During the summer, it can be easy for kids to forget all the great lessons their teachers gave them during the school year! On a warm, summer day, the last thing kids want to do is sit down to learn something.
To keep their brains sharp over the summer months and make sure that they’re out enjoying the sunshine and having fun at the same time, try these fun crafts!
2. Sun-dried handmade tiles: This activity is a great excuse to get a little messy and creative! The tiles are made from scratch using salt, flour, and water. Mix ¾ cup salt, 1 ½ cups flour, and ½ cup water in a mixing bowl, and knead for two minutes. Kids are great helpers for this step! Once the mixture is well mixed, press it out like you would dough. To create impressions, you can use a rubber stamp with designs like a flower, sunshine, animals, or whatever your child picks out. Afterwards, use acrylic paint to decorate the design, and place the tile on a tray. Leaving it in direct sunlight for several hours, wait until the sun dries the paint and hardens the tile, leaving you with a great piece for your garden, or your home!
3. Paper plate sundials: To make this craft, all you need is a paper plate, markers, craft sticks or Popsicle sticks, and a hot glue gun. On the inside of the paper plate, have your child use the markers to draw a pattern that they choose. A round image like a sun, or flower, works best. Use a ruler to locate the center of the plate and make a small ‘x’. This is where the craft stick will go. Put a small drop of hot glue over the ‘x’ and position the craft stick vertically and hold it straight for a few seconds until the glue dries. Around the edge, write the numbers 1 through 12 to represent the time of day, and keep the sundial outside. This is a great way to get outdoors, be creative, and learn to tell time!
4. Shadow drawings: For this activity, you’ll need a sheet of drawing paper, pencils, and markers. Have your child find several small items (animal figurines work best) with interesting shapes that will cast a fun shadow. Head to a sunny spot and look where the shadow falls. Put the paper directly under the shadow and use a marker to outline carefully. This will give your child practice at drawing and tracing, and allow them to use their imagination to fill in the colors!
5. Melted crayon window hanging: To create this fun window hanging that explores how light can change color, you’ll need one sheet of white paper, 4 to 5 small bits of crayons in various colors, a crayon sharpener or cheese grater, scissors, tape, a hole puncher, and string. To make the window hanging, grate or sharpen the crayon bits and create a pile of shaving that can be melted down. Place the shavings on the piece of paper. Remember, you don’t need to use the oven for this – you can take the shavings outside on a warm day and leave them on a metal pan in the direct sun! Once the shavings have melted, let the paper cool in some shade, and then remove it from the metal pan. Punch a hole near the edge and use the string to create a loop. Hang this in the window and enjoy the rainbow!
These activities are all great ways to get your child outdoors and keep them exploring during the summer months, especially if they’re planning to go to preschool in Ann Arbor in the fall!
If you’re looking for a great preschool and daycare in the Ann Arbor area, we want to hear from you! Little Angels Preschool & Daycare is the trusted and preferred center for kids in the Washtenaw area. We believe in letting kids explore and use their imaginations to learn and grow. For more information, visit our website!