7 Creative Summer Projects for Kids

By Rebecca Eanes

Summertime should be full of relaxation, free play, and creativity, but we all know kids can get bored on these long summer days. To nix the boredom and create great memories this summer, try these creative projects.

1.    Make a bird bath. This is a fun and simple project we made with pots, acrylic paint, marbles and gems, and a large plate I found for $1. Have your child decorate the pots any way they like and simply stack them (I glued them together) and put a heavy rock in the top pot before gluing on the plate to keep it steady. Add water and watch for the birds!

2.  Grow fall vegetables in a child-decorated pot. In a 5-gallon pot or bigger, your child can grow tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, dwarf melons, and other vegetables. If you're new to gardening, check out a library book and learn together how to get started.

3.   Make your own pool toys. We used pool noodles to create a sail boat and a dragon. For the sail boat, simply cut off a section of pool noodle, cut in half, poke a foam sheet through a craft stick, and insert the stick for the sail. Our dragon is a pool noodle covered with a sock and decorated with felt and permanent marker. There are a lot of fun ways to make your own pool toys. Just be creative!

4.  Start a summer journal. Ask your child to record their favorite summer memories in a journal. She can add photos from your vacation or other summer events, pretty flower bookmarks, and also have her family and friends write notes to her inside. It's sure to become a favorite keepsake!

5.  Sand sculpture painting. Children love to create sand castles and shapes, so whether you're at the beach or the sandbox in your back yard, bring along a little food coloring and make beautiful, colorful sand sculptures. We dropped food coloring directly onto our sand shapes, but you can also use a spray bottle with a mixture of water and food coloring to create colorful castles and creations.

6.  Make an outdoor reading nook. All you need is a hula hoop, some string or wire, a fabric shower curtain with rings, and some pillows. Cut the hula hoop, slide the shower curtain on with your child's help, and duct tape it back together. Hang it from a tree branch with string or wire, and throw in some comfortable pillows to create a soothing outdoor space your child will spend hours in this summer.

7.  Create an outdoor music station. Ask your child to gather things around the house that could make interesting sounds, such as various pots, a colander, bike horn, and plastic tubs. These items can be hung on a fence or sheet of plywood or just arranged in a space in the yard. Add sticks and metal spoons to drum with and watch your child make music.

Rebecca Eanes is the author of The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parenting and co-author of Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide for Putting Positive Parenting Principles into Action in Early Childhood. She is the founder of and creator of the Facebook community Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. ??Through her Facebook community and website, Rebecca reaches thousands of parents daily with the message that connection trumps coercion and love is most powerful motivator. She does not claim to be a parenting "expert" but writes parent-to-parent with the hope of inspiring others to create peaceful homes through positive parenting.

She is the grateful mother of two boys.

Posted on Aug 06, 2014

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