11 DIY Ideas to Do With the Little Ones This Summer

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This summer, there’s no need to think of any extravagant ideas or search for activities to do in your hometown when the grandkids come to visit. Instead, we've got 11 fun DIY ideas to help you pass the time in a creative and engaging way! Whether you’re looking for home decor projects for the kids’ rooms at home, games you can make to play later, or just crafts to keep the little ones busy, we’ve got it all. And they’re all incredibly simple!

DIY Room Ideas: Yarn Letters Wall Art

This craft from Bloesem Kids is easy to do and has adorable results.

What you’ll need:

Pipe Cleaners

What you’ll do:

Bend your pipe cleaner into the shape you want, whether that’s a single letter or a cursive word (you can attach two pipe cleaners by twisting the ends together to make longer words or bigger letters). Once you have your frame, tie yarn around one end, then wrap them around the pipe cleaner. Alternate colors of yarn if desired until all of the pipe cleaner is covered. That’s it!

Vacation Memory Jars

Martha Stewart’s memory jars are the perfect way to commemorate a vacation.

What you’ll need:

Empty Jars
On-Theme Decorations

What you’ll do:

Arrange your mementos from your trip into a jar. If it’s a beach trip, you may want to use sand and seashells. If it was a trip to the Grand Canyon, maybe a few pebbles. Think of it like a scrapbook page, but way better. You can decorate it however you want — and add to it or change it up down the road.

Milk Carton Bird Feeders

This Inhabitots craft makes a great outside decoration — and brings pretty birds to your backyard.

What you’ll need:

An Empty Milk Carton
Washi Tape
Aluminium Foil
Popsicle Stick
Bird Seed

What you’ll do:

First, paint your carton (If paint is too messy, you can cover it in washi tape or construction paper). Make a roof out of aluminum foil, then cut an incision in the front side. Insert the popsicle stick until you can see the impression in the back.

Next, cut a second incision so the popsicle stick can pop out through the back, securing it in place. Now you have your perch! Draw the doorway on one side of the carton and carefully cut it out with scissors. Decorate as you’d like, then hang and fill with bird seed.

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Cactus Rock Planter

This faux-cactus planter is the perfect replacement for any real succulents.

What you’ll need:

A Flower Pot
Medium-Sized Rocks
Green Paints
White Paint

What you’ll do:

Paint your medium-sized rocks green (a variety of shades will look best). Once the paint has dried, use your white paint to add spiny details of all different kinds. Fill your flower pot with the pebbles, and once your rocks are ready, you can organize them at the top of the pot however you’d like.

Mason Jar Fairy Lights

This craft from DIY Joy makes for amazing night-time lights, no actual fireflies or fairies necessary.

What you’ll need:

Mason Jars
Glow-in-the-Dark Paint
Scrap Paper

What you’ll do:

Pour some of your glow-in-the-dark paint onto your scrap paper for a nice palette. Using a long-stemmed paintbrush, paint dots with your glow-in-the-dark paint inside of the jar. You can alternate colors to create a pattern, or stick to one color. You can also vary the size of the dots in the jar or keep them all uniform, your choice! Let the paint dry, then charge your glow-in-the-dark paint in the sun for at least an hour. Once nighttime falls, your fairy lights jar will start glowing.

DIY Party Ideas: Edible Finger Paint

Finger painting is fun for little kids, but when everything goes in their mouths, it can be a concern. Momtastic’s edible finger paint saves the day.

What you’ll need:

Food Coloring
Plastic Cups

What you’ll do:

Add 2T of sugar into a sauce pan, then add 1/3 cup of flour. Mix with 2 cups water, then whisk until smooth and turn on the heat. Stir your mixture as it thickens. Once it’s thick, pour it into your plastic cups in even amounts and add the food coloring, stirring it in until it’s completely blended. Continue adding food coloring until you have your desired hues. Then get to work!

Character Caps

These character caps from Crafts by Amanda are so fun because they can be whatever you want. Follow her directions for frogs and ladybugs, or get creative coming up with your own.

What you’ll need:

Colored Baseball Caps
Acrylic Paint
Stencil Sponges

What you’ll do:

Your design will depend on what kind of character you’re making, whether it’s an animal or something based off of the kids’ favorite TV or book characters. Feel free to look up characters for ideas and sketch out your designs before you start. This one can be as easy or advanced as you make it! Use your paint to decorate your hat, then add felt or sharpie to add any additional details. Once your hat is done and dry, it’s ready for play-time.

Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling

Looking for some night-time fun? Mommy Mums’ glow stick bowling has you covered.

What you’ll need:

10 Empty Water Bottles
10 Glow Sticks
A Soccer Ball, Handball, or Basektball

What you’ll do:

Fill your empty bottles up with water (no use using new ones when you can grab some out of the recycling). Once it starts to get dark, activate your glow sticks, then add one to each bottle. Set them up like bowling pins, grab your “bowling ball,” then get started!

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DIY Crafts: Ribbon Book Marks

The book worm in your life will love these Sparkles of Sunshine ribbon book marks.

What you’ll need:

Decorative Ribbon
Elastic Hair Bands
Decorative Buttons
Needle and Thread

What you’ll do:

Measure your book with the ribbon, then cut it slightly longer than the length it takes to wrap around. Fold one end of the ribbon over 1/4” twice, then sew it shut. Loop the other end through your elastic band, then fold it over and do the same. Using your needle and thread, sew a button to the end without the band. Wrap your book mark around the book, securing the band over the button. That’s it!

Unicorn Poop Slime

Okay, it doesn’t have to be unicorn poop, it can be any kind of slime — but how fun is this craft from Momdot?

What you’ll need:

Gallon of Elmer’s White Glue
Liquid Starch
Food Coloring

What you’ll do:

Pour approximately one cup of glue into a bowl, then add food coloring and mix. Add 1/3 to 1/4 cup of liquid starch and mix to start to form the slime. Stir for about a minute, and then knead your slime. For unicorn poop slime, you’ll need to repeat this process several different times with different colors. Once you have all of your colors, you can combine and knead them together for this rainbow look.

Emoji Locker Magnets

Older kids will love these locker decorations from The Surznick Common Room. You can also use them as fridge magnets.

What you’ll need:

Round Magnets
Yellow Spray Paint
Paint Pens

What you’ll do:

Spray paint your magnets outside or in a well ventilated area, then let them dry. It may take a few coats to get them completely yellow without the color of the magnet showing through underneath. Once they're dry, draw emoji faces on with your paint pens. Check your phone for reference, or you can look some up online. Then slap them on the fridge or any magnetic surface.

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