Are you home with school-age kids this summer? If so, get ready, because today we are brining you 30 awesome summer activities to keep the kids engaged and off the electronics. We will be including art projects, crafts, science fun, and more.
Planning ahead to put more effort into unplugging and just being together, exploring different activities, and trying new things helps you as a parent feel more available and relaxed, and gives you the ability to be fully engaged with your child. It is a tremendous freedom. We've done the planning for you, so enjoy our list of simple summer crafts and projects. You can set them up in the morning before the kids arise, or before you go to bed, so everything is ready to go when you wake up. I'm also including a printable calendar for your fridge or memo board, putting the ideas right at your fingertips. For more fun projects and crafts, sign up for our email list below:
30 Wake-Up Art Invitations for Screen-Free Mornings
Day 2: Nature Critters
By simply collecting a few pinecones, rocks, pieces of mulch, leaves, sticks, or whatever you can find in your yard or near your home, your kids can create some cute little critters of their very own. You can do this craft on a campout, or at home.
Day 3: Recycled Tin Can Windsocks
Day 4: Hot Crayon Rocks
Day 5: God's Eye
In this day and age, many kids have never even heard of classic crafts such as the God's Eye. You only need yarn and two sticks to get your kids unplugged and crafting away!
Day 6: Kinetic Sand Slime
Day 8: Shaving Cream Marbled Paper
Your kids can create their own special artwork with items you have at home. They'll have a blast swirling and dipping masterful marbled paper creations.
Day 9: Three Ingredient Play Dough
Day 11: Milk Jug Watering Can
If your kids love to help in the garden, or maybe just like unique bath tub toys, this eco-friendly craft is the way to go! They can leave it plain, or decorate their milk jug watering can with paint, stickers, markers, or whatever suits their fancy!
Day 12: Flower Painting
Day 13: Invisible Ink
Writing secret messages, pretending to be spies...what could be cooler? Today's activity will have the kids' imaginations soaring as they make invisible ink!
Day 15: Make An Easy Lava Lamp
Certainly one of the cooler things to come out of the 60's and 70's, the lava lamp has captivated for decades. Now, your child can make one with only five supplies you probably already have in your house. Groovy!
Day 16: Rainbow Bubbles
Nothing captures a child's attention quicker or holds it longer than playing with bubbles. Put a twist on it with this colorful rainbow bubbles art project.
Day 18: Dustless Sidewalk Chalk
This takes sidewalk chalk to a whole other level. Dust free, no scraping sounds, smooth application.....it's a chalk art dream!
Day 20: Miniature Clay Unicorns
Day 21: Ice Chalk
If it's hot where you are, give this cool chalk a try! The kids will love making and using this unique ice chalk!
Day 22: Yarn-Bombed Butterflies
Day 23: Jumping Origami Frogs
Parents, you'll love this versatile activity for the kids. Not only will they make the
jumping origami frogs, but there are so many games to play with them once they're finished!
Day 24: 3D Bubble Wands
A STEM project that will not only get the little ones creative and stimulate their minds, but it will also wow everyone with the end result. You'll never look at bubbles the same way after you see the incredible shapes and sizes made by the 3D bubble wands!
Day 26: Paper Bead Necklaces
Day 27: Mini Colored Kitchen Volcanoes
Bright colors, explosions, glitter, a contained mess....there's no better way to make a volcano than this! Part science and part art, this is a great activity to start the day.
Day 29: Toy Parachute Craft
Day 30: Fireworks In A Glass
Even if your kids are scared of the loud noises that accompany fireworks, they will LOVE this science craft. You will be astounded by the display put on by the fireworks in a glass, and the kids will want to set them off over and over again!
Parents taking time to get creative with their children is a topic I am VERY passionate about. I have firsthand experience with the benefits reaped by children who are exposed to the world of art and crafting activities. With technology gaining more and more prominence in our lives, parents taking the initiative to bring art related activities to their children is more important than ever.
I hope these 30 art invitations give you and your children memories you both can treasure for years to come.
This will be our third year doing daily live videos on Facebook to help inspire you to get creative at home this summer. We've got activities for all ages--toddlers, grade schoolers, teens, and even adults!
Links will be added as the summer progresses!
Summer 2019 Video List
Painting with Bubbles
Carving Custom Stamps
Dip-dying with Chalk
Faux Stained-Glass Lanterns
Sewing a pillowcase
Shaving cream prints
liquid chalk paint
Acrylic Ink Cacti
Bubble wands and bubble solution
Stars and Stripes Tie Dye
Clay coil bowls
Tie Dye Tshirts
Sidewalk paint recipe
Polymer Clay Figurines
Butterfly and Dragon Wings - part 1
Butterfly and Dragon Wings - part 2
Butterfly and Dragon Wings - part 3
DIY Stamps with wine corks
Color Field Paintings
Watercolor on Wood
Flower Pressing Art
Sewing - drawstring backpack
Chalk pastel sea creatures
Charcoal gesture drawings
Need a custom patio decoration? I've got the perfect project. These glass paints and faux lead paint create a stained-glass look to any recycled glass jar.
Live Video Tutorial
Day #4 of our #CreativeSummer videos and Miss Grace is going to show us some pour painting methods to try out at home this summer!
