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The best summer arts and crafts activities for children

Will Gore

Posted on June 22 2021

The best summer arts and crafts activities for children

School holidays are on their way and the annual ‘keeping the little ones occupied’ challenge is ON. If you’re in need of some inspiring ways to keep them busy, consider these fun-packed and easy to organise arts and crafts activities for kids (and be sure to prep the grandparents for an influx of homemade ‘gifts’…)

Create an art kit for the summer

Put together the ultimate art kit for your kid/s at the start of the holidays that they can dip into as and when. Include pens, paints, scrap paper, sketch pads and overalls, and keep it in the shed or by the back door, ready to be used for regular outdoor art sessions. Fill it with exciting items that they don’t get at school and can’t wait to use such as animal themed colouring pencils, a mermaid stationery set, stickers and a bold and bright rainbow pencil.


Set a painting challenge

Challenge your little ones to create a range of paintings throughout the summer, including landscapes, wildlife, and portraits. At the end of the holidays, pick some of the best pictures to frame and put up at home, or give to grandparents as presents. Choose a favourite view from your home or pack up the art kit for a day of outdoor art activities further afield - the local park or a nearby lake, pond or stretch of riverside.

Top tip: Try catching the changing colours of the day by planning both an early morning and sunset session at the same spot. 


Explore nature

Combine wildlife watching with arts and crafts by making a birdfeeder. Not only is this a fun and straightforward project, it’s also great for ongoing entertainment. Once they’ve made it, children will love settling in for twitching sessions near the feeder at different times each day to see what comes along. Encourage them to keep a record of visitors in a bird journal (aka a plain notebook with a bird drawn on the front) and provide binoculars if you have them. A bug hotel is another great wildlife project - here’s how to make an easy one.


Paper airplane


Take to the skies

From paper aeroplanes to kites, creating things that fly will never not be exciting for kids. Start simply by teaching them how to make standard paper aeroplanes out of good old recycled A4 (here’s a reminder in case you’ve forgotten the technique), before upgrading to more intricate designs in sturdy and brightly coloured card that will last a little longer. Another fun idea for future high flyers is kite flying, which couldn’t be more straightforward with this super smart kit.


Design some new threads

Do you have a budding fashionista on your hands? If so, why not arrange a fashion design day with a bit of tie-dyeing? All you need are some plain cotton T-shirts, old or new, and follow these straightforward instructions from Stylist magazine. You don’t just need to limit it to clothing, either. Try beach towels or bunting as suggested here.

Top tip: Once everything is dyed and dried, hold a mini fashion show so the kids can show off their designs.


Decorate the pavement

There’s something beautifully old-school about drawing with chalk on a path or patio. Get a tub of giants chalks and then identify a suitable space that’s safe and big enough to decorate. Go really retro and teach your little ones how to mark out and play hopscotch or hangman, or encourage them to use the ground as a canvas and cover it in beautiful designs and drawings. For younger children, you could draw a series of simple outlines for them to colour in. Then when the rain inevitably arrives at some point, you can just start all over again.


3D poster art


Make the most of rainy days

Speaking of rain, unless there’s some sort of weather miracle this summer (stranger things have happened, but still, feels unlikely) it’s not going to be possible to spend all day, every day outside, so an armoury of easy craft activities for kids to enjoy indoors is essential. Upgrade colouring-in sessions with this lovely ballet poster art kit or mega cool pirate and dinosaur 3D colouring set, or make felt animal pictures that can then be stuck up on bedroom walls. An indoor nature trail is another fun rainy day activity - divide the kids into two teams and get them to create their own critters with this cardboard bug kit, before hiding them around the house to be found by the opposing team. Bonus points for anyone who finds a REAL bug - brace yourself!

For more summer holiday inspo, read our blogs on the best water games for kids, how to turn your garden into an outdoor fun zone and our guide to the ultimate scavenger hunt 


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