Today we are starting a new series of Simple Summer Crafts most of these crafts won’t be ground breaking and many will be ones you probably did at summer camp or girl scouts growing up. What we aim to do with this series is to jog your memory or introduce you to easy crafts for kids that can be done quickly between family vacations ( or on family vacations) , summer camp schedules and picnics. We know you are busy so these are frugal easy crafts that are still fun and educational.
This first craft was made because I found old cereal in the pantry and didn’t want to throw it away, so we made these instead.
- Gather your materials. You will need some pipe cleaners and cereal with holes in it.
- I wasn’t expecting my daughter to have the patience but as long as I held the pipe cleaner for her she threaded quite a few on.
- Don’t forget to bend the end so the cereal doesn’t fall off the other end.
- What I love about this activity is that they get excited about feeding the birds ( and dude we have a ton around our yard) and they aren’t thinking about all the great fine motor , hand eye coordination and even counting skills they are brushing up on at the same time. Both of the started counting on their own while crafting.
- Shape and make sure there is enough pipe cleaner on the end to make a hook.
- Head outside and pop them in a tree. Can you see my son sitting on his soccer ball waiting for me to play after I take the picture. That is our favorite simple summer activity , front yard soccer!
I have been meaning to make an easy bird feeder with my son for ages, but the problem was all the ones I knew or have done in the past used peanut butter. My son isn’t allergic but he is completely repulsed by the smell. So when I found this one on Pinterest and saw that it uses gelatin I squealed ( yes really) and added gelatin to my grocery list immediately. We had some left over gelatin so we made some yummy all natural gummy treats too. Two easy heart shaped treats made with 1 box of gelatin, that’s rad!
- We doubled the recipe that Bargin Hoot uses here. And instead of cookie cutters we used a silicon mold .
- They had fun mixing .I had fun vacuuming after. But it’s easier to vacuum bird seed up than try to sweep it, those little seeds roll and hurt to step on!
- Press into the mold. We filled it halfway popped our string in then filled it up.
- A few hours later – voila!
We put them in the apple trees in the front yard, the pine trees in the back and some random bushes too . Clearly I am not a gardener. Since we hung them up we have gone outside every day to see which ones have had birds nibble away at them. It’s been fun to see my son concerned about the birds and I think the hearts add some natural sparkle to our wintery yard. Just today we noticed the birds ( or perhaps raccoons?) already have a favorite. We will continue to observe them in the upcoming weeks.
After we hung those up we noticed a recipe on the back of the Knox Gelatin box , adjusted it for our serving size and made some heart jellies! Why haven’t we been making these for years? My son loved helping me make them and I loved that there are no artificial colors like the store bought gelatin desserts.
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 envelopes of gelatin, 1/2 cup of cold juice, 1.5 cups of juice brought to a boil and a dash of sugar. You will also need a heart cookie cutter, a sauce pan , casserole dish( ours is 8x8x2) a spoon and a big bowl for mixing.
- Pour the cold juice into the bowl and drizzle the gelatin on.
- Boil the other juice.
- Pour into the bowl and mix . I added just a dash of sugar since the juice we used was already low sugar. I had my son gently mix and I got the bottom bits. Once dissolved let cool for 2-3 hours.
- Using the cookie cutter make heart shapes.
- He loved the leftovers!
Note about the juices we used – we used mostly natural lemonade with just enough natural strawberry kiwi to make it red. Any juice will work though, I may hit up the natural market for some pomegranate juice before Valentine’s Day.
- Gather your materials. You will need an empty Milk Carton, a bamboo skewer, dowel or chopstick , scissors, ribbon and birdseed. You can also paint the feeder with non toxic paint, but if you live in a wet climate like myself I would and did skip this step!
- Cut an opening in the milk carton. You will want it to start about an inch from the bottom.
- When that is done poke a hole under that for the dowel/chopstick and one on the opposite side of the carton.
- Poke the dowel through.
- Poke a hole in the top of the carton for the ribbon that will be used to hang the feeder. Thread the ribbon through and knot it, you can use twine or string too, I am just using what I had available.
- Fill with bird seed.
- Hang it outside and wait for the birds… I am still waiting but I am hoping we see some soon!
Feather Painting !