Children painting together

10 Creative Summer Crafts and Learning Activities

July 7, 2020 / by Alyssa Abel

If you’re a teacher, your summer break might look substantially different than it has in years past. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many families will look to you for advice on activities to keep their kids engaged this summer. You may also need to modify classroom crafts into virtual ones in which you guide children from a distance.

The best projects combine learning and fun — after all, kids are missing their traditional vacations. While they might balk at textbooks, they will adore engaging their creativity. Recommend these at-home crafts for kids to your home-schooling family partners, or use them to create video tutorials to keep kids engaged while on summer break.

1. Paper Bees 

paper-bee-craft-5x7

The insects have returned with the heat, and bees play a vital role in the planet’s ecosystem and food supply. Your little learners can make an indoor garden by constructing these bees and adding them to a poster board covered in flowers. Add an educational component to this summer craft by implementing ideas like the following:

  • Watch a bee documentary: While you make this craft, play a YouTube video about the importance of bees and how to protect them. 
  • Take a nature walk: As you wander through a park or garden, look for bees. Identify the types of plants that attract them most. You can even add cuttings to your collage. 

2. Science Slime 

Spooky-Glowing-Fluorescent-Slime-Feature-image-2

Kids love hands-on activities and playing with tactile substances like playdough and silly putty — so why not combine fun and learning by showing them how to make their own slime at home? They’ll get that hands-on excitement while learning the science behind substances. All they need to make their own glow-in-the-dark slime for summer nights is warm water, non-toxic glue, borax, and optional glow craft paint. Your class will be crazy about science!

3. Recycled Tin Can Windsocks 

Recycled Can Windsock

This idea is another eco-friendly craft for your homeschool classroom that puts your old coffee tins to new use. The only other items you need are paint, glue, tape, and streamers. You can incorporate this idea into a meteorology lesson, too. 

4. Create and Illustrate a Brochure 

Brochures are everywhere, and kids can see the relevance of creating something they may someday need to design for work. You can have them make educational pamphlets on the process of photosynthesis or prepare playbills for an imagined — or future — class play performance.

5. Diversity Paper Quilt 

FURH2PFH0A2HRZI.LARGE

Diversity matters, and not only because embracing differences makes you a better person. Businesses with diverse teams tend to outperform those that lack it. Young children love to express what makes them unique, as well as what traits they share in common with others. Crafting paper diversity quilts will not only tap into kids’ creativity, but it will also condition them for acceptance and understanding.

6. Homemade Bubbles Makers 

You might already refill bubble containers with dish soap and water, but you can minimize waste even more with these innovative methods while giving your kids hours of fun. This project represents one of the simplest at-home crafts for kids, and you can mention the techniques to parents in a phone call or email. 

7. Abacus

abacusfinal1

This craft combines small motor skills for young learners with mathematical concepts. Plus, instead of tossing old art projects in the trash, you can cut up the designs to make colorful beads. You can then incorporate the use of this tool into video lessons. 

8. Ice Cream Base 10 Puzzles 

base-10-ice-cream-puzzles-1

Base 10 puzzles combine common core math concepts with fun. You can make this craft fun by adding your base 10 pairs to paper ice cream scoops and matching cones together. 

9. Sharpie Tie-Dye Comfort Pillows 

Sharpie-Tie-Dye-BABBLE-DABBLE-DO-BA-collage

Education doesn’t just consist of the three Rs anymore. It also encompasses emotional intelligence, and the ability to self-soothe is a critical component. Help your child ease their quarantine stress with these sharpie tie-dye comfort pillows. Parents will appreciate that these are less messy than the traditional method as they follow along. 

10. Sun Mobiles 

The sun is the source of all life on earth. Teach your children about this celestial wonder by having them make mobiles in honor of the nearest star. You can also use this project as part of a larger astronomy unit if you like. 

Keep Your Kids Active and Learning This Summer

Delight families with these summer crafts or create unique video content for learners to follow along at home!

Topics: Arts, Summer Learning, Virtual Learning, Back to School, distance learning

Alyssa Abel

Written by Alyssa Abel

Alyssa Abel is an education writer who loves talking about growth mindset, emotional intelligence, emerging education strategies and how they can transform the classroom. Read more of her work on Syllabusy.

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