5 Summer Crafts for Young Kids

crafts with kids

I love getting messy with kids. As a mom to 5, it’s easy to do all the time. From 19 to 4-year-old twins, all of my kids enjoy random craft projects I run across and will happily join in. It keeps them all busy and the activity itself builds our family bond.

Pinterest is my go-to place for kids activities. Because, let me be honest here, I’m not crafty at all. In fact, I only pick the things on Pinterest that I’m sure I won’t screw up. And I will not try to bake a masterpiece cake. That’s just not my skill set, and I own that.

Once I find the crafts that fit within my general not-crafty ability, I jump on it. So, here’s some crafts you can do with your little ones this summer that my family is doing!

Easy Summer Crafts

Sometime at the beginning of the year homemade slime became all the rage. Not only was it everywhere with kids, but it covered social media posts too.

When my 14-year-old daughter came home from school asking for $2 so she could buy slime from another kid at school, I decided it was time to make it ourselves. I mean, why was I going to pay another kid to make it for my daughter? We can do that ourselves.

That’s where I found the recipe for easy homemade slime from Simple & Seasonal on Pinterest. I won’t even lie, I loved the pictures and the bright green slime so I went with her! Just look:

homemade slime

Photo Credit: Simple & Seasonal

This, hands down, has been the biggest hit in my house. We make it over and over again. My kids store it in plastic bags and as it gets old, stiff, or just dries out, we make more. I’ve never used Borax so many times in my life.

Several weeks ago when my husband and I went on an adults-only vacation, I left all the ingredients with my kids and sister to make more slime. When we got home I was presented with at least 20 different bags of slime in various colors and they couldn’t stop talking about it.

We’ve done this dozens of time, but Auntie allowing my kids to make it over and over all week long still got them excited!

homemade moon sand

Photo Credit: Parenting Chaos

Another project we have done is this homemade moon sand. It’s so soft and fluffy. I can’t help but to put in my fingers in it too. All my kids played with this one!

My little ones often made little balls with the sand while my big kids were more interested in building sand castle type structures with the moon sand. I gave my kids random utensils from my kitchen, cookie cutters, and the big kids bought out the beach toys.

We made such a mess with this, I didn’t keep it. But making it was so quick and easy I haven’t minded going into the kitchen to do it again.

Also, the bonus to this recipe from Parenting Chaos is that she doesn’t use baby oil to make moon sand. Instead she chose canola oil so that if your little one decides to eat it, it’s safe!

homemade play dough

Photo Credit: Modern Parents Messy Kids

I don’t know a single parent who hasn’t tried their hand at homemade play dough at some point or another. I’m also certain that none of us have ever purchased cream of tartar until we made play dough.

Personally, play dough is something I’ve done a lot over the years and I haven’t really found a recipe I was crazy about….  Until this one! Seriously, she used Jell-O and that makes it the best. It keeps really well in plastic bags and smells delicious, which is good because I hate the way play dough smells. Gag. Try this homemade play dough recipe yourself and I promise you’ll see the difference.

homemade sidewalk chalk

Photo Credit: Playful Learning

Okay, you might think I’m a little crazy for this one. The ingredients are not in your kitchen all the time, I promise. But, it’s so fun to make with the kids that I didn’t care that I can buy sidewalk chalk at the dollar store. We had to give it a try just to say that we did -- and it’s so fun!

Now, homemade sidewalk chalk might not be for everyone. But my kids loved doing it, really got involved, and afterwards I had them all outside coloring on the sidewalk while I got my house clean. I’m just saying -- there’s something about making it yourself that holds their interest longer!

homemade salt dough

Photo Credit: Mommy Moment

At one point or another, I think we’ve all done salt dough. I remember doing this while I was in school making gifts for my own parents. I hadn’t thought of it for years until I wanted to mark a big moment.

We just built our own house. And now we’re putting in a pool. I really wanted to do that whole kids hand prints in the sidewalk thing… but I so didn’t want to ruin the sidewalk. Plus, what if we move? I want to keep that moment in time!

Making salt dough was the answer, and I remembered it just in time! I want to accomplish multiple projects using this so we’ve done a bit over time. First we did hand prints which I’ve hung outside on the back patio. Now that the pool is starting to built in the back yard I’m working on footprint stepping stones to use as decoration around the pool once it’s complete.

The best thing about all the crafts is that they’re easy. Plus my kids love them and keep them entertained for days at a time. This means that I really don’t have to think of something new to do every single day just to keep them busy.

What summer crafts do you do with your kids?

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