Ideas needed

United States
June 23, 2008 11:54am CST
Ok so I'm in need of some good easy craft ideas for my kids to do over the summer. We are home most of the time and I am running out of ideas on how to keep them busy over the summer. With gas prices the way they are, we can't take the normal trips like before. So to all the stay at home moms what are some cool kid ideas to help the summer go by a little more fun.
3 people like this
19 responses
@mclendon (308)
• United States
23 Jun 08
I just had my husband help me build our kids a big sandbox. It just took four old planks nailed together in a square and the sand. He went to a place that sells sand by the truckload and asked one of the guys coming out if he could buy a trailer full of sand. The guy said, "yeah, 10 bucks" and loaded him up. If you can't go somewhere like that Walmart has playsand. Plain is cheapest and they have colored too. Sidewalk chalk is also lots of fun for creative kids. I let mine draw on the driveway and brick porch and then hose it off later. To save water you can wet a broom and sweep it off.
• United States
23 Jun 08
That would be great except we live in an apartment, so I have no place to put a sandbox. My inlaws have a yard but they live like 45 mins from us so it would be kind of pointless to put one in their yard. Thanks for the idea though. When we buy our house I'll keep this in mind.
@Carolyn63 (1403)
• United States
23 Jun 08
How about sand paintings? All you need is a board, some carbon paper, some glue and some colored sand. I recall doing this in elementary school. They can take a picture from a coloring book or the likes, place the carbon paper on the board, lay the picture on top and trace it. Then they just add glue to one section at a time and sprinkle sand over that section. Go the the next section/color and do the same. Just let it all dry and you can hang it on the wall if you wish. You can even buy books with mandela shapes and such in them if you wanted to do something fancy.
@risris24 (712)
• United States
24 Jun 08
A fun and inexpensive I did with my niece and her friends last year for her birthday, (she was turning 7) was tie dying... We bought some inexpensive t-shirts and tanktops, and the dye, which costed near nothing and you follow the instructions, but basically fill tubs or buckets with water, add dye, tie rubber bands on to clothes, and this can all be done outside over a plastic tarp or over the grass if you have a backyard or grassy area. Instructions are all over the internet on www.about.com and how to and do it yourself sites.
• United States
24 Jun 08
I plan on doing the whole tye dye thing with the kids here soon. I have a kit for it and a bunch of plain white t-shirts.
@ebsharer (5516)
• United States
23 Jun 08
http://familycrafts.about.com/ The link above provides a lot of different ideas and print outs search by age group and more. Check it out! Other things you can do are: `Have the kids help you to set up a picnic - and have it in your front or back yard. `Start a summer scrapbook do a scavenger hunt once a week and spend the next day putting the items found in your scrapbook. Have them find things like a pink flower. Some thing small and flat. A leaf from a tree and a leaf that already fell, Then in the scrapbook talk about the differances. Your kids are learning and having fun doing it. `Plan a lights out night - have a sleep over in your living room - kids and parents - play games and do it all with flashlights and candels. `Have a fashion show with your kids. Let them dress up in your or your husbands clothes and show off.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
Thanks for the link I saved it. It's extremly helpfull.
• United States
23 Jun 08
If you have magazines, collages are always a hit. Having construction paper and Elmer's Glue is a good idea for using the glue as an outline for a picture then let them color it in after the glue dries. Crayons or colored pencils are good for this. If you have black paper, invest in some gel pens that show up on black paper. See who can come up with the most unique design. As for the collages, have themes... food, self-portrait, etc. If you have any small stuffed animals lying around, make shadow boxes of scenes with the animals. Dry some leaves or flat flowers by pressing them in large books, then use some clear contact/shelf paper as a way to preserve or make natural looking bookmarks. You can also look up arts and crafts for kids online and get some really good ideas. Got any toothpicks and Wood Glue... make a toothpick sculpture. Or use some wrapping paper to make a body outline and have the kids color in, paste and glue, write, whatever in their body outlines, things that represent them. Oh, the ideas are endless!
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
Those are some great ideas.. and most of them I can do with the kids. They are kind of young so I'm a bit limited when it comes to letting them use sisors or other cutitng agents. I think I will look on-line too and see what I can find for indoor activities.
