15 Fun Summer Crafts For Kids To Beat The Heat

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Miranda Zavala
After school summer crafts

Written By Miranda Zavala  |  Elementary School  |  0 Comments | May 2, 2024

Summer is a great time for easy and fun crafts to get your kids’ creative juices flowing. And I’ve got 15 amazing summer crafts that will keep them entertained for hours on end.

Picture this: your little ones proudly displaying their colorful creations, from paper plate ice cream cones to popsicle stick wind chimes. The best part? You probably already have most of the supplies lying around your house.

Alright, let’s explore together – here are fifteen summer crafts that promise a heap of fun and unforgettable moments for your little ones. 

Table Of Contents:

15 Fun Summer Crafts For Kids

Summer’s here and you know what that means – time to get crafty. These summer crafts will get the kids’ imaginations going and maybe even teach them a new skill or two. 

Plus, most of these crafts use simple materials you probably already have around the house. So grab your craft supplies and let’s dive into some seriously fun summer crafting.

Classic Summer Crafts

I don’t know about you, but when I think of summer crafts, a few classics come to mind. Like adorable paper plate ice cream cones – they look good enough to eat. Or how about bright egg carton flowers to add some cheer to your table?

Tissue paper butterflies are another favorite. They’re so easy to make and the kids can customize them however they want. Popsicle stick wind chimes add a fun, musical element to your crafting. 

And let’s not forget sand art jars – a summer staple. These tried-and-true summer crafts are kid-pleasers for a reason. 

They’re simple, use easy-to-find materials, and leave lots of room for creativity. So round up those paper plates, egg cartons, and popsicle sticks, and get ready for some crafty fun in the sun.

Materials For Summer Crafting

Before we jump into the specific craft tutorials, let’s talk supplies. The great thing about summer crafting is that you don’t need a lot of fancy materials. 

Basic Craft Supplies

Here are some craft supplies to have on hand:

  • Construction paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Glue or Mod Podge
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Markers or crayons
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Pom poms

With these basic supplies, you can make a wide variety of summer crafts. And most of them are inexpensive and easy to find at your local craft store or even the dollar store.

Recycled Materials

Summer crafting is also a great opportunity to use recycled materials. Things like:

  • Paper plates
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glass jars

Before you toss that egg carton or paper towel roll, see if you can use it for a craft project. 

Natural Elements

Don’t forget about nature’s craft supplies. You can collect things like:

  • Sea shells
  • Sand
  • Flowers and leaves
  • Twigs and bark

Incorporating natural elements into your summer crafts adds texture and interest while encouraging children to explore the outdoors. Let’s explore some craft ideas with the supplies we have.

Paper Plate Ice Cream Cone Craft

These paper plate ice cream cones are a sweet craft that’s perfect for a summer day. 

To make them, cut a paper plate into thirds. Roll each third into a cone shape and secure with tape or glue. Then, let the kids decorate their cones with paint, markers, or even glued-on pom poms and beads. 

For the “ice cream,” cut wavy circles out of construction paper in your favorite ice cream colors. Glue them to the top of the cone and voila – a paper plate sundae. You could even turn it into a fun imaginative play activity by setting up a pretend ice cream shop. 

The kids can take turns being the ice cream scoopers and customers. Just don’t blame me if they start begging for the real thing.

Colorful Egg Carton Flowers

Brighten up your space with these easy egg carton flowers. Start by cutting out the individual egg cups from a cardboard egg carton. 

Then, paint them in bright colors like pink, yellow, and orange. Once the paint is dry, poke a small hole in the bottom of each cup and thread a pipe cleaner through to make a stem. Bend down the top of the pipe cleaner to secure it. 

Then, glue a button or pom pom in the center of the flower. Arrange your colorful blooms in a vase or mason jar for a cheerful summer centerpiece. This is a great way to reuse egg cartons and add some flowers around the house.

Tissue Paper Butterfly Craft

Make your own beautiful butterflies with this easy tissue paper craft. 

