable art when you get home? Next time you take a trip to the park, have your little one gather as many yellow dandelions as she can get her hands on. Then, work together to string the flowers together for an original piece of jewelry. The process is straightforward, but expert crafters have some sage advice that will spare you the frustration of splitting stems with your fingernails (and botching the job). Sometimes a simple craft is all you need to make summer memories—so be sure to snap a photo of your kid wearing the crown before it wilts.

Pink Stripey Socks

14. Smiley Sun Popsicle Stick Weaving Craft

After the fifth popsicle, it’s probably time for all parties to take a break from the heat—but save those sticks. Even though you’ve retreated into the cool comfort of your home, you can still worship the sun with this weaving craft. The preschool crowd and beyond can get in on the fun of wrapping vibrant yellow and orange yarn around a sun-shaped loom, and the googly-eyes are seriously cute.

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15. Watermelon Matching Game

Combine crafting and watermelon and you have the best way, hands-down, to trick a child into learning math in the middle of summer vacation. This easy art project can be tailored to suit a wide age-range of tiny artists because kiddos can decorate their construction paper watermelon cut-outs with a variety of age-appropriate materials. But parents, you might want to supervise when it comes to embellishing the watermelons with seeds since they’re an important part of the final product—a matching game, which can be adapted to focus on basic visual perception skills, or more sophisticated counting and math.

One Little Project

16. Diy Ladybug Window Clings

Window art that won’t empty a Windex bottle in a week—what’s not to love? You’ve probably encountered these stretchy, rubbery window decals at the dollar store, but it turns out they’re really easy to make. Pull out some colorful puffy paint and have your kid help with the cutting and designing of this adorable collection of ladybug appliqués. Bonus: This art is reusable, so there's plenty more fun to be had when your child moves these summer bugs from room to room.

Crafts by Amanda

17. Recycled Plastic Lid Wind Chime

It’s no secret that kids can make magic happen with nothing more than a cardboard box. Capitalize on that creativity with this DIY wind chime project, which uses only the stuff you can scavenge from your recycling bin (plus some paints and glitter to make it snazzy). This lesson in sustainability comes in the form of a multimedia art project that explores both aesthetics and sound. Best of all, this project is stimulating enough to keep big kids engaged and simple enough for the little ones, too. Once the craft is complete, hang it outside—no matter which way the wind blows, the chimes will look lovely and make beautiful music to boot.

Pink Stripy Socks

18. Squirt Gun Ocean Art

The key to a successful summer day lies in the seamless transition between indoor and outdoor fun, which is no small feat if you have a toddler. Fortunately, this ingenious process art project makes it easy to shift gears. Start with a little indoor art using an array of supplies (permanent marker, oil pastel and watercolor crayons) and then carry the work outside for a squirt gun standoff. The boldly colored outlines (or scribbles) will blend into a sun-dappled abstraction—and mama won’t get sprayed in the process.

Raising Dragons

19. Balloon Splatter Painting

Water balloon fights are fun, but they can get a bit savage. When you’re looking for something equally entertaining but a little less aggressive, set your kids up with this summertime craft. These paint-filled balloons are sure to please kids of all ages—plus, clean-up will be a breeze so long as you take the activity outdoors.

Mom Endeavors

20. Diy Tie-dye Beach Towels

Like we said, tie-dying is all the rage right now, so if you haven’t tried your hand at it yet, it’s high time to start. Grab a plain white beach towel, a pair of gloves and your child for an afternoon craft that will brighten up your next beach day. Groovy, baby.

summer crafts for kids polymer clay fairy garden house
Happiness is Homemade

21. Polymer Clay Fairy Garden House

Grab a kid and stock up on polymer clay for a hands-on craft that yields some pretty magical garden decor. Depending on how invested you are in the aesthetic of the finished product, you might need to relegate younger kids to the job of molding accent pieces (think: clay snails and flowers) while you tackle the tin can house. That said, this craft will stir the imagination of kids both big and small, and the medium is a blast to work with, too.

summer crafts for kids paper sunflower collage art
Arty Crafty Kids

22. Paper Sunflower Collage Art

Creativity and scissor skills will be put to work with this process art project, which includes a printable template—you know, so kids of all ages can successfully make a collage that actually resembles a sunflower. Bust out the tissue paper, magazines, construction paper (and some Elmer’s glue, of course) and let your young artist handle the rest.

summer crafts for kids diy sidewalk chalk paint
Happiness is Homemade

23. Diy Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Sidewalk chalk is a summertime favorite, but sidewalk chalk paint is even better. This DIY paint is a cinch to make with only a couple pantry staples (i.e., cornstarch and food coloring) and kids will appreciate working with an updated version of a familiar medium. Best of all, swapping paint in for chunky sticks of chalk means more intricate artwork and more big kid-appeal.

summer crafts for kids scrape painted jellyfish windsock craft
Kids Craft Room

24. Scrape Painted Jellyfish Windsock Craft

Cut out a piece of old cardboard and let your kid have a hand at scrape painting—a fun and kid-friendly technique that creates an eye-catching and colorful marbled effect. Bonus: The printable template makes crafting these jellyfish windsocks a breeze, so you’re pretty much guaranteed an adorable outcome.

summer crafts for kids rainbow kindness seashells
Coffee Cups and Crayons

25. Rainbow Kindness Seashells

A beach day with kids almost always involves hauling home a bucket of seashells. Put the loot to good use with a simple painting project with a sweet message. These rainbow-colored seashells are easy to make with nothing more than paint, permanent marker and mod podge. Plus, the messages on the inside of the shells—affirmations of kindness and love—promise a finished product that will give you all the feels.

summer crafts for kids puffy bubble wrap octopus
Arty Crafty Kids

26. Puffy Bubble Wrap Octopus

When it comes to keeping kids entertained, bubble wrap is a no-brainer. Here, the beloved packing material is put to more artistic use with a craft that produces a whimsical-looking octopus that’s easy on the eyes…and the ears.

summer crafts for kids ladybug toilet paper roll craft
The Best Ideas for Kids

27. Ladybug Toilet Paper Roll Craft

Nothing beats a toilet paper roll craft for the pre-K crowd and these ladybugs fit the bill. We’re also particularly fond of this one as there’s no paint involved, which means less mess for you to clean up and zero time spent trying to explain to a little person why they have to wait for paint to dry before proceeding to the next step.

summer crafts for kids tote bag craft
Persia Lou

28. Kids Tote Bag Craft

Here, a mess-free craft that’s particularly well-suited for tweens. This super stylish DIY tote boasts a customizable design that’s created with little more than heat transfer vinyl, a pair of scissors and an iron. Oh, and a blank canvas (bag) of course.

summer crafts for kids fingerprint flower pot
Crafts by Amanda

29. Fingerprint Flower Pot

Snag a plain terracotta pot at your local garden center and set your kid up with some acrylic paints to craft a work of art worthy of a spot on the windowsill. The fingerprint flowers provide extra sensory fun and aesthetic charm, to boot.

summer crafts for kids newspaper shark craft
I Heart Crafty Things

30. Newspaper Shark Craft

This mixed media shark craft gives kids an opportunity to put their scissor skills to use whilst creating a one-of-a-kind shark head with basic, inexpensive materials, including old newspaper, cardstock and googly eyes. Easy peasy.