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
27 Jun 08
Well I don't know the ages and not only that some of my ideas would be a bit much regardless of age. There is gardening or helping out with gardening if possible. Cooking is another option since you have plenty of opportunity for that and sharing it with your kids. Simple drawings and colourings could work too along with photography.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 08
I fiond summer time a great time for learning depending on your kids age make games you can do while going for walks or to the park or even in the house find picture of things the kids can look for while walking maybe different leaves or plants or colors of rocks let them put them in a bag and when yo get home make a opicture of the different things or maybe use the riocks to make a dish for a candle or sometihing like that
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 08
Check out ehow.com and associatedcontent.com. There are tons of craft articles on both sites.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
I'm doing this one with my kids this week. We are making personalized stepping stones for our new flower garden. I went and got a back of cement mix ($3 at Lowes) then I went to a craft store and got some polish river rocks and different colored glass beads and things like that then I went to WalMart and bought a $4 rubbermaid rectangular container the size I want my stepping stones to be. You mix up some cement, put it in the container then let your kids use a Popsicle stick to write their name in the wet cement then they can add stones or whatever to the cement to make their own creation. If it gets on their hands it washes off with some warm water and Dawn dish detergent. My baby was too little to make her own so I had her stick her hands in it to make a mold of them and then I let her brothers decorate it for her. They have to sit for 24 hours though before you can pop them out of the container but its still a good project and it even got my kids to want to help me in the garden planting the flowers and doing the weeding.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 08
I use to love trying to make kites. Try plastic wrap and aluminum tines from old tv antennas. Balsa wood is good but costs money!
1 person likes this
@xuchunli (24)
• China
24 Jun 08
i teach my son to play the chess.he like it very much and it take him much time. sometime i scissor-cut with him.he can cut what he want. or i spent time on reading the newspaper to him.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
24 Jun 08
well it depends on how old your kids are; you could buy a big box of popsicle sticks; do you have boys or girls? how about making salt dough ornaments for christmas? there are a lot of great sites out there that will be able to help you in your quest.
• United States
24 Jun 08
tye dye is a great thing to do in the summer. It gets everyone outside and it's crafty and it makes kids like clothes and things they have had for ages like they are brand new again.
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
24 Jun 08
One of my son's favorite things to do in the summer used to be drawing on the sidewalks with sidewalk chalk. He could spend an entire afternoon doing that with his friends. The next day, they would take buckets of water and paint brushes and "paint" over the chalk, then hose it down.
@biobio55 (282)
• Indonesia
24 Jun 08
If your kids like to paint or draw, go to their favorite cartoon characters website and you can download many pattern for them. It usually has many other things to do, not just draw or paint. You can also teach them on how to create website which is very easy with weebly.com. You can also play board game or make contest or challenge. Or like my mom, made me help her to clean the house. You can also teach them on how to make money using home business style like lemonade stand. I hope this can help you. Good luck.
@palonghorn (5483)
• United States
24 Jun 08
You don't mention how old they are, but as young as 4 could join in on making a scrapbook, it could be of things that happened this past school year, or a work in progress of their summer. You can find inexpensive scrapbooking supplies at WalMart, discount stores like Ollie's, Big Lots, etc. They can use stickers, cut-outs from construction paper, etc. And you can also get design scissors for as little as .99 which even young children can use. If you want more ideas for pages just drop me a line and I'll give you more ideas. Have fun Scrapaholic
@thaMARKER (2558)
• Philippines
24 Jun 08
Do you guys love taking pictures? or sure thing you have plenty in your photo albums. why don't you create and album, ask your kids to pick those pictures themselves and label it. funny pictures would be fun. I've done this before and i have it kept in my parent's house now. my nephews and nieces likes to watch it themselves because i put some crafting on it.
• United States
23 Jun 08
i know you said gas are high but have you thought about putting them in a summer program? or maybe you guys could work on a family building project. Or even, maybe you could have your own little summer camp, i didnt have one but when i had my little cousin for the past week i made up a schedule of everything that they wanted to do inside the house. and everyday we had something planned. it doesnt have to be much just simple stuff like playing hide and seek, playing cards, board games, learning games, movies. having kids causes you to have to be a kid sometimes. you'll think of something, kids arent ususally that hard to please.
@Elixiress (3887)
23 Jun 08
Have you tried doing paper mache, sorry I am not sure how to spell it, but you blow up a balloon and stick torn up pieces of newspaper onto it with a glue and water paste and then wait until it dries and then you can paint on it, maybe make it into a face or something.