Start by cutting out a butterfly shape from white cardstock or construction paper. Then, cut small squares of colorful tissue paper. 

Apply glue or Mod Podge to a section of the butterfly and place the tissue paper squares on top, overlapping them slightly. Keep adding tissue paper until the butterfly is covered. 

You can mix up the colors to create your own unique designs. Once the glue is dry, fold the butterfly in half and pinch a clothespin in the middle to create the body. 

Add googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae to complete your colorful creation. Hang your tissue paper butterflies in a window or from the ceiling for a pretty summer display. 

Popsicle Stick Wind Chime

Add some musical fun to your summer crafting with a popsicle stick wind chime. Paint 5-7 popsicle sticks in bright colors and let them dry completely. 

Next, tie a piece of string or yarn to the end of each stick. Knot beads or buttons along each string. Then, glue or tie the strings to a longer stick to create the top of the wind chime. 

Hang your wind chime outside and let the summer breeze make some music. The beads and buttons will clack together, making a pleasant tinkling sound. 

This craft is a fun way to explore sound and learn about cause and effect. It’s also perfect for decorating your outdoor space in summer.

DIY Sand Art Jars

Bring the beach home with you with these colorful sand art jars. Start with a clean, empty glass jar. Mason jars or baby food jars work well. 

Then, layer different colors of sand in the jar to create your design. You can use regular sand from the craft store or even colored salt or sugar. Alternate colors and try making wavy or zigzag designs. 

Once you’re happy with your sand creation, carefully pour a little bit of water into the jar. This will help settle the sand and keep the layers separate. Screw on the lid tightly. 

Your beautiful sand art jar is ready to display. This craft is a fun way to remember your summer beach days.

Toilet Paper Roll Crafts

Don’t toss those empty toilet paper rolls – turn them into fun summer crafts instead. There are so many possibilities with toilet paper rolls. You can paint them and glue googly eyes on to make silly monsters. 

Or you can cut them into rings and link them together to make a paper chain. Decorate the chains with stickers or washi tape for a festive summer garland. 

Another idea is to flatten the rolls and cut them into spirals. Then, hang them from the ceiling for an easy paper mobile. The spirals will spin and catch the light, adding some movement to your summer decor. 

Sidewalk Chalk Art Ideas

Take the crafting outside with some sidewalk chalk. Sidewalk chalk is a summer staple for a reason – it’s colorful, washable, and lets kids express their creativity on a big canvas. 

Encourage your kids to draw summer scenes like beaches, palm trees, and ice cream cones. They can even use the chalk to make life-size portraits of themselves or trace around each other’s shadows. 

Another fun idea is to make sidewalk chalk paint by mixing equal parts cornstarch and water, then adding food coloring. Use paintbrushes to apply the colorful paint to the sidewalk. It dries quickly and washes away easily with water. Sidewalk chalk is a great activity for those long summer days. 

It gets the kids outside and encourages them to use their imaginations. Plus, it’s a fun way to brighten up your driveway or sidewalk. 

Key Takeaway: 

Use simple materials from around your house to make everything from paper plate ice cream cones to sand art jars. These projects spark creativity and get them outside and explore nature’s craft supplies. So, grab some glue, gather up recycled goods, and let’s make this summer a crafty one.

Pressed Flower Bookmarks

One of my favorite ways to get creative is by making pressed flower bookmarks. It’s a simple yet beautiful craft that lets you preserve a little piece of summer between the pages. 

To get started, gather some flowers and leaves from your garden or a nature walk. Look for ones that are relatively flat and not too thick. I like to use delicate blooms like violets, daisies, and forget-me-nots. 

Once you have your collection, place them between the pages of a heavy book, like an old phone book or encyclopedia. Leave them to dry and flatten for a week or two.

Creating Your Bookmark

When your flowers are pressed and ready, it’s time to assemble your bookmark. Cut a piece of cardstock or thick paper into a bookmark shape. I usually go for a classic rectangle about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. 

Arrange your pressed flowers on the bookmark in a design you like. You can create patterns, spell out words, or just let the natural beauty of the blooms shine. Once you’re happy with your layout, carefully glue the flowers onto the bookmark using clear-drying craft glue. 

