Category Archives: Summer Fun Crafts

Crafty Activities for Every Season

Whether you are indulging your inner artist or trying to keep the kids occupied on a rainy day, crafting projects are the answer. They are also a fantastic way to add a personal touch to gifts, parties and decorations. Here’s my rundown of some of the best projects to keep you (and your little ones) occupied all year long.

cRAFTS

Image Source: chrissy.farnan

Spring
With the weather promising sunshine but not quite enough warmth to play in the garden, a few spring-themed crafts can help to keep the kids entertained. If it’s time to give their rooms a spruce up, you can set them to personalizing the furniture while you give the walls a lick of paint. Old wooden furniture looks fantastic painted with hand prints, wobbly butterflies and colored flowers.

If it’s just an afternoon you’re looking to fill, you can always rely on some classics. Remember how to make paper chain dolls? Teach the kids how to make them and let them decorate each, putting them in funny outfits and painting vibrant hairstyles on them. For a bit of a change, you could try making paper chain butterflies or flowers instead. It is very much in keeping with the spring theme and they look great strung up in the kitchen or playroom.

Summer
Summer crafty ideas are all about making your garden (and garden parties) colorful and memorable. Handmade drinks umbrellas, flower arrangements as centerpieces and name labels are all lovely ways to add a crafty touch to a garden gathering.

If you are looking to enhance your tranquil outdoor retreat, you may need to invest a bit more time. Create an eye-catching focal point by removing the backing and glass from a chunky, wooden frame. Secure a colourful souffle dish or ramekin inside and fill it with bird food. Hung from a tree, any guest spotting it from the patio will think you have framed the wildlife – and be suitably impressed!

Autumn
There’s loads to do in the house in autumn. The nights are starting to draw in and everyone’s ready to snuggle by the fire. Make sure the kids don’t forget about the birds outside in the cold and take the opportunity to make some homemade bird feeders. Spreading peanut butter on an old toilet roll or pencil is guaranteed to result in sticky fingers and smiles all round. Roll them in seeds and hang them from a tree in the garden, the kids can then watch the birds feasting on their efforts from the warmth of the house.

Autumn is also a great time for grown-up projects. Quilted blankets look great, add a snuggly feeling to any room and will help keep your family warm over the winter. They are also a fantastic way to make use of any clothes the kids have outgrown or ruined over the course of the year. If you don’t have much time, make your patches large and trim your quilt with a patterned fabric to finish the look.

If you are thinking of hand making your Christmas gifts, now is the time to start planning. Knitted scarves, hats and gloves add a personal touch to everyone’s stockings and mini fruit cakes are a fantastic treat for neighbours and work colleagues.

Painted Pumpkins

Image Source: Denise Krebs

Halloween
Halloween is a holiday for crafting! From the kids’ costumes to seasonal treats, you could spend weeks indulging your creative side if you wanted to. Let the kid’s loose with their new-found paper doll making skills and ask them to create a spooky garland for the fireplace. Cats heads, witch’s hats and pumpkins are all excellent options. Of course, there is the traditional pumpkin lantern to carve. If you want to impress the neighbors, or try something a little bit different, print a template off and craft a masterpiece.

Winter
This season is made for easy craft ideas. With the kids eager to stay indoors, convincing them to help out is no issue at all. If you fancy spending the day crafting, a few different colored felts and some glue are a fantastic way to make seasonal pictures of robins and penguins. If the kids have got a bit more energy to wear off, it might be time to think about indoor games. Blow skiing is really easy to make and fun to play. Best of all? Everyone gets to pick their own colors.

Christmas CraftsImage Source: Jane Levicki

Christmas
Most winter activities are Christmas orientated. This one little holiday sure does dominate the entire season. Luckily, there’s loads of projects you can do for this one. Making gingerbread cookies to decorate the tree is always great fun for the little ones. If you have a young teenager in the house, why not set them the challenge of making a gingerbread house? You can buy ready-made kits now, so they get to do all the fun decorating without any of the awkward planning and baking. If your family aren’t gingerbread lovers, sugar cookies are just as good for decorating the tree. They’re also a little bit paler so you can decorate them with pastel icings for a more delicate look.

Candy cane mice are another easy option for making Christmas decorations, though they look really impressive on the tree (these are my favorites!). Cut out all the mice pieces and let the kids assemble them. Glitter, googly eyes and some funny colored ears mean they can make each one unique and keeps them occupied. A candy cane tail completes the look – and means you can hang them from the tree or a garland easily.

Of course, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without paper chains. Cut up strips of wrapping paper for the kids so they can make festive garlands, perfect for decorating their bedrooms. This is a great option for Christmas eve when they need to take their minds off the excitement. Another option is to let them decorate the name labels for the Christmas table. Glitter pens, sticky stars and colored paper guarantee at least an hours break from the exhausting wait for St. Nick.

Make Your Own Ice Cream in a Bag

IceCream In A Bag

Colton and I had a lazy summer day last week and wanted to try some cool experiments, as well as make a fun dessert after lunch so we made our very own ice cream in a bag!  This is a really fun science experiment, and a tasty for your little ones.

Here is what you will need:
1 Gallon Ziplock Bag
1 Sandwich to quart size ziplock bag
1/2 Cup Milk
1.5 Tablespoons Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 Trays of Ice
6 Tablespoons of Salt
Toppings or other goodies (Colton wanted vanilla so we did not add anything to ours, but you can add chocolate chips, sprinkles, strawberries, chocolate topping, or anything you want to your ice cream)

What to do:
Step 1: In the smaller Ziplock bag combine Milk, Sugar, Vanilla, and any toppings.
Step 2: In the larger bag combine Ice and Salt
Step 3: Seal the smaller bag, reducing as much air as possible.
Step 4: Put the Sealed smaller bag into the Larger bag of ice and salt and seal that bag.
Step 5: SHAKE IT!  This was Colton’s favorite part :-)

Step 6: After shaking the bag for 1-2 minutes, check the consistency of your ice cream.  It should be cold, and frozen and ready to eat!
Homemade Ice Cream in a BagThere is a science experiment to this fun activity.  Yes, that is right, it isn’t all fun and games- it is LEARNING too.

Ask your child as the temperature drops does fresh water or salt water freeze first?
Answer: Fresh Water!  Salt water actually has to reach a COLDER temperature to reach the level of freezing.

In the winter when it is icy, we add salt to the walk ways to melt the ice?  Why do we do this and what is the salt doing?
Answer: Obviously it is so the ice melts and we don’t slip and fall, but did you know by adding salt to the walk way you are not raising the temperature of the ice to make it melt?  No- how would that be possible since salt is not warm.  By putting the salt on the ice you are interrupting the freezing process and causing the ice to melt (or making it so the ice will now freeze at an even lower temperature instead of the current freezing temperature).  The more salt you add, the lower the temperature must be before the water will freeze and become ice.

Why do we add salt to the bag of ice that we shake the bag of ice cream in?
Answer: By adding Salt to the Ice it lowers the temperature of the ice.  It will cause the ice to melt, but the temperature of the ice is lower than when you started, thus COLDER and will freeze your liquid ingredients faster :-)  (Use a thermometer and check!!!)

I hope you learned something today!  And I hope when you and your kiddos make ice cream you can explain this to them, because it is really cool :-)