We all look forward to the summer and spending days lounging on the beach or hanging out in the backyard with the family. Unfortunately, though, the weather doesn’t always cooperate with our plans. When the rain is falling and you feel like you’re going to pull your hair out if you hear the words “I’m bored” just one more time…figuring out how to keep the kids entertained can be tricky. If summertime showers are leaving you feeling clueless about what to do with your kids, here are a few fun kids’ crafts for a rainy summer day.
(Image Courtesy of Morning Sun Rae)
Prepare for brighter days ahead by making colorful suncatchers. This project is super easy and great for kids of all ages. The best part? You only need a few basic supplies that you already have lying around your house, including construction paper or cardstock, scissors, crayons, wax paper, an iron, glue and a grater.
Start by cutting a sun shape out of yellow construction paper or cardstock. Cut a large circle in the middle. Next, cut out two wax paper circles that are just slightly larger than the circle opening in your sun. Grate up some old crayons in bright, sunshiny colors like yellow and orange. Sprinkle a few (you don’t want to use too many!) on one of the wax paper circles and then place the other over the top. Put a piece of cloth on top and iron for about 30 seconds or until the wax melts. Glue the waxy circles inside the sun and then hang in your window.
Why make just any playdough when you could make playdough that shimmers and sparkles? It’s really easy to make and your kids will have a blast playing with it for hours after you’ve completed the initial project.
For this project, you can use playdough from the store or a fresh batch you made yourself. Whichever option you prefer, white or a super light pastel color works best. To add the shimmery effect, you’ll need an old eyeshadow palette. Cheap eyeshadow from the dollar store works, too.
Roll the dough out flat and then dig some eyeshadow out using a spoon. Start with a little bit and add more until you reach the desired shade. Mix by kneading the playdough until the color is spread throughout evenly.
Skip the macaroni necklaces. Instead, make some pretty beaded jewelry. Stock up on a selection of beads in your kids’ favorite colors and a few basic findings, including chain, head and eye pins, clasps and beading elastic. Plastic beads are good choices if you have young kids but go with semi-precious gemstones for tweens and teens. Many types of gemstone beads are affordable and your kids will have a blast making “real” jewelry for themselves or for loved ones. If they show a serious interest in beading, you could even encourage them to start a summer business selling their beaded creations. Talk about an awesome alternative to the traditional neighborhood lemonade stand!
Stained Glass Bookmarks
(Image Courtesy of First Palette)
Reading is always a good activity on a rainy day, but your kids need something to use to mark their places in their books. That’s where these fun stained “glass” bookmarks come in. To make them, all you need is white cardstock, tissue or crepe paper, white glue, plastic wrap or a plastic placemat, yarn, ribbon or leather string, a hole punch and scissors.
Start by cutting out a long cardstock rectangle. The exact size doesn’t matter. Next, cut tissue paper into small, irregularly shaped pieces. Place your cardstock on top of a piece of plastic wrap or a plastic placement. Combine three parts white glue with one part water and mix well. Dip a piece of tissue paper in the mixture, shake off the excess glue and place it on the bookmark. Use your fingertip or a paintbrush to smooth it out and remove air bubbles. Repeat this process, overlapping in places, until the bookmark is covered.
Let dry thoroughly and then trim off the excess tissue at the edges. Punch a hole near the top and make a tie from ribbon, string or yarn. Easy peasy!
(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)
Making tie-dye t-shirts can, undeniably, get a bit messy. For this reason, a lot of parents save this particular project for nice days when it can be done outside. With a bit of prep and caution, though, this is a great indoor project for rainy days.
If you are tackling this project indoors, you’ll want to start by completely protecting your work area. Cover your table with a plastic tablecloth and spread out a drop cloth to protect your floor. (Hint: You can get drop cloths and tablecloths dirt cheap at your local dollar store.) Remember to dress your kids in old clothing, too!
You’ll need some plain white t-shirts, a tie-dye kit, latex gloves and lots of rubber bands to get started. It’s also smart to have some sort of basin with a rack for each child to work over. A cookie cooling rack placed on top of a dishpan works well.
There are all sorts of tie-dye patterns to choose from. Older kids may want to try their hand at creating a complex design. For younger kids, though, random works well. Check out some different tie-dye techniques and decide which one(s) you’d like to try. From there, it’s as simple as following the instructions. Within a couple of hours, your kids will have their own tie-dye creations that they will proudly be showing off for the rest of the summer.
Rainy summer days don’t have to be boring. With the projects listed above, you and your family can have fun no matter what the weather is like outside. As you can see, there’s no reason to let a little bit of rain put a damper on your day!
About the Author:
Brenda Kimble is a writer and wellness blogger. She is also a mother of 2 daughters and a son. When she is not writing, she is typically doing yoga, crafting with her kids, or strolling the streets of her quaint neighborhood in Austin, Texas.