Press them firmly to make sure they adhere well. For an extra touch of charm, punch a hole at the top of the bookmark and tie a pretty ribbon through it. They’re a simple way to capture the essence of the season and create a lasting memory you can revisit whenever you open a book.

Pom Pom Caterpillars

If you’re looking for a cute and cuddly summer craft, these pom pom caterpillars are sure to delight. To make your own caterpillar, you’ll need a handful of pom poms in different colors, some pipe cleaners, and googly eyes. 

Start by threading a pipe cleaner through the center of your pom poms, leaving a bit of space between each one. I like to use about 5-7 pom poms per caterpillar, but you can make yours as long or short as you like. 

Once your pom poms are strung together, bend the pipe cleaner into a curly shape for the caterpillar’s antennae. Glue on some googly eyes near the front, and your adorable little bug is ready to crawl around. You can experiment with different color combinations or even add stripes or spots using markers. 

These pom pom caterpillars are perfect for imaginative play or as a fun addition to your summer decor. Line them up on a windowsill, let them march across your desk, or tuck them into a potted plant for a whimsical surprise.

Craft Stick Picture Frames

These craft stick frames are easy to make and add a rustic, charming touch to your snapshots. To create your frame, you’ll need craft sticks, glue, and some paint or washi tape for decorating. 

Start by arranging your craft sticks into a square or rectangle shape, with the ends overlapping slightly. Glue the sticks together at the corners and let them dry completely. 

Once your frame is sturdy, it’s time to get creative with the decorating. You can paint the sticks in bright summer colors, wrap them with patterned washi tape, or even glue on shells or small tiles in a mosaic design.

When your frame is all dressed up, glue a photo to the back or attach a hanger so you can display it on the wall. These craft stick frames make great gifts for grandparents or as a special way to remember your summer adventures.

Handprint & Footprint Art

One of my favorite projects is making a summer-themed keepsake. Paint your child’s hand or foot with washable paint and press it firmly onto a piece of paper or canvas. 

You can turn the prints into all sorts of fun designs – a footprint becomes the sail of a boat, and a handprint transforms into the petals of a sunflower. Write your child’s name and age next to the print for a personalized touch. 

These handprint and footprint artworks make beautiful mementos to hang in your home or give as gifts to your family. You can also use the prints to make cards, bookmarks, or even jewelry. 

Press a handprint onto shrinkable plastic, cut it out, and turn it into a charm for a necklace or keychain. It’s a sweet way to keep your little one close to your heart. Handprint and footprint art is a simple yet meaningful way to celebrate your child’s unique mark on the world. 

Nature Collage Suncatchers

Bring the beauty of nature indoors with these stunning suncatchers. They’re a fun way to explore the outdoors and create a unique piece of art that shimmers in the sunlight.

To make your suncatcher, start by gathering natural materials on a nature walk. Look for flat, colorful items like leaves, flower petals, grass, and even small pebbles or shells. Arrange your treasures between two pieces of clear contact paper, pressing them down firmly to stick. 

Trim the edges of the contact paper into a circle or any shape you like. Punch a hole at the top and thread a ribbon through for hanging. When you hold your suncatcher up to the window, the light will filter through the natural materials, creating a beautiful stained-glass effect. 

You can make suncatchers in all sorts of themes – a rainbow of flower petals, a mosaic of green leaves, or a beach-inspired collage of shells and sand. These nature collage suncatchers also make great craft projects for birthday parties or summer camp activities. 

Set out trays of natural materials and let kids create their own unique designs. It’s a fun, open-ended art activity that encourages creativity and exploration.

Painted Rock Paperweights

Looking for a practical and pretty craft to brighten up your desk or bookshelf? These painted rock paperweights are easy to make and add a pop of color to any space. 

To get started, gather some smooth, flat rocks from your yard or a nearby park. Wash and dry them thoroughly. Then, let your creativity run wild with paint. 

