In the summer lots of kids are less than eager to do anything they feel is like school work, so sit down crafts are not always the best choice. Or if you are like me and juggling an infant and an older child these quick summer activities are fast to set up, and easy to navigate with one in your arms and one busy exploring. You are probably familiar with all of these ideas but I know I get in a rut and the most obvious ideas are sometimes forgotten.
I am sure most of you have sidewalk chalk. This is not at all an original idea but what we did with the chalk was fun and I want to share it. We drew a train and then grabbed an atlas and chose all different places to go to. Each place we picked up a new person that my son drew into the train. A fun outdoor geography lesson!
I have been grabbing the play dough a lot in the past 2 weeks. My son loves to pretend to be a baker and make cakes while I check my email, or tend to his sister. The other day we decided to grab some scrap paper and add it to the cakes as decorations. Not exactly earth shattering but a really easy twist and it kept him entertained for ages! Also using scissors to cut the paper ( or playdough) is extra fine motor skills practice.
$1 spray bottle from the dollar store, 2 pieces of paper, some water, washable paint and he was in heaven! Mix the paint in with the water, and let them loose.
I did a similar activity with my son when he was under 2 so I was shocked that now pushing 4 he would still be into it. Wow is he ever. He loves getting water, paint brushes and “washing windows” he also does the siding and porch for free! Simple , cheap and it promotes imaginative play. Not bad for a quick summer activity!
And if all that fails… Bubbles!
- Gather your materials. You will need some fun toy animals, a plate, paper,markers and paint.
- If you want you or your child can draw some scenery.
- Spread some paint on your plate and dip your animal in.
- Start making some tracks.
- Add the next paint color and more paper if you want and keep going.
“Is Your Mama a Llama? “ by Deborah Guarino is a classroom favorite, I don’t know many preschool teachers who can’t recite most of this book . Readers follow Lloyd the llama as he riddles his way through a bunch of animals until he find the one he calls mom. I like the mix of animals in this book, a little different than your average zoo or farm collection.
- Gather your materials. I am using a left over 2 x 4 my husband had in the garage. I made sure it was smooth before bringing it inside.
- I popped it on my rug and that’s it !
- We pretended to be pirates walking the plank, sneaky foxes on our tippy toes and played follow the leader all using this little piece of wood.
- Gather your materials. You will need some play-dough and something fun to stick in it. We used popsicle sticks and toilet paper rolls.
- Start creating.
- My son made the same thing over and over, birthday cakes! We sung happy birthday to many things including the new president, it was a fun day.
For our play-dough recipes!
you the time for big elaborate crafts but you can fit these quick fixes into even the busiest schedule, even if it’s just allowing your child to “help” you get some things done.
- Kitchen Caper! My son loves “helping” me cook. He has never been a big eater but if he helps make the food he always eats it. Here he is helping me make cookies, don’t worry the mixer is unplugged , we count , scoop, measure and pour while making treats! Oh and be the official butter taste tester!
- Water Scooping. I propped up a plastic mixing bowl on top of another filled it with water and let him splash and scoop.
- Patio drawing ! Out door chalk is awesome, it comes clean with water, and comes in bright fun colors.
- At Home Museum! We grabbed some Art books and looked for cats, boats and apples in the paintings, it lasted almost 40 minutes and made no mess! Here we are enjoying gothic architecture!