So you’ve been swimming, to the park and to the beach, and now it’s a rainy day and your children (read: you) need some downtime. When it comes to indoor activities and crafts, we’ve got everything you need for your stalwarts: painting, drawing and colouring. But if you want to try getting even more creative with your kids’ craft activities during those long holidays, here are five ideas to keep those little hands busy all summer long.
Make a memory capsule
If you’re clever, you can make this fun pastime last for weeks! Your summer time capsule can include anything from photos to shells to little souvenirs, but start with a scrapbook. A plain, empty notebook waiting to be filled with memories is a wonderful thing. Get your kids to save and glue in ticket stubs and wristbands from all their summer trips, write diary entries for each day and draw pictures of everything they get up to. They can add photos later, too. When the scrapbook is filled, help them decorate the cover with their names, the date, stickers and doodles – paint markers are perfect for this. Put everything they’ve collected into a shoebox (a decorated one is even better!) and stash it away on the bookcase for future nostalgic reading.
Pavement chalk pictures
This is a great warm weather activity – it’ll spark their creativity, tire them out and, above all, your kids will be absolutely thrilled to be allowed to draw on the floor. All you need is an outdoor hard surface and chalk: your patio, the walls of your house or a safe park walkway away from cars will all do. Choose vibrant, colourful chalks like Steadtler Blackboard Chalks, and make sure you take pictures of every masterpiece so they’ll last long after the inevitable summer rain has done its worst.
Make a tie dye T-shirt
Tie-dye is back in fashion but for carefree summer kids, it never really went away. Unleash their inner fashion designer with just a set of Sharpies and an old white tee, and you’ll have made a new favourite garment and had fun in the process. Here’s how to tie-dye a T-shirt:
- Put some cardboard or similar impermeable material in the middle of your tee to stop the colour bleeding from the front onto the back.
- Bunch up your tee in random places with elastic bands for a traditional tie-dye effect.
- Colour in the ‘nobbles’ (technical term) you’ve made with the bands and doodle dots or designs on any other part of the T-shirt you wish.
- This is the part that’s just for grown-ups. Use a pipette to drop rubbing alcohol onto the designs, and watch your kids ooh and ahh as the Sharpie ink spreads prettily.
- When it’s all dried, remove the elastic bands. Ooh and aah again.
- Iron the T-shirt on medium for a few minutes to set the design and stop it bleeding in the wash.
Paint pretty souvenir pebbles
What to do with all those random stones and shells your children insisted on bringing back from the beach by the bucketload? Paint them! But forget messy paint pots and spilled brush water – just use the vibrant POSCA paint markers from Uni-Ball. These cult pens are highly pigmented and come in a rainbow of shades. Get your kids doodling seaside scenes, colourful graphic designs and summery flowers on their purloined pebbles and hey presto – you have a decorative addition to your home, which can be used as a paperweight for their drawing table or a pretty bookend for their bookshelves.
Decorate personal drinking glasses
While away an afternoon, make a pretty and useful item and make sure kids know whose cup is whose all in one go with this DIY. This one is for older kids only – it involves glass, ovens and permanent markers so use your discretion. Steadtler Lumocolor permanent markers, with their rainbow of available colours, are perfect for this project. Simply get your kids to choose a glass each and decorate with their name, a funny message or pretty doodles (a great chance to try out calligraphy, too). Then pop the glasses in the oven at 160˚C for half an hour and the marker will set permanently. Cheers!