Beat the heat with these indoor LOW COST kid-friendly summer crafts and activities
So we’re smack dab in the middle of what has felt like one of the hottest summers on record and, although it’s ripe with beach-going opportunities, they’re more or less lost on this family. So, why do we shun the sun? Since getting third-degree burns in high school when I was desperate to tan, coupled with the ensuing deep lines that have taken up permanent residence on my forehead, I’m obsessive about avoiding the sun at all costs. Unfortunately, while I’m more than happy to drape myself in a burka-like ensemble upon stepping outside under the sun’s rays, my kids are not. Actually, I’m convinced the fact that we’ve outlawed bikinis from my redheaded daughter’s summer wardrobe essentials will have her itching to get her hands on as many string bikinis as possible once she turns 18.
If like me, you’re in the market for places to beat the heat which will keep your kids occupied and happy —without having to subject yourself to marathon episodes of Gumball — check out these three activities. The crafts I’m about to regale you with will keep you and your brood happily occupied indoors, creating kiddie masterpieces you can proudly display and some, even use.
Even as a little tykette, I was always fascinated by the prospect of stringing macaroni and creating a piece of jewelry which I knew my Mom would wear proudly around her neck–she probably just wore it around the house, and stuffed it into her pocketbook, when she was in public–but as a six-year-old, I didn’t know those details- all I knew was that my Mommy loved the all the trinkets; shrinky dink key chains, jewelry boxes and finger-painted portraits I designed–all of which were prominently displayed around our house.
So I, too, try to be the same type of Mom- if you walk into my living room- while you won’t find a Matisse adorning the walls- you will find- large red and blue finger paintings, several stick figure self portraits–don’t you just love how kids draw themselves with no arms, just tiny sticks!–and plenty of macaroni necklaces, magnets and yes- even my son’s marker scribblings- and of course, the huge crayon scribblings he decided to adorn the white walls with- and then proceeded to take my arm, and bring me over to his masterpiece where he proudly proclaimed- “Mommy look- and while I wanted to strangle his little neck- I exercised all my Mommy restraint , smiled and told him it was a beautiful drawing, but not to be done on Mommy’s walls- I don’t think he got the message- since he’s penned a few more of his Crayola masterpieces throughout the house… So you’re like me; you’ve got kids that are just itching to create and craft- well fellow parents-
Create a Felted Wool Scrap Ball. It’s first job is to utilize all the tiny scraps of fabric that accumulate in any craft room. It’s second job is to serve as a fun indoor ball for family games in the rec room. You can read about it here… http://futurecraftcollective.com/family-projects/scrap-ball
Craft a family gratitude banner. It has a pocket for each member of the family, a pocket for all the world and a pocket for paper and pen. You can see it here… http://futurecraftcollective.com/family-projects/gratitude-banner
How it’s sewn doesn’t matter – this one can serve as a sample, but even a banner made of paper can create the same appreciative tone within the household.
Pick up the brand new My Lanyard Maker!
Make colorful keychains, backpack pulls and friendship bracelets! My Lanyard Maker’s™ innovative loom helps you create an endless variety of designs! • Center Lace Holder lets crafters create both square and round lanyards and the S-hook attachment makes it easy to create flat plastic friendship bracelets
And once you’ve had your fill Crafting…JUST PLAY!
According to Laurel Bongiorno, president-elect of the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children, play is how young children make sense of their world. Open-ended play provides children with the ability to learn how to solve problems, make judgments, build social skills and learn math, science, reading and language.
Ms. Bongiorno’s best bets
Two to 4 years old: Playing with blocks, Legos, play dough, finger- and easel-painting. Playing in water — fill the sink with bubbles — running around the yard, walking the dog and dramatic play scenarios.
Five to 7 years old: More board games, outdoor games like Red Light/Green Light, cooking, woodworking with parents.
Eight to 10 years old: Open-ended art experiences; clay modeling and spin-art. Elaborate play scenarios, board games, cooking and athletic games like wiffle ball, frisbee and pick-up soccer.
Bottom line: Take the time this summer to really get to know your children’s interests. If children love blocks, get some or create them out of boxes and contact paper. If they love art, give them a spot with their own art table with supplies. If children love to read, go to the library and check out books each week. Use car time together for singing, talking and playing games.
KID CLEAN-UP TIPS
If your DIY project leaves you with a mess that needs a good-old-fashioned cleanup, you can keep your kids involved in the process, with these tips from The Maids.
Don’t expect kids to use adult tools to clean; instead create supplies that are kid-friendly; shorten an old mop handle or broom to make it kid-sized.
Fill a squirt gun from a solution of a gallon of water and a drop of dish soap. Let kids squirt windows and mirrors and wipe dry with paper towels. Leaves glass clean and streak-free!
Cover kids’ hands and arms with Dad’s old athletic socks, then squirt the socks until lightly damp with a safe solution of vinegar and water. Send them off to dust around the house. Make cleaning a game; give young kids grill tongs and challenge them to pick up objects and put them in a bin only using the utensils. Keep score and see who wins!
And of course, don’t forget the fun music to help your kids get a groove on as they boogie around the house cleaning.
I am also really interested in finding ways to make crafts out of household items that I would otherwise toss in the trash- if you’ve got any ideas on how to turn your trash into treasured keepsakes- please post your comments!
And guess what! We are giving a My Lanyard Maker! away to one lucky reader! For a chance to win it leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite indoor activity. For a second entry you can Follow @MelissaSChapman on Twitter and Retweet this giveaway! For a Third entry you can Like The Staten Island family on facebook! For a fourth entry you can follow MelissaSChapmanwriter on Instagram and for a fifth entry you can follow @MelissaSchapman on Pinterest Good luck! Giveaway ends July 15th!