During the school year, kids are kept busy by school, homework and the occasional play date you can fit in their schedules between practices and rehearsals. Maybe on the weekends you have to come up with ways to keep them entertained, but usually kids spend their busy hours daydreaming of what they want to do when they’re on their own time. They rush off to their toys or favorite games without a second thought. Then the whole game changes when summer arrives.
Kids get easily bored during the summer because there are so many empty hours for them to fill. If they don’t get to go to day camps, you’re their only source of entertainment. No one else is around to tell them that it’s time to do something, like going to class or having a snack break. Going to the park in the summer heat or ending up with sunburns at the pool gets old fast, so you’ll have to try new ways to make them happy. What better way to make kids smile than with crafts?
Young kids are some of the most inventive people, so a good craft will let them put their imagination to work and create something amazing. Clay is the perfect material for that and there are plenty of things you can make with it that will keep kids busy all day long. Read on for some ideas that will challenge them while they have fun. You can even join in and enjoy the crafts yourself!
There are little figurines and statues in every house, whether it’s an intricate family heirloom or a simple mold of a dog over a fireplace. Kids like to have figurines in their rooms too, so why not let them make their own? They can make clay snails with just a few simple steps and then use their favorite paint colors to bring them to life. They’ll look adorable on top of a dresser or bathroom counter, or if they’re big enough they could work as book ends for those kids who love to read.
Clay Car Clock
This clock doesn’t need to be made just with cars, so it’s a flexible craft. After getting the clock supplies, clay and some paint, your kids can put whatever they like as the hour markers. Cars, boats, flowers or anything else that’s relatively small and could fit on the size clock they’re making. Older kids will be able to mold a car clock together easily, as long as they have a helping hand for the clock part. Let it dry overnight and they’ll have something to hang on their wall that they’ll use for years to come.
Something kids are able to focus on in school is honing their fine motor skills, and their attention to that might decrease over the summer months when they have the options like being able to just sit and watch TV. A craft like making clay beads for a necklace will develop their motor skills and keep them learning while they have fun. Just make sure to note that the beads will be bigger than usual ones because of the clay and materials used.
Stamped Clay Bowls
If your kids have played with material like Play-Dough before, they’ve probably made bowls on their own. They’re easy to mold into place, which makes them a great clay craft. Unlike with Play-Dough, clay will stay in the shape after dries. Kids can use these to hold small hair ties or accessories, and they’ll hold up if they get splashed with water on a countertop.
What kid doesn’t grow up loving dinosaurs? There are plenty of movies and television shows about them, plus an endless array of toys at the store that have them in plush form. They fascinate kids, so teach them a little bit about how dinosaurs are found while they create. You can imprint fossils onto clay and have them decorate and color them. It won’t require you to learn any unknown skills, and the fossils can be used in treasure hunts for future fun.
Clay Alphabet Magnets
Alphabet magnets have been around for a long time. Especially if you were ever homeschooled, you probably had plastic ones in your own home. Skip buying a pack for your kids and let them make each letter themselves out of clay. They’ll have a good learning experience getting to shape each letter into place before ever starting to form words with them on the fridge.
Clay Rainbow Fish
Creating clay rainbow fish is a fun way to create décor if you have a pool or want to throw a water-themed kids party this summer. Kids of any age can make them since they just have to be pressed into a heart shape and then designed with sequins. Each fish will look totally different, and because it will take very little to make one, each kid can make more than one fish if they want to.
Clay Animal Tiles
Animal tiles are a good thing to make if you have a large group of kids who are all different ages. Younger kids can press clay into a square and paint the animals on, while older kids can etch the animals into colorful clay tiles. The tiles can be used as decoration in the home or be placed outside as a pathway to a garden or even the mailbox.
Having your kids home for the summer means that your routine is going to change and you’re going to have to think of fun things they can do with all their free time. When you notice them beginning to get tired of hanging out by the pool or going over to a friend’s house, you can offer craft ideas that will keep them busy and having fun. Get some clay and pitch craft ideas to see what they want to do, and then get busy! They’ll love their crafts even more if you join in and get creative alongside them.
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Tripping.com and more!