As any parent knows, keeping children entertained can be a challenge, even during the gorgeous days of summer. When the kids have tired of playing outside, keep the dreaded choruses of “I’m boooored” at bay with fun DIY crafts.
Not only are these green projects an excellent way to keep your children occupied during the hazy days of summer, but it’s also a great opportunity for your children to recycle old materials into decorative and useful new objects. Your kids can be proud of creating something for the house and keeping items out of the landfill through their recycling efforts.
Make sure you have on markers, glue, coloring pencils and other art materials on hand, and you can turn leftover paper, toilet paper rolls, milk cartons and old T-shirts and sheets into craft projects for your kids.
Image courtesy of Marcus Tullis / Women’s Day
Tissue Paper Fish Kite
If you have several colors of leftover odds and ends of tissue paper used for wrapping gifts or stuffing gift bags, your kids can create an amazing fish kite. Other materials you will need are markers, glue, a stapler, hole punch and sturdy string or cord to create this fun fish-shaped kite.
Once the kite is done, you can have the kids go outside to fly them—this is a craft that keeps your kids engaged for hours.
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
Use quart-sized cartons of milk or juice to create a bird feeder. Ideal for budding zoologists or animal fans, this craft can also help your garden by drawing a variety of birds to your yard. Your kids will also learn to look at containers and “garbage” in a new way—rather than adding the empty carton to the landfill, it can be repurposed into a useful item.
You will need a thoroughly cleaned, cardboard juice or milk carton, scissors, crayons or markers, a ruler, double-sided tape, a hole punch, twine or string, skewers or popsicle sticks for perches and bird seed for the final product.
Braided Rag Rug
This project doesn’t require any sewing, but the final project is so impressive, it could be given away as a gift. Create a braided rag rug using old flat sheets and corrugated cardboard. Children will improve dexterity and have an opportunity to recycle fabric—get them excited by using their old favorite sheets (if they can bear to part with them).
Cut up old moving boxes for the cardboard; other materials include masking tape and scissors. You can create smaller items, like pot holders, using T-shirts and other leftover bits of fabric.
Image courtesy of TheBazile / Flickr.com
Looking for a way to use up the stacks of old magazines gathering dust in your living room? Build a colorful magazine bowl with nothing more than magazine pages and a glue gun (fast-drying regular glue works as well for younger children).
While these bowls will be pretty sturdy, they won’t be waterproof or food-safe. They do make excellent decorative items around the house to hold lightweight items like keys, cards and other small items.
Green crafts are not only a great way to keep your kids entertained during the long days of summer, but they are also a powerful way to increase your children’s awareness of their world around them. These DIY crafts will not only improve dexterity, but they can also improve creativity. These fun summer projects will keep your kids’ hands busy, while keeping their brain engaged.
Marcela De Vivo is a writer for Candy Concepts, mother and business owner from Los Angeles who loves sharing DIY tips with families and their homes. She also covers a variety of other topics, including health, tech, marketing and home improvement. Learn more DIY tips by following her on Twitter and Facebook today!
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