This is a partnered post.
Summer has arrived in spirit and summer is looming in terms of holidays, and that means us parents have to start scrambling for ideas on how to best fill their endless summer break. No doubt you’ll exhaust all the local zoo’s in your area, head to water parks, do every museum twice and spend so much time at the local park that you’ll start getting your post delivered there. If you’re into fishing with your family, you can see more ideas for that here, too.
However, these big days out will only fill up a small fraction of your time – say a week – and they’ll completely empty your emergency fund at the same time. That’s where good old fashioned arts and crafts can come in and save the day (and your sanity) because not only is it a great way to get your kids outside and get their creative juices flowing, it is something that can keep them happy without anything more than a well-stocked arts and crafts box.
Of course, we wouldn’t be very good at this blogging thing if we just stopped there. So, to help you get started and, more importantly, get your kids going, we have come up with a few outdoor arts and crafts ideas that will keep boredom at bay. Enjoy.
1. DIY Bouncy Balls
Bouncy balls are one of those things that keep kids entertained for three and a half minutes maximum. Then it is straight back to, “Mom, we’re bored!”. However, making your own bouncy balls is one of those things that makes it so much more enjoyable because you have that sense of achievement. What’s more, the making part will keep them busy for a while. It’s so simple too. All you need to do is mix half a cup of warm water with one tablespoon of Borax, while you mix one tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of white liquid glue and food coloring in another cup. When you’re done, mix everything together. Withing about ten seconds the glue mixture will have hardened, so take it out with a fork. If it is still soft and squishy then dip it back into the water. If not, roll it into a ball until it goes firm and, voila, you have your very own colorful bouncy balls. Amazing.
2. Paint Some Rocks
This may not sound like something that is going to keep your kids busy for too long, but, oh just you wait and see. The best things about this are the fact that rocks and stones are everywhere. What’s more, you can do anything you like with them and the more advanced your kids are at painting the more advanced your ideas can become. Just imagine it, a group of colorful Pufferfish Rocks, fun Rock Crabs, or a plant pot filled with stones painted green and decorated like cacti, but ones that don’t prick you. Just pop onto Glue Guns Direct to fasten your cactus rocks into place and, there we have it, a little homemade display for your bathroom or kitchen. If this is too advanced straight away, then start by Tic Tac Toe Rocks. All you need is two different colors, maybe with some nice little patterns if you are feeling adventurous, and there we have it. You are ready to play. It’s so easy and yet so endless.
3. Wooden Wind Chimes
When it comes to arts and crafts ideas that just keep giving, nothing comes close to wooden wind chimes. They are fun to make, fun to paint, have the ability to brighten up any garden and they make a lovely soothing noise when the wind blows. Plus, they are one of those things your kids can make with very little help and then give away to family as presents. We don’t want to say we’re genius’ when it comes to frugal ideas but, come on, that’s pretty genius. To make the best of the best, what you’ll need is some sticks, a sanding block, craft varnish, acrylic paints, small screw eyes and something to tie them with, like yarn, fishing line or twine. It’s simple after that. Snap your sticks into lengths around the nine-inch mark, peel of any bark (sand any little bits you can’t get off) and then start painting them in different colors. When they’ve dried, coat them in varnish, wait for that to dry and then screw the tiny eyes into one end of the sticks. Then get your yarn and tie each colorful stick to a branch in your garden. Gorgeous and wonderful.
4. Nature Sculptures
The great thing about this particular arts and crafts is the treasure hunt aspect of it. You have to start off as a hunter gatherer by searching for bits of nature, possibly using their little dolls pram as a trolley but that will be adorable. Once you have found things like leaves and twigs and bits of grass and dandelions and whatever else, you get to organize them and then imprint them into the clay sculpture set you need to purchase, then back them and, if you fancy, paint them gorgeous colors. You can get sculpting kits from almost any arts and crafts store and they are so easy to use; just follow the instructions. It tends to just need kneading, rolling, pressing onto your objects, peeling them off, placing the clay on a baking tray and leaving them to harden. So many amazing aspects to this.
5. Bubble Pop Art
Kids love bubbles. Whether it is making bubble wrap starfish or making rainbow bubbles; they love it. What makes bubble pop painting so amazing, though, is that it is one of the activities that’s really easy, really it fun and never fails to fascinate kids no matter how many times you do it. Who are we kidding, it’ll fascinate you too. All you need to do is pour some bubble mix into different pots, add some food coloring and then blow bubbles onto some paper. When the bubbles land, they’ll pop and make these incredible works of art. Yeah, it can get a bit messy, so we recommend you take some newspaper outside with you and lay it all down before you get going, but it is so worth it. It is one of those amazingly fun things to do on a lazy summer’s day. Then get some frames and you’ll have some wicked art to remind you of that day. Sign it, date it and smile forever.