You can use acrylic craft paint in any colors you like. Paint stripes, polka dots, or abstract designs. If you’re feeling extra artistic, try painting a miniature scene or a cute animal face. 

For a more polished look, seal your painted rocks with a coat of clear acrylic sealer. Once the sealer is dry, your paperweights are ready to use. They’re great for holding down papers on a breezy day or adding a decorative touch to a stack of books. 

Clothespin Dragonflies

Bring a bit of magic to your backyard with these enchanting clothespin dragonflies. They’re a simple craft that looks impressive fluttering in the breeze. 

To make your dragonflies, you’ll need wooden clothespins, paint, and some clear adhesive tape. Start by painting your clothespins in bright, metallic colors. I like to use shades of blue, green, and purple to mimic the iridescent sheen of real dragonfly wings. 

Once the paint is dry, cut two small strips of clear tape for each dragonfly. Fold the strips in half and attach them to the top of the clothespin, forming an X shape. These will be your dragonfly’s wings. 

Gently bend the tape into a slightly curved shape to give the illusion of fluttering. Glue on some googly eyes or paint a face onto your dragonfly for a cute finishing touch. Then, use a small piece of string or fishing line to hang your dragonflies from tree branches or along your porch. 

Watch them dance in the wind, catching the sunlight on their shimmering wings, or use them as puppets, race them across the lawn, or simply admire their beauty as they flutter about.

Washi Tape Pinwheels

Pinwheels are a classic summer toy that never goes out of style. These washi tape pinwheels put a colorful twist on the traditional design and are a breeze to make. 

To create your pinwheel, start with a square piece of cardstock or heavy paper. Cut a diagonal line from each corner towards the center, stopping about an inch from the middle. Fold every other point into the center and secure with a brad or pushpin. 

Now for the fun part – decorating. Use strips of colorful washi tape to create stripes, and patterns, or even spell out words on your pinwheel. I like to use red, white, and blue tape for a patriotic look that’s perfect for July 4th celebrations

Attach your pinwheel to a dowel rod or pencil using tape or glue. Then, head outside and let the warm summer breeze bring your creation to life. Watch as the pinwheel spins and dances, catching the light and adding a pop of color to your day. 

You can experiment with different colors and patterns to match any theme or holiday. So grab some washi tape and let your creativity soar this summer. These pinwheels are sure to bring a smile to your face and a fun touch to your warm-weather fun.

Key Takeaway: 

Make summer memorable with easy crafts like pressed flower bookmarks and pom-pom caterpillars. Use simple materials to create unique keepsakes, from rustic picture frames to playful rock paperweights. Get outdoors with nature collage suncatchers or brighten up your space with clothespin dragonflies and colorful pinwheels. 

FAQs in Relation to Summer Crafts

How to make a summer project?

Pick something you love, gather your materials, and break it down into small steps.

What are the best crafts to make money?

Crafts that sell well include personalized jewelry, home decor items, handmade soaps and candles, and unique art prints.

What can I make as arts and crafts?

You can create anything from simple greeting cards to intricate sculptures. Start with what interests you most.


Wow, can you believe how many incredible summer crafts we just explored? From the adorable paper plate ice cream cones to the mesmerizing sand art jars, your kids are going to have a blast creating these projects.

Let your little ones get creative this summer with these awesome crafts! Not only will they have a blast, but they’ll also develop their fine motor skills and make lasting memories.

So go ahead, gather up those craft supplies, and watch your kids’ faces light up as they dive into these fun projects. Who knows, you might even find yourself joining in on the crafting fun!

Don’t forget – playtime, giggles, and unforgettable memories are what make summer truly special. 

Afterschool.org is on a mission to transform what afterschool programming looks like for students whether is providing fun summer activities during their summer program or just fostering an inclusive learning environment. Join the mission by starting a high-quality afterschool program near you.

Last Updated on May 8, 2024 by Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala

Miranda Zavala is currently a student at California State University of San Bernardino earning her degree in Design with a concentration in marketing. Miranda enjoys inspiring students, and helping them find their passion just like her.

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