Live Video Tutorial
Have you ever tried tie-dying paper with chalk? This is a great activity to use up those old, broken chalk pieces!
It's wet, messy, and playful. Plus the pretty paper has so many uses once it dries!
Live Video Tutorial
Day #2 of our #CreativeSummer video series...it's Miss Sara's turn on camera and she's sharing one of her favorite projects--carving and printing! Check out the citrus fruit stamps she makes!
Miss Allison will be using these stamps later in the summer videos to decorate a DIY produce bag.
Live Video Tutorial
As part of our #CreativeSummer video series, we thought we'd show you how to use bubbles to paint a picture! This messy, wet, and wacky painting method is perfect for summer!
Live Video Tutorial
Give this one a try in your backyard or driveway and let me know how much your artists LOVE it!
You've seen the videos on facebook for this one right? They make it look so easy! So I thought I'd pick up some nail polish and some eggs and give it a try. You know, ON A WHIM for this week's facebook live broadcast.
My whim turned into pretty much my whole afternoon.
Let me tell you, the results are stunning...
...but the learning curve was LOOOOONG!
After much trial-and-error. And a little googling. I figured out a way that worked best for me. And I'm sharing it with you here:
The nail polish that I used was on sale at Walgreens (2 for $5). It's the cheapest I could find and to do my dozen eggs, I probably used less than half a bottle of each color. I mentioned in the video that I had used real eggs. I tried the dye-able plastic ones, but those little buggers float. So I ended up with it bobbing all around the surface of the water (picture a ping pong ball) while I struggled to grip it properly in order to submerge it into the marbled paint. After expressing my frustration in the video, one of the really smart parents at our studio shared how she managed to give those plastic-floaty-eggs a handle:
"We always use plastic eggs. I poke a hole at the top with a push pin and then insert a toothpick. That way the kids can dip them in the polish and not get as much on their hands. When they are finished, they take the other side of the toothpick and push it down into a piece of recycled Styrofoam of flower foam."
Seriously, smart people hang out at the art studio. (Thanks, Marianne for this tip!)
I hope you try this out at home if you're looking for a unique way to dye some eggs with a pre-teen or teen (or adult) crowd. Watch the video above. And be patient. As you can see here by looking at my eleven eggs (I dropped one), my last three eggs are significantly better than my first eight! Gimme another dozen and they'll be even better!
On a youth basketball team, some kids are there because they love the game and can't get enough of it. Some are there because they are really good at it. Some are there because all their friends are on the team. Some are looking for a place to fit in. Some aren't sure why they're even playing but they are hoping something clicks.
When we sign our kids up for a season of basketball, we're looking for an EXPERIENCE. Yeah, we'd definitely like to see some growth...maybe in better dribbling skills, higher game IQ, better teamwork or just increased confidence. We judge the success of the season NOT on the end-of-the-season tournament, but rather by looking at how the entire experience positively impacts the development of our children.
Our weekly art classes are an experience that encourages the same kind of growth as that baseball season (or baseball season or soccer season). We're looking for increased skills--in drawing, painting, printing, sculpture, etc. We're working on a better understanding of abstract concepts like composition and balance. We improving on our vocabulary and our critique skills so we can support our classmates. We're creating together and making connections with fellow makers. We building self-confidence and resiliency.
Just like the basketball team, our kids are come to the studio for ALL different reasons. Some have a natural talent that they are looking to grow. Some have a LOVE for creating and are just looking for an outlet. Some love the freedom of the studio environment. Some have friends in class. Others are looking for friends.
Our jobs as parents and coaches
Our instructors' job is to help each one of our students get what THEY need out of class. For most our our students, that still involves making an amazing piece of art. But, we also understand that not everyone NEEDS to finish their final project. Some have zero interest in finishing their artwork because that's not what THEY are looking to get out of the class. They may never truly finish anything in our eyes, but if they are getting what THEY need out of their studio session each week, that's what matters.
So, parents--especially Orange Easel parents--please look at the season, not the score. Look at the practices, the teamwork, the connection, and the experience. Not just the finished artwork that they walk out with at the end of the month. Because for some of students, what they are working on isn't as tangible as something that can be painted on a canvas. And for ALL of our students, that's not the full story.
Anyone who knows me well, know that I'm as competitive as they come. I like to win. And I like pretty art. But--at this age, at this level and in the big picture--the "score" in so unimportant. What we learn along the way is what matters.
My 10 year old daughter takes classes on Thursday night. This is her third year doing our Pet Portraits class in February. And every year she has chosen to paint a picture of one of our Great Danes. This year is a painting of Sophia, my 7-year-old blue merle.
Why we offer the "same" class
We repeat a lot of our curriculum year after year and I hear some parents express concern that their kiddos have "already taken that class."
Couple points to keep in mind:
Here are a few more portraits from our Thursday night class.
You know what's impressive? These 10 and 11 year olds had to DRAW their pet on their canvas first before starting their painting. They worked from photographs to design an interesting composition, get the scale right, and render their pet accurately. There's no paint-by-number here...they started with a blank canvas and a pencil!
Content inspired by the artists and art created in our studio.
Orange Easel began as a small art studio in my basement and continues to grow and serve our community. Read more about our story here.