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Summer break means sunshine, time outdoors, and relaxation. But it also comes with one big challenge if you’re a parent: summer boredom! Doing crafts is a great way to break up your child’s day and introduce some structure back into their life. Also, a fun craft can be your lifeline on an extra hot or rainy day when you can’t kill as much time outside. In a quest to find the perfect summer crafts, I’ve scoured the Internet and rounded up some of my favorite, practical crafts for toddlers, preschoolers, elementary-aged, tweens, and teens.
Summer Crafts for Toddlers:
This rainbow craft from Four Cheeky Monkeys is super easy and can be both fun and educational for your toddler. All you need are tissue paper (blue, pink, orange), a glue stick, scissors, and this free rainbow printable. Simply coat the rainbow with a thin layer of glue, and explain to your toddler that they can stick the small, crumpled pieces of tissue paper to the matching colors on the rainbow.
This craft taps into fine motor skill development and color sorting. Want to kick it up a notch? Draw or print a bigger rainbow with more colors! You can even turn the finished product into a pretty art piece for your home.
Here are some more summer crafts for your toddler to enjoy:
- Continue to build their motor skills with this cotton ball painting craft. Show them how to make summer-inspired shapes like the sun and flowers.
- It might not be as good as the real thing, but your toddler will love making these fun puffy paint ice cream cones. You can let them choose their “flavor” — like strawberry (just use red paint!).
- Bring some sunshine into your home with this simple handprint sun craft. Remember to save the handprint cutouts as a keepsake!
Summer Crafts for Preschoolers:
How cool is this hanging jellyfish craft by Glue Sticks & Gum Drops? Your preschooler will love creating a unique hanging art piece featuring one of the most interesting ocean animals! All you need are paper bowls (plates would work, too), acrylic paint, assorted ribbons/yarn, googly eyes, a sharpie, paintbrushes, and a hot glue gun. Let them get creative with the painting and provide them several different ribbon colors to choose from. This is the perfect craft to allow your preschooler to take the wheel creatively. Don’t be surprised if they beg to go to the aquarium after this craft!
Here are some more summer crafts for your preschooler to enjoy:
- Using an old egg carton and some craft supplies you probably have already, you can help your preschooler create cute turtles, frogs, and caterpillars. This egg cartoon whale is also super fun!
- This fireworks craft uses toilet paper and paper towel rolls. Add glitter to the wet paint, or some 3-dimensional fireworks using cupcake holders.
- If you have clothespins and pipe cleaners, you can try this adorable dragonfly craft with your toddler.
Summer Crafts for Elementary-Aged Children:
Fun and functional! Salt dough is all the rage around the holidays for parents who want to make homemade ornaments, but Red Ted Art fulfills my summer salt dough dreams with these DIY animal magnets. With just flour, salt, water, blue, red, and yellow paint, you can easily make salt dough and help your elementary-aged kid mold it into crab and turtle shapes. Then bake them in the oven and glue on googly eyes and magnets and voila! They can be proudly displayed on your fridge.
Here are some more summer crafts for your elementary-aged children to enjoy:
- These handprint fish puppets are super cute and easy to make. Perhaps set up a puppet show for your kid to show off their creations.
- Another ocean animal to add to the puppet show! Plus, this creative toilet paper tube shark craft is perfect for Discovery’s Shark Week!
- Want to try a project that’s a little more advanced? This milk carton bird feeder is sure to quench your kid’s creative side.
Summer Crafts for Tweens:
To make this awesome DIY suncatcher from Lessons 4 Little Ones, you’ll need contact paper, orange and yellow tissue paper, scissors, and these free printables. This is such a simple idea that turns out beautifully and can be displayed prominently in your tween’s room!
Here are some more summer crafts for your tween to enjoy:
- A craft your tween can see come to life at night! These firefly plastic eggs capture the magic of summer.
- These pipe cleaner flowers are certainly easier to take care of than the real thing! Maybe your tween will even make you one.
- A craft for the whole family! Make and decorate DIY kites and set a date to fly them together.
Summer Crafts for Teenagers:
Who says older kids don’t like crafting? It’ll be easy to peel them off of their phones for these DIY watermelon soaps, brought to you by Club Crafted. They bring a touch of science to your summer crafts AND they smell great! Your teenager will need melt-and-pour glycerine soap, green and pink soap coloring, essential oils, black fondant, a spray bottle of alcohol or hairspray, a sharp knife, a round cookie cutter, a silicone soap mold, and a large glass measuring cup. The finished product will look cute in your bathroom and can be given as gifts to your teen’s friends.
Here are some more summer crafts for your teenager to enjoy:
- DIY seashell frame – a classic coming of age craft for your teen!
- Your teen will love making trendy tie-dye clothing. This craft might even save you from having to buy them overpriced tie-dye garments!
- You might enjoy this craft, too – a DIY sharpie mug.
There are so many summer crafts available at the tips of our fingers, but it can get overwhelming to navigate so much information as parents. I hope this curated list of easy, practical summer crafts for all ages takes some of the work off your plate and helps you ease into summer!