Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Warm Weather: Arts & Crafts

June 3, 2013 16:25 by Barbara Shelby


 Updated June 2013

Page 1 : Arts and Crafts 



Hang a long piece of bulletin board paper on your outside fence. Place pans of paint and Koosh balls on the ground. Encourage the children to throw the Koosh balls at the paper. This makes a great design and is a lot of fun. If possible have the children do this activity in the bathing suits so you can hose them off when they are done.

Sprinkle unsweetened Kool-Aid on a piece a paper. Have the children move a piece of ice over the Kool-Aid. Watch as the Kool-Aid turns to liquid and makes a yummy smelling picture.

Even if you don’t have a sandbox, this sand-painting craft is guaranteed to give your kids hours of summertime fun.
You need:
Sandbox or large dishpans filled halfway with sand (fill a few pans to share)
Spray bottles filled with water
Food coloring
Small sand shovels
1.  Add 20 or more drops of food coloring to spray bottles to make colored water.
2.  At the sand area give children several bottles of colored water. As they spray, the sand will change color, creating a wonderful painting.
3.  If the kids want to ‘paint’ a new picture, direct them to mix under the top layer with their shovels. Be sure to protect clothing from the food color!
SAFETY NOTE: Most commercially sold play sand is actually powder from quarried quartz – a substance known by OSHA to cause lung disease. You can purchase safe sand from companies like

Hang a long piece of bulletin board paper on your outside fence. Give the children bottles of colored water and have them squirt the paper. For young children, this is a lot of fun and a great way to see how secondary colors are made. Example: Spraying blue and yellow water on the paper make a beautiful green design.

Cut out a large piece of paper and put it in the bottom of a very small plastic pool. Place golf balls dipped in different paint colors on the paper. Together the children can hold the edges of the pool and roll the golf balls around. This makes a great design when you are done.


GRASS TEXTURES... Have kids paint green designs on white construction paper. While the paint is still wet-have them sprinkle on grass clippings.


Take painting outdoors and transform an old white sheet into a wonderful work of art!
You need: An old solid color bed sheet, Tempera paints, Paint brushes
Squirt bottles, Sponges
1.  Start by soaking an old sheet in water and then hanging it on a clothesline or drape it over a fence.
2.  Get out various tempera paints and applicators -- sponges, paintbrushes, squirt bottles -- and creating pictures or colorful designs. You can also mute and mix colors with a water-filled spray bottle.
3. Whenever you don't like what you see, just hose down the canvas and start over.
4.  For art on a smaller scale, try the same techniques with a pillowcase or an old T-shirt.

You can also do this painting a long sheet of role paper attached to a fence or on the ground. (See below)







Hang a long piece of bulletin board paper on your outside fence. Place pans of paint and Koosh balls, blown up balloons and fly swatters on the ground. (Good idea to place all on a plastic drop cloth of some type--clean up time is simply picking up the plastic cloth and throwing it away!) 



Encourage the children to throw, swat and stamp the paper!  If possible have the children do this activity in the bathing suits so you can hose them off when they are done.

This sample is from an outside summer birthday party--it's also great fun if there is a toddler or two visiting.  One two year old--spent most of 2 hours walking back and forth dipping a balloon bottom in the paint and stamping! (Barb) Image by


OUTDOOR WATER PAINTING: On a hot summer day give your children outdoor paint brushes and buckets of water. Let them paint the sidewalk, walls, etc.


Materials: Box,
Dried beans
Old socks
Make "bean bags" out of the socks and dried beans. Put the paper in the bottom on the box; dip your sock in the paint and hold above the box...then drop! Splat!!! :-) The Thinner paint will make a bigger splash
The box acts as a splash mess!





Try corn, strawberries, pears, cucumbers, radishes, oranges, carrots, beans, lemon, cauliflower, peppers, avocado, mushroom, apples, shapes carved in a potato
Paper towels for drying fruit and vegetables
Newspapers, cloth or paper for printing.

Cut fruits and vegetables. Dip them in paint and print. That's it!


BUBBLE GUM ART--Summer Day-Camp  Fun!
Is this gross? It's fun to throw in the unexpected...this could certainly be classified as that!

1.  Give each participant a piece of bubble gum to chew, a toothpick and an index card.
2.  Allow them 10 minutes to chew the gum, place their gum on index card and then design something on the index card using only the toothpick as a tool (No Hands---but still have kids wash their hands thoroughly before they start!)
3.  The person with the best and most creative design is the winner. If you have quite a few players you can have several categories of winners, such as “Most ingenious”, “Most creative,” "