Summer Crafts for Kids

You want your kids away from the televisions and off the game systems, but with record temperatures outside and some down time inside, you might be at a loss of things to do this summer. Your older children, however, will be interested in simple things like crafts for kids or coming up with their own adventures – and you don’t even have to buy much to get started.    

Make Paper Dolls

Paper dolls have fallen out of fashion sadly, but if you were to introduce the idea to your daughter, she will likely be as excited as you were all those years ago. Start with a doll base – this can be a doll you’ve designed on an online fashion website or one that you’ve drawn yourself. You can even cut one out of a catalog (if you can find a printed catalog.)
Baby Peggy Paper Doll by Frances Tipton Hunter
Once you have your doll base, lay a piece of white printing paper over her. Carefully trace the body shape of your new doll onto the white paper. Then, once you have a light sketch of the doll body, use it to create clothing items for the doll. For example, your first outline can become a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. Your next body outline can be used to create a swimsuit. The next body outline can be used to make an evening dress. Once you have a nice assortment of fashions created, have your daughter color each one carefully and then cut them out. Leave tabs around the edges so that she can fold the clothing over the paper doll base and then – voila! – you’ve created your own paper doll set and she can add to it as she likes throughout the summer months.  The perfect ongoing craft for kids to enjoy all summer and beyond.

Create Lanyards

If you have a son who shuns traditional ideas of crafts for kids, you can get him engaged with making a lanyard. Lanyards are simply woven pieces of plastic that create great pulls on backpacks, bracelets and key chains. He can make one in his favorite colors and put it on his backpack for school or choose to make a key chain for his house key that he carries in his pack.To make the lanyard, you’ll cut two long pieces of plastic twine. This you’ll likely have to buy along with the clips for the key chain part at the store. Once you have the twine, pull the strands through a clip and knot them. You should now have four strands hanging down from the key chain of equal length.To make the lanyard, you’ll fold the pieces over each other to make an overlapping square. Pull the square tight by tugging on all four pieces at once. Then create the next square and pull. Keep creating squares until you run out of plastic ties.You can end the lanyard with a knot or with a few beads on the end and a knot to dress it up a bit. There are more complicated lanyard patterns you can learn once you’ve mastered the basics, but even if your children just enjoy the basic patterns, it’s a great way to keep hands busy and out of trouble!

About the author
Rebecca Garland is a freelance writer working hard to populate the internet with meaningful, interesting content. She enjoys crafts for kids such as lanyards and paper dolls with her own children as well as the children she’s taught over the years. You can learn more about Rebecca on her website.