Summer brings with it fantastic opportunities for play and crafting. With warmer weather, outdoorsy crafts that make use of water and the warm sunshine are especially fun. When they need a break from active games and exercises, here are five simple summer preschool activities and crafts that you can make with your child to keep them busy and happy.
1. Bobbing Summer Cork Boats
These unsinkable little boats are made from cork, which will provide hours of fun for your little ones. They are so easy to make; you can churn out a bunch of them in a very short time.
What You Need To Make Cork Boats:
- 3 corks make a nice, stable boat
- 2 elastic bands
- a toothpick
- colored paper or craft foam
- optional – string
How To Make A Cork Boat:
- Choose three corks that are roughly the same size. Join the corks using the two elastics.
- For summery sails, choose a bright color, or decorate your sails with a summery pattern. Using craft foam has the added bonus of being slightly more waterproof than paper.
- Use a toothpick to pierce the sail.
- Attach your sail to the cork boat by poking the toothpick into it. Your boat is ready to hit the water.
- Attach a string to the boat if want to.
2. Grassy Hair Heads
Summer is a brilliant time to explore living crafts that grow. These grassy hair heads are a great way to introduce young minds to STEM concepts of the elements needed to make plants grow – seeds, light, water and warmth. It is also a good exercise in patience as the results aren’t immediate.
What You Need To Make Grassy Hair Heads:
- A pair of old stockings or tights.
- A few handfuls of earth or soil.
- Grass seeds
- Sewing thread or a rubber band
- Googly eyes and felt for decorating
- A pot as a base for your grass head. A yogurt tub works well.
How To Make A Grassy Hair Head
- Hold a stocking open and place a 2-3 tablespoons of grass seeds at the bottom.
- Start packing soil into the stocking until you have a ball. Tie the bottom of the stocking and shape the filled stocking into a ball.
- The next part is tricky – pinch and shape a ‘nose’. Use the cotton to tie it in place.
- Using PVA glue to attach the googly eyes. Cut a mouth and other features from the felt and glue them on.
- Place your finished head in the tub and water it. Put your grassy head in a sunny spot, make sure it stays moist and wait for it to sprout grassy hair!
3. Bubbly Paper Art
This project is a great one to do outside as it can get a bit messy. Kids love creating bubble art and the additional fun of using the bubble art to create something they can play with, is an extra bonus!
What You Need To Make Bubble Paper:
- watercolor or mixed media paper
- bubble solution
- liquid food coloring or liquid watercolor paint
- small containers, preferably plastic
How To Make Bubble Paper:
- Pour bubble solution into the plastic containers, fill to about ¼ full. Add color and mix well.
- Use a straw to blow bubbles into the solution. Keep going until your bubbles overflow out of the container. You want the bubbles to form a bubble mountain.
- Take the straw out and gently rest your paper on top of the bubbles.
- Hang the freshly ‘bubbled’ paper up to dry.
Some Ideas For Using Your Home-made Bubble Paper:
- Frame the artwork and hang it up on a bedroom wall for decoration.
- Use the bubble paper you created as creative gift wrap or a birthday card for friends.
- Cut butterfly wings out of the bubble paper and create your own style of butterfly with beautiful, bubble wings.
4. Splendid Sunflowers
If summer had to pick a favorite flower, a sunflower would be it! Growing them is fun but making them is even more so. Here is an easy, fun way to get your littles involved and make your own. They’ll get to practice their cutting and fine motor skills as they cut out the petals.
What You Need To Make A Sunflower:
- 1 paper plate per flower
- a wooden craft stick
- green foam paper
- yellow paint
- green paint
- a handful of sunflower seeds
How To Make A Sunflower:
- Cut out ‘V’ shapes around the edge of the paper plate to make petals. Aim for approximately eight ‘V’ shapes per plate.
- Once you’ve cut out all the petals paint the plate yellow and set it aside to dry.
- Paint the craft stick ‘flower stem’ green. Set it one side to dry.
- Take the yellow paper plate and glue sunflower seeds in the middle circle.
- Use the green foam paper to cut out two leaves and glue them onto the craft stick to create a stem.
- Attach the stem to the back of the yellow paper plate to complete your sunflower.
5. Summer Night Jar Lights
There is something magical about candlelit jars after dark. The use of jars and sand add a safety element, while decorating the jars with color and silhouetted shapes provides an extra spark to the imagination.
What You Need To Make Summer Jar Lights:
- an old jar
- tissue paper in the color of your choice
- black paper for any solid silhouettes
- watered down, white PVA glue (or decoupage glue)
- a candle
How To Make A Summer Night Jar Light:
- Cut your tissue paper into small squares, approximately the size of your thumbnail. You can also tear the paper – the soft edges give a nice effect.
- Apply a layer of glue to the jar. (Check how fast your glue dries, it is usually better to work in sections to avoid the glue drying out.)
- Apply a single layer of tissue paper to the glue. Allow to dry.
- Add more layers of glue and tissue paper until you get the effect you’d like.
- Cut the black paper into shapes that you would like to have as silhouettes, for example butterflies, boats, sun, moon or stars.
- Apply the black shapes to the jar and seal with a final layer of glue.
- Add a layer of sand at the bottom to help keep your candle upright.
We Love Preschool Activities At Providence Children’s Academy!
These are just a handful of summer-inspired fun crafts that you can tackle with your children. Every part of the task that they manage to master will be another layer of skill added to their abilities. When it comes to fun and playing, no moment is wasted. Here’s to many long, lazy days, full of fun activities with your child!