Summer vacation can be loads of fun, but there’s bound to be a time when your child gets bored. To avoid rainy-day whining, try these fun arts and crafts projects to fill up a long afternoon. Your kids will have fun making them, and you’ll get to decorate your backyard and patio to make those sunny days even more lovely.
Homemade Bird Feeders
Summer is a great time to enjoy nature, and you can attract some beautiful birds to your back yard with a bird feeder or two. For an environmentally friendly bird feeder, start by cutting an orange in half and scooping out the fruit, leaving the rind intact. You now have two “bowls” to use for bird feeders.
Use a knife to poke four evenly-spaced holes about a half inch below the cut edge of the orange. Thread a two-foot length of biodegradable twine through two opposite holes and repeat with a separate string for the remaining holes so that you’ve created an X across the inside of your orange rind. Tie the four strings together to create a hanger; then fill the bowl with mixed birdseed and hang from a nearby tree for the birds to enjoy.
Melted Crayon Suncatchers
Looking for a way to use up broken crayons? Set your kids to work with a crayon sharpener or box grater to make shavings of their favorite colors, then arrange the shavings in colorful patterns or designs on a piece of wax paper. Cover the finished design with a second sheet of wax paper and iron on low heat to melt the crayon shavings and seal the wax paper to create a stained glass look. Pro tip: Use several sheets of newspaper to protect your ironing board; cover the wax paper with newspaper to protect your iron.
Once the designs have cooled, place them in an embroidery hoop and trim the excess paper away. Hang the colorful suncatchers indoors or outside.
Mason Jar Lanterns
If you have some old Mason jars lying around, let your kids decorate them to use as lanterns on warm summer nights. Use acrylic paints and have them design the exterior of the jar anyway they wish. Cut an 18-inch length of twine and tie each end to the silver ring of the jar. When the paint is dry, screw the ring in place to create a handle to carry the lantern. Use a battery-powered tea light inside the jar for a portable lantern to hang from fence posts or to use as a picnic table centerpiece. Your kids will also love carrying them around for backyard adventures at dusk!