The summer holidays are here, hurrah! OK, so if you’re a parent, six weeks of entertaining youngsters can seem like a really long time, especially if the weather doesn’t play ball and you’re all stuck inside for days on end. Luckily, we’ve come up with a list of ten great crafts you can do with the kids when the park and the beach are off the menu - the holidays are saved!
Printing is great fun, and you can make a gazillion different things with this simple technique. Cut shapes, letters or patterns from adhesive backed craft foam, stick to a small block of wood, press down onto an ink pad and then print! By choosing the right kind of ink pad, they can go on to make anything from printed bags and cushions to posters and wallhangings for their rooms.
2. Making a Sun Catcher
Such a traditional craft, but such a good one! For quick and easy results, cut out tissue paper shapes, and sandwich between two sheets of sticky-back plastic before placing inside a cardboard frame. Hang up in a window, and enjoy the effects!
3. Making DIY Boats
Never underestimate the power of the lolly-stick or piece of driftwood - these can be made into simple boats and then used to race down the nearest river or stream. Your kids can keep them super simple, or add complicated sails, rudders and flags made from paper, fabric and other materials.
4. Painting Rocks (Pictured Above)
Rock painting is actually having a bit of a moment on Pinterest, and there are so many brilliant ideas that we found it hard to choose our favourite. In the end we narrowed it down to the amazing rock magnets from Alisa Burke (such a genius idea!) and the hand painted mini-cactus tutorial at Salt and Pepper Moms.
5. Making Dream Catchers
Just like the sun catchers, these are a great make that encourage children to explore different materials and create their own designs. Mix it up by including materials such as pompoms, feathers, yarn, cotton and even faux flowers.
6. Constructing Homemade Kites
Kites are brilliant fun to make - whether you’re following an online tutorial for something that will actually fly, or making something pretty to hang on the wall, they’re a great way to pass an afternoon.
7. Making a Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder
Feeding the birds and encouraging wildlife into your garden is one of the simplest summer pleasures, so it makes sense to involve your children. Simply take an old plastic bottle, cut a large hole in the middle, and then decorate with anything from paint and markers to tissue paper or wash tape. Fill with bird seed, hang from a tree or fence, and watch out for your new feathered friends!
8. Making Mosaics
What better way to use up all those beach finds than to make a pretty mosaic to hang on the wall or door? You can buy specialist kits, but it’s quite easy to do with a tile and some grout - simply mix the grout and spread onto the tile, then press your finds down firmly. Things that look great in this craft are shells, beach glass, buttons, coloured plastic and beads - try experimenting with different colour combinations to vary the effects.
9. Trying out Tie-Dying
Tie-dying is one of those things that every child does at school at some point, but it’s easy to do at home as well. You can either use a proper tie-dying kit, or you can experiment with different dyes and different tying techniques - a great project is to dye a large plain white sheet, then make it into a colourful den or tepee afterwards.
10. Make a Nature Weaving
This is a great craft for those afternoons after you come home from the woods laden with grasses, sticks, feathers and other finds. Make a simple loom, and then thread your materials through to make a beautiful seasonal wallhanging.