11 Summer Crafts Ideas For The Whole Family

Well let’s be honest, we don’t really know what this summer has in store for us, some children’s summer holidays started in March! So we thought it may be nice to bring you some ideas that you can do this summer, whatever the weather.

Fill your summer with rainbows

We will never forget what the NHS has done for us during Covid-19. Pictures and paintings have popped up all over Britain and the world. So here are just a few ideas with how to create a few rainbows in and near your home.

Rainbow Hopscotch

1. Chalks

You can use chalks on papers, wall and stone floors so why not use these washable tools to decorate and fill the grey with colour. (Just make sure you are drawing on your own property as your local council may not appreciate it on pavements and paths.)

Chalks are one old the oldest art materials and even simple chalks can be used to create masterpieces. Black pads and paper can act as a chalk board and if you are feeling brave you could always paint a wall or door black with chalk paint and let the kids draw directly on the walls or door.

If you get board of drawing there are lots of games you can play as well, hopscotch, snakes and ladders, hangman. Simple, but effective.

2. Draw a rainbow

So it is no surprise that drawing is my favourite thing to do, a pencil can capture pretty much anything and you don’t need any skills to get started you just need to sit down with something in front of you and draw what you see.

When I teach, the kids get bored of me saying “draw what you see and not what you think you see”, but it really is that simple.

There are lots of fun silly exercises you can do before you get started. Like drawing whilst closing your eyes, or drawing by not looking at your paper. try drawing something that is moving. All these exercises will help you loosen up.

The more you practice the better you get! Then you can start introducing coloured pencil.

3. Paint a rainbow

So many different paints to use. Watercolour, acrylic, poster paint, gouache even oils.

Teaching yourself and your children to use paints to create simple paintings. You just need to know the basics and that is how to mix colours without wasting your paints. Not wasting art supplies is god issue for me so teaching them about looking after there brushes and tools and washing up after themselves is key to this.

Youtube is filled with basic tutorials on how to get started so you can all learn together.Learn more about getting started with Acrylics.

Printing

So every summer holiday we always run a printing workshop and the reason why is because the teachers love it.

There are no limits to printing, what you print on, what you print with. All you need is paint, acrylic is best for all sorts of printing but you can try it out with whatever you have in your art cupboard.

4. Printing with nature

This is a super fun one. Next time you are on your walk collect bits of nature, sticks stones, leaves, flowers and shells: you name it, you can print with it. Roll out the air dry clay into a sheet and make sure it is the same thickness. Then let your nature selection dry off and then you press it into the clay and then pull it out and let it dry.

Whilst the clay is is still wet you can use cookie cutters or just cut around the shapes. If you want to make your shapes into a mobile later on then make some holes at the top of your shape so you can hang it later.

When it is dry you can either paint it or just varnish it. You can hang them up and make a mobile. If you get really creative you can play with your clay with paint, and dies and even glitter and sequins.

Leaf and flower prints in clay

5. Printing with foam

I thought I could introduce you to a different type of printing: a very easy way to making beautiful prints using kids foam. All you need is a blunt tool like a skewer or toothpick (ust dull down the top). You will use this to draw out your design.

Jut remember if you want to write something to print you will need to write is backwards so it prints correctly.

Then you can use paint or Inktense blocks to print with. If you use intense black or a multi-surface paint you can print on fabric. This means that you can create patterns on table clothes, linen, teatowels and all sorts.

6. Bare basic printing

So what if you have paint but no clay, foam or fabric? If you have paint but nothing else, then go back to the bare basics. Get your potatoes out and start chopping! Yes your average potato makes an incredible stamp. Depending on the children’s ages they can design and create their own stamps and the effects are amazing.

This is such a lovely craft to do that you can do it all year round. Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you can’t get started on Christmas, or why not hand-make birthday cards and papers this year. Making your own wrapping paper can be so fun and creative. We wrote a how to for this: click here to read.

The cutest pot there ever was.

7. Crochet Flower Pot Holder

This is a super simple pattern but crocheting is a skill you can teach yourself and teach the kids. There are so many projects you can make from coasters to blankets but this pot holder is a firm favourite and ideal for learning. We wrote a tutorial for this earlier this year: click here to read.

Learning how to craft with wool and a crochet hook is a great skill to learn. It requires patience and is a quiet, therapeutic craft. (Ideal if the children are getting a little stir-crazy, or you’re just craving some peace & quiet)
You can place the radio on, your favourite show or that podcast you’ve been meanign to listen to and make an event of it.

8. Yarn Art

Yarn, (wool string) you can do so much with. From traditional weaving, wrapping knitting, macrame, there is a lot of projects you can do. Try taking something old or broken items and wrapping them in colourful wool.

There are lots of modern artists that take the time to wrap up all sorts of things, from lamp posts to bicycles. All you have to do it tie and wrap. You can use glue if you want to help stick them round but generally wrapping will work without glue.

9. Flower Crowns

All you need is some floristry tape and wire and you can get going with this.

  1. Measure your head with the wire, cut it a bit longer and twist into shape.
  2. Cover the whole hoop with floristry tape
  3. Select your flowers and greenery and wrap them onto the hoop (ou may have to wire them).

So what if you have made this plan and the kids are really excited but its pouring with rain and you don’t have any flowers. Well look around, you can create a flower crown using tissue, crepe, newspapers old magazines. paper flowers can be painted, coloured and created you will just need scissors paper and wire and you can get started.

Understanding your garden

Bees, wasps and spiders may be pests when they are in your home but when they are in your garden they are a gardener’s best friend, eating bugs that harm your flowers but there is a balance.

Learning and understanding your garden is really important.

10. Bug hotel

Learning about garden friends is so much fun. You can create a little bug diary, you don’t even need a big garden, providing shelter for solitary bees and documenting who stays there can be both scientific and great for the environment.

If you want to make it more of a task you can buy a Bug hotel DIY set or better yet create your own using twigs and bricks that you find on your walks.

11 More science and nature

So even though I hate butterflies we have some really cool kits that you can watch them grow from eggs to butterflies or eggs to triops or ant farms and wormeries that show you how to collect your own bugs and then study them.

Everything you need is in the kit excepts the bugs but it will encourage the kids to become explorers of their own garden or park and safely study the local bugs.

We have plenty for new explorers!

In summary

We are going to do a part two to this as there are so many things we can do this summer. Let us know if you have completed any of these projects by using hashtags #craftyartscommunity on social media.

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