You covered the patio with sidewalk chalk, made your own ice cream, and played 50 games of cornhole in the backyard … so now what? One of the hardest parts of summer is figuring out ways to keep your kids active — and happy — without spending a fortune. You’re in luck: These summer crafts are easy enough for toddlers and kids to make, but still pretty enough for adults to leave on display all season long. Think tie dye blankets, painted rock pets, mermaid-inspired hair accessories, and more fun DIYs to keep them occupied for the afternoon, at the very least. Some of these craft ideas are simple and straightforward for little ones to tackle on their own (paper plate animals, for example), while others require some hands-on help from parents. Either way, they’re a win for everyone involved, especially because they don’t involve screens, sugar, or anything sticky (except washable glue).
With essential oils and food dye, you can give homemade bubbles the rainbow treatment. Choose scents that you like best, or try to match it to the color — yellow bubbles scented with lemon, for example.
RELATED: Fun Activities to Keep Kids Busy
Even after summer ends, these felt keychains will add a burst of sweetness to any backpack or purse. But to keep it in tip-top shape, skip the keychain altogether and turn them into decorative magnets.
SHOP KEYCHAIN RINGS
ICYMI, tie-dye is all the rage this summer. If you’ve already dipped and dyed sweatshirts, t-shirts, and sweatpants, then consider giving any ol’ picnic blanket or beach towel a watercolor effect.
SHOP TIE-DYE KITS
Get the tutorial at Club Crafted »
Create an entire daycare of rock babies by painting all the smooth, round rocks you can find in complementary colors before dressing with a felt diaper.
Bind craft sticks with layers of color-coordinated yarn to create multi-purpose baskets for pencils, craft supplies, and other small trinkets. Or stick a real or faux plant (herbs work best!) inside for a pop of greenery.
Make her feel like she’s living under the sea with this sequin hair clip that even Ariel would approve of.
Break out the essential oils to give these super-cute fruit soaps a clean, refreshing scent. If you want to stay true to the watermelon theme, mix in a fruity fragrance oil instead.
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Before your trip to the zoo, teach ’em about the different animals they might come across with this quick and easy craft.
Because ice cream is on their mind 24/7 from June through August (okay, all year long).
Since being sustainable is trendy and all (about time, no?), decorate plain glass water bottles with cut-out shapes, patterned paper, and stickers.
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Dreamcatchers are mystical on their own. When you add faux flowers and a unicorn horn? Peak magic.
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just say that this colorful herd of wooly creatures is one of the easiest — and cheapest! — ways to get your kid’s creative juices flowing.
While your kids patiently wait to rewatch for the zillionth time, keep ’em busy with this Poppy-inspired planter.
Get more use out of your kid’s sand art kit by transforming basic white candles into these rainbow-inspired beauties. Talk about a ’90s throwback.
Since live cacti are too prickly for little hands, turn rocks into kid-friendly versions, complete with googly eyes and painted faces.
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Regular slime is fun and all but this tropical version is a step above the rest, especially when you mix in glow-in-the-dark fish.
RELATED: How to Make Slime With Baking Soda and Contact Solution
Getting ready to jet set? Keep your kid’s energy at bay by crafting personalized luggage tags with a mix of yarn, beads, and charms.
This summer’s golden rule? If you can turn something into a unicorn, do it. Fill these planters with succulents, so you don’t have to worry about regular upkeep.
If you like pina coladas … then turn it into adorable, tropical-inspired soap.
SHOP PINEAPPLE MOLD
Take pool noodles out of the the pool and transform them into friendly monsters (key word: friendly).
Come summertime, we all scream for ice cream — all day, every day. There’s no better way to celebrate the reason for the season than with a festive DIY garland.
This neon-hued sidewalk chalk is a 2-for-1 deal: It’s fun to make and even to use.
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The “I’m hot” complaints will end as soon as you craft these fruity paper fans. Leave ’em scattered around your house, so everyone can stay refreshed once the warm weather hits.
Another advantage to reusing your plastic water bottles: glowing lightning bugs!
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Rainy day on your beach vacay? That calls for a “crafternoon” with this simple, sparkly picture frame. Once you head home, you can add a family photo to remember your trip for years to come.
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