Inexpensive Fun: Arts & Crafts Through the Summer

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

My best childhood memories of summer are of when I had hours and hours and days and days on my hands to do with as I pleased. While I ran around with my friends, tossed a baseball with my brother, rode my bike and spent some serious time on the swing set, I also had lots of indoor time when it was rainy or just too hot to play outdoors. Those are the times when I loved to immerse myself in a craft.

As it turns out, it’s actually a good idea for children to continue doing creative activities throughout the summer. It keeps their imaginations active, their focus strong and their small motor skills honed. They also derive a sense of satisfaction from making something with their own hands.

Another good reason for children to be crafty is that you can use the extended time to help them plan and make gifts for family and friends ahead of time. Why not get a head start on homemade Christmas gifts while they have the time and art supplies right at hand?

How can you facilitate your youngsters’ creativity this summer? You don’t have to be an art teacher or spend a bundle at the craft store to provide what they need to make some fun and creative projects all Summer long. Many fantastic crafts can be made using recycled materials you already have at home but may not recognize as the stuff that art is made of. There are a few materials you may need to buy but they are generally inexpensive and easy to find. The best thing about Summer arts and crafts is that children of all ages can participate, to one extent or another, and keep productively occupied for hours on end.

Here are some ideas and resources for art projects to keep your little ones busy and creative throughout the Summer:

  • Fun and crafts The creating is limited only by their imagination! Kids can create a myriad of fun things by recycling stuff from around the house into works of art and useful items. Crafts have come a long way from orange juice concentrate can pencil cups!
  • Clothing/shoes From tie-dyeing to embellishing with paint, sequins and beads, kids love to put their creativity on clothing and shoes to wear themselves or to give as gifts!
  • Picture frames Whether they’re used for displaying photos or original artwork, kids can turn just about anything into a frame.
  • Jewelry As a kid I used the stones from my rock polisher to make earrings and cuff links for Mother’s and Father’s Day. Kids love the idea of wearing and giving jewelry. From macaroni necklaces to elaborate bead work, there’s a jewelry designer behind every little pair of hands!
  • Wrapping paper/gift bags/gift boxes Isn’t it frustrating when you’ve purchased (or made) a thoughtful and inexpensive gift only to discover that wrapping it attractively will cost more than the gift itself? Have the kids create original wrapping paper and gift bags or boxes by repurposing paper and plastic you have on hand or are that is inexpensively and easily acquired.
  • Greeting cardsAnother budget-buster are greeting cards! Almost any kind of paper can be transformed (with some art supplies and imagination) into a one-of-a-kind greeting card! Personal sentiments are always better than mass-produced ones so this project will also provide children the opportunity to do some creative writing once the card is designed.

Enjoy a summer full of inexpensive fun while encouraging your children’s creativity!

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