Summer is here and it’s time for some fun in the sun with the kids! Over the past few years, we’ve tried out tons of outdoor summer crafts and activities with our kids. We’re sharing 6 new favorites and a ton of old favorites. Sure, most summer days mean playing on the swing set and in the sprinkler but we like to try crafts and other fun activities every now and then too! Some of the ideas below are super simple and some are a bit messy (that’s why we love outdoor summer crafts)!
Summer Crafts & Activities for Kids
1. Pool Noodle Boats
Ok, I’ve seen versions of these and always thought they looked like way too much effort and the kids wouldn’t actually play with them. Well, I was wrong. They took me about 2 minutes to make, were actually easy enough for my girls to make their own AND all three kids have been playing with them all week. Maggie and Alex even realized their princess figurines fit in the boats and now Elsa has a lovely place to lounge this summer.
Supplies: pool noodle, straw, foam sheet
Directions: Use a knife to slice the pool noodle into about 1-3 inch pieces (adult do that part). Cut triangles out of the foam sheets and punch a hole at the top and bottom of the triangle. Put the straw through the 2 hole sand then poke the straw into the pool noodle. Then, float your boat!
2. Kid’s Carwash
Here’s an activity we’ve been doing for years: the kids car wash. This is actually a fun treat for the kids and mom. They have a blast running their own “car wash” and at the end of it all your toys and bikes look like new.
This year I grabbed some sponges and empty soap containers at 5 Below. Then I cut up a few old towels. I added all the “supplies” into a plastic container to keep in the garage. Somehow this made the carwash much more official for the kids. This activity is really fun for all ages. Tommy has a blast cleaning his ride on toys. The girls take the game serious and even make their own car wash signs.
3. DIY Spray Chalk
While I was at 5 Below I also picked up a few empty mini spray bottles. For $1 I figured we’d use them for something this summer. I saw a recipe to make your own spray chalk and gave it a try. It took a few minutes to make and these little bottles have lasted us a while. I bought a set of Watercolor Magic colors on Amazon. They seem pricey but they are amazing. The color washes out SO easy. My kid hands and clothes were covered in paint after this activity and it washed right out. These are great to have on hand for all kinds of crafts with kids.
Supplies: spray bottles, Watercolor Magic (you can use food coloring too, but I have no idea how that would stain), baking soda and cornstarch
Directions: Put some baking soda and cornstarch in the bottles – a little of each, filling the bottle about 1/3 of the way. Add in some of the Watercolor Magic. Fill the rest of the bottle with warm water and shake it up. Then spray on the sidewalk!
My girls had fun spraying it on their hands and making chalk handprints. The spray goes onto the sidewalk like paint and dries really pretty like chalk.
4. Shaving Cream Paint
This activity was inspired by one of Abby’s new summer dresses. She calls this dress her “sprinkle” dress because it reminds her of strawberry ice cream topped with sprinkles. This dress is so cute & yet, so comfortable making it perfect for summertime play. It pairs well with lots of colors, including her new sparkly gold sandals!
Once it dries, it will still look like fun paint!
5. Ocean & Sand Pudding
Andrew is super into sharks this year. He loves reading about all the different kids of sharks, with his favorite shark being the great white shark! He was pretty stoked with his new summer outfit, complete with a bunch of scary sharks on the front of the shirt. Not only does his shirt have sharks all over it, but we found some fun shark swim sandals, which are perfect for outdoor play, heading to the pool, & trips to the beach.
To make this snack, make sure you have the following ingredients:
- 1 package (3.9 oz) of vanilla instant pudding
- 2 cups of cold milk
- 1 tub (8 oz) of Cool Whip
- Blue Food Coloring
- 12-16 Golden Oreo cookies, finely crushed
- Shark gummy candy
6. Pool Noodle Baseball
My oldest son is really into baseball right now. Even with baseball season is over, he seems to eat, sleep, & play baseball. Every afternoon he gets off the bus & rushes to the backyard to play baseball. He loves his new baseball shirts from Gymboree & the gymGo active shorts, paired with the striped gymGo athletic socks and the All Star baseball cap.
We decided to do a little baseball twist one hot afternoon. We packed away the metal bats & said hello to some new pool noodle baseball bats. To make the pool noodle baseball bats, we cut one big pool noodle into two making it easier for the kids to swing. Instead of baseballs, we cooled ourselves down with one of their summer favorites, water balloons. The kids had a blast playing pool noodle baseball!
As moms, we like that we can shop one place for all of our kids (infant to 7 years old for us!), that the clothes stand up to lots of play and washing and the super summer sales they’ve been having.It’s also fun that Gymboree has so many cute shoes and accessories to go with their outfits. Sunglasses and hats are key for long days of playing outdoors!