Craft Ideas For Kids - For Summer Time Fun
By Steve A Berchtold

Summer vacation is a blast for kids and incorporating things where they can be doing educational activities, is even better. Let them enjoy summer crafts for kids to develop their cognitive skills and expand their imagination.

Doing crafts promotes creativity and develops values like openness, cooperation and perseverance. It also helps kids express themselves and build their self esteem. This is the best opportunity to teach your kids values while building a stronger relationship with them as a parent.

There are so many ideas you can offer your children, like gardening, beach fun, camping and wearable crafts. Your child can learn how to do cards, gifts, paper folding and string crafts, etc. The great thing about doing crafts is that you can start a work, without spending much. All you need to do is make use of old and worn materials, found in your homes. Things like wires, beads, buttons, strings, clips, newspapers, caps and coloring materials.

The thing that makes a summer crafts program fun and exciting for kids are those crafts that they can wear, headbands, pins, jewelry and shirts. I use to love the Indian bead jewelry I got to make as a kid. Your child can design his or her own headband into something that reflects his personality. Have them add some butterflies, ribbons and small stuffed animals on the headband by using a glue gun or other adhesives.

You can encourage the children to make use of all these different materials as accessories, dangling earrings, made of paper clips or a necklace with a plastic flower pendant. This can be a lot of fun for your child and who knows, maybe even an income generating skill in the future.

All children love to do hand paintings on their plain shirts. They enjoy using different colors as they design their own shirts. They usually have a real sense of accomplishment when they are allowed to use their creativity and expression.

Encourage the children to collect seashells and sand during summer vacation. Then you'll have more material to use in making bracelets, necklaces and even house decorations. Shells and coral can be used beautifully with picture frames, bags, containers and even hanging decor.

For a very cool beach theme idea, have your child soak some white sand in watercolor and dry it. Place the colored sand in a glass container with some small shells. This is also a unique gift idea.

Making use of recyclable materials teaches kids about being eco-friendly and making good use of all our resources. Plastic containers and boxes can be wrapped with colorful papers and then decorated with strings and buttons, however your child likes. Use colorful glue or glitters for an amazing appearance.

Another great craft for kids that's fun and fairly inexpensive is paper Mache crafts. It's an activity that's easy and still allows the kids to express their creative nature.

1. Cover an area with newspaper to reduce the mess.
2. Decide on the design or animals to be created. Suggest they make a pinata so they can have more fun busting the goodies from the outside. Or, they may want to hang it in their bedroom.
3. Use balloons for the core of the paper Mache item.
4. Tear newspaper, colored paper or copy paper into 1" strips. Make some longer and shorter strips. Set the piles aside by length and color.
5. Make the paste by adding 1 cup of flour to 5 cups of water.
6. Boil this for 3 minutes. (Stir constantly to keep lumps from forming.)
7. Allow the mixture to cool. Then, pour into large mixing bowl.
8. The consistency should be smooth and paste-like.
9. Dip the newspaper strips in the paste. Squeeze the access paste off.
10. Place the pasty strips on the mold and smooth out the wrinkles.
11. Continue placing strips on the mold till it's covered with about four layers.
12. Allow the mold to dry completely.
13. Add more layers to get to the desired thickness and allow drying between each new layer.
14. With sharp scissors, carefully cut a straight line in the middle for the mold.
15. Carefully open the slit area if you're going to use it for a pinata. Fill with treats and candy.
16. Seal the "slit" that you just cut with clear tape.
17. Paint the mold with watercolors and enjoy!

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