Ahh, the great British summer … a mixed bag of blistering sun, rainy days and grey skies! With staycations, camping and holiday cottages firmly on the menu for most of us this year, I’ve put together ideas for easy summer crafts for kids and the whole family to do. Perfect activities for those chill out days in the garden, rainy days and down days.
Plan Your Summer of Fun
Six weeks is a long time to fill with fun and activities. In fact, it can be quite an overwhelming prospect. Before we get to the craft ideas, lets take a moment to talk about planning your summer of fun.
We have a family tradition, where we get together and put down all the activities and outings that we’d like to do over the school holidays. This can be as small as baking a cake right through to the more costly treats, such as a day out in London. We get the colouring pens out, make it really pretty and then stick it on the wall for all to see. You could even add pictures, stickers and photos if you wanted to get really fancy about it. I also like to add little tick boxes next each activity so we can check them off once they’re done.
In addition, we’ve added the activities into a summer planner, I got mine from Joanne Dewberry, Networking Ninja. She’s created this gorgeous summer planner to help you get organised to plan in some fun, as well as navigate the joys of home working or going out to work. Enjoy the free download version or buy a physical copy for £4 inc p&p.
Easy Summer Crafts for Kids (4-12 year olds)
Last year, over the first national lockdown, I ran weekly, live Craft Along With Me events on Facebook. I’ve uploaded all the videos into a playlist in YouTube so you can access all the videos any time you would like. The playlist is packed with easy summer crafts for kids. All the videos include a list of supplies needed and I’ve used everyday crafts supplies and bits from the recycling bin as far as possible.
Playmobil Lilo Making
One of my favourite videos is the Playmobil Lilo making tutorial. This was something my children created and designed all by themselves. It was followed by hours of imaginative play – a total win in my book!
You’ll need – some plastic straws and sellotape for this craft. Of course, the lilos aren’t just for Playmobil people, they can be for any toy. Just adapt the size to be smaller or larger as needed.
How to make – Follow along to our craft along video.
Summer Staycation Craft Kit
If you’re new around here, I’ve created a gorgeous summer staycation craft kit to keep the kids occupied on those inevitable rainy days and much needed chill out days at home. It’s been designed with staycations, camping trips, sleepovers at Nanny’s and holiday homes in mind.
The kit contains three activities – a keyring, eye of got weaving kit and a lantern. The crafts can be used whilst on holiday to decorate the tent, add the keyring to a backpack or suitcase and the lantern makes a lovely centre piece to al fresco dining and doubles as a treasure box for holiday keepsakes.
Easy Summer Crafts for Teens and Tweens
Tassels and Pom Pom Making
Tassels and pom poms are really easy to do once you know how. They also allow teens and tweens a bit more freedom with their creativity.
You’ll need – To get started, you’ll need a pom pom maker (I like these ones from Clover), sharp scissors and wool. Optional extras include beads, hairbands, headband, key chains and necklaces.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try making this gorgeous wall hanging and add on treasures from your UK travels. Such as shells, pretty stones, sea glass, pottery, photos and dried flowers.
Tie dying is the hot craft for this summer! I’ve bought this kit from Baker Ross to do as one of our summer activities at home. So I’ll let you know how it goes, but I’m currently sourcing pillowcases, t-shirts and bags to dye. I’m really excited about doing it (maybe more so, than the kids).
Crafting as a family is a great way to spend time together and make memories, but you’ll probably want easy summer crafts that you can set up in an instant. The following ideas hold many happy memories for my family and I.
Family Canvas Challenge
We loved creating our family art canvas with The Art Pantry. We did it over the whole of last summer and it was something that we could dip into when we had a spare 30 minutes. The challenge includes 10 different art activities to do as a family on one canvas to create one masterpiece.
You’ll need – a canvas, cardboard or a large piece of paper and all of the arts and craft supplies you can lay your hands on! Don’t worry if you don’t have some of the supplies. You can just swap them out for something else, or skip that layer.
How to get involved – Sign up to the 10 day challenge here.
Rainbow walk photography challenge
Rainbow photography walks are such a lovely family activity to do. It will encourage the family to talk to each other and look for the little details and joy in life. Some colours are harder to find than others and this makes the challenge even more fun!
You’ll need – a camera or smart phone and somewhere to go on a walk!
How to take part – Show the kids how to use a camera and set them the task to take a photo of something in every colour of the rainbow on your walk.
When you get home, put together a slide show on the TV or do a collage (we use Canva and the kids love it) and then admire each other’s handiwork.
Icy Cool Fun in the Paddling Pool
This activity is a double whammy – ice cube making is enormous fun and playing with them afterwards, sparks squeals of joy. We’ve been freezing small toys in pots for years and the kids love it! If the sun fails to appear this summer, the bath works just as well.
You’ll need – Water, yoghurt pots or small plastic tubs, food colouring, flowers and or small toys (plastic dinosaurs and animals work perfectly).
How to make –
- Firstly, fill your pots with water.
- Add food colouring, petals, grass or small toys and then freeze.
- Pick flowers from your garden (or go on a walk) and add them to the pot of water.
- Transfer the pots to the freezer and leave for a few hours or overnight.
- Finally, take the pots out of the freezer, pop the funky ice out of the pots and play with them in the pool or bath.
They look really beautiful as they melt and reveal the surprises inside!
Hammered Flower art
Hammered flower art is an amazing art and science activity all in one! Experiment with different flowers, grasses and leaves and see what imprints they leave on the fabric. Try different patterns to see which you like the best. Let me know in the comments what works well for you.
You’ll need – A hammer, mallet or rolling pin, flowers, white or natural cotton fabric (an old pillowcase, old shirt or hanky is perfect), kitchen towel, chopping board, sellotape and newspaper.
Side note – I recommend doing this outside or on the floor.
How to make – Watch the craft along video here
- Go on a walk and pick different petals and leaves (or raid the garden).
- Lay a couple of sheets of newspaper on top of your chopping board and then lay your fabric on top of the newspaper.
- If you’re using a pillowcase, you might want to put the chopping board and newsletter inside the pillowcase, so you only dye one layer of fabric.
- Place your flowers on top of your fabric (randomly or in a pattern).
- Put 2 sheets of kitchen roll on top of the flowers and sellotape your ‘sandwich’ of layers together (so the flowers don’t move around).
- Take your hammer, mallet or rolling pin and bash all over the top of the kitchen roll. Please take care of fingers!
- When you’ve bashed the whole design, take off your sellotape and carefully peel off the kitchen roll. If you’re happy with the effect, take off the petals and discard them. If the imprints are faint, put your ‘sandwich’ back together and continue to bash the design.
- Display your creation with pride, you could frame your design if you used a scrap of fabric or perhaps turn it into a flag or bunting.
Crafts and Fun and the Beach and in the Forest
Our family absolutely loves The Beach Book by Jo Schofield. It’s packed with easy summer crafts and activities to do at the beach, river or lake. We adore making the sand sculptures.
Alternatively, if you live away from the coast, The Stick book is equally brilliant and packed with inspiration on creative things to do with sticks.
How are you getting creative this summer?
Thanks for checking out my inspiration guide for easy summer crafts for kids. Let me know your favourite summer craft activities in the comments. I’m sure we’ll all need more ideas in our back pockets than we think!