Hot Weather Fun: Summer Crafts for Kids

When boredom looms and the weather's hot, get everyone involved in summer crafts for kids.  Kids are always excited to be free from the school routine when they are let out for summer break, but it isn't long until they start wondering what to do.  Summer crafts for kids will keep them occupied and maybe even teach them a thing or two.

In summer, crafts for kids can involve found objects, like seed pods, grasses, and similar objects.  Let kids create nature collection collages by gluing these items to a stiff piece of cardboard.   Help them spray paint some of the findings with silver or gold paint.  Alternatively, they might like to glue glitter to some of the findings.  Perhaps they would also enjoy collecting wild flower seed heads and creating dried flower arrangements.   Arrange the bouquet in a homemade vase. 

A vase for summer bouquets, fresh or dried, is another craft that naturally fits into the summer crafts for kids category.  A simple vase can be made from a tin can.  Soup cans work particularly well because they are smooth on the outside and rather narrow.  Be sure to file off any sharp spurs on the inside opening.  Start the work of art by cutting a piece of construction paper or other colored paper to fit around the sides of the can.  This will be glued to the outside of the can, but first it needs to be decorated.

The vase cover can be decorated in many ways.  The child can draw a summer scene on the paper and then decorate it with glued on glitter or small stickers of summer things.  Another idea is for the child to write their name in large letters, and glue beans, seeds, or glitter to the letters.  Let all glue dry before attaching the paper to the outside of the can.  Add water and fresh flowers or leave dry for dry flowers. 

You can also use the can for a trinket container or a place to put pens, pencils, and markers.  To make them real summer crafts for kids, glue grass seed heads and found seed pods to the paper in a decorative way.

Jar vases make good summer crafts for kids, too.  Canning jars make particularly cute vases, but any cast off mayonnaise, pickle, or other jar, even plastic ones, can work, too.  To make a jar into a vase it first needs to be sparkling clean.  Kids love getting wet in the summer, so let them roll up their sleeves (or put on a bathing suit!) and have fun splashing at the sink while "washing dishes."  When the jar is clean and dry, tie an attractive ribbon around the opening.  If desired, decorate the outside of the jar with glued on beads and buttons.

Summer crafts for kids will provide some cute decorations around the home and keep the kids from being bored.  This summer, crafts for kids should be at the top of every parent's To Do list!

Have a Toy Game Hobby Night at Your House!

Build family communication and togetherness by having a weekly toy game hobby night.  It is so easy these days to let work, school, and the business of life rule the day, that we can easily lose touch with each other.  If we get together one night each week for a toy game hobby night, we can rekindle those family ties.

Those families with small children will probably focus more on the toy aspect of the toy game hobby night.  Take the time to get down on the floor and play with those youngsters.  Cuddle those dollies and call yourself "grandma" or "grandpa."  Push those trucks around and pretend right along with the kids.  If your back can take it, let them take turns riding you like a horse while you crawl around and neigh.  Every kid loves that!

On summer evenings, try toy game hobby night in the sand box at the park.  Using an old mesh produce bag, collect a variety of suitable sand toys to take along.  These toys include various containers, a few wheeled vehicles, toy garden tools, and cast-off kitchen utensils.  In the sandbox with your kids, you can create towns with roads, castles, or just about anything.

Modeling dough is also a great activity for toy game hobby night.  Collect some small cookie cutters and old jar lids (for pans) and create fancy cookies and desserts - inedible and calorie-free, of course!  The kids can turn a large box on it's side for a counter and place the goodies on display to sell.  Of course, you'll pretend to buy, eat, and enjoy!

Some fun games for family night include card games like Uno, board games like Candy Land or Life, and dominoes.  When choosing games to play there are several things to consider.  Is Scrabble, for instance, fun for everyone, or does all the spelling and thinking feel like work to some of the players?  Does the game take forever to play, so that some players' attention spans play out?  Does the game encourage merciless competition, like Monopoly, leaving losers feeling left out?  It's important for kids to learn how to lose and still have fun.  Don't "throw" the game, intentionally letting them win all the time, but don't mercilessly beat them every time either.  Make it fun.  If losing is a problem for some of the kids, check out some of the new cooperative games where everyone is on the same team.

Hobbies are also great to share as a family.  Maybe your family would be interested in pursuing musical skills together.  Families make great singing groups because their voices match well.  If that's not for you, maybe you'd all enjoy fishing.  Square dancing is fun for some families, while others enjoy playing badminton or other active games and sports.  The important thing is to have fun together.

Having a toy game hobby night every week will help you stay close to your kids as they grow up.  It will keep the bond of love fresh and the lines of communication open.  Plan a toy game hobby night this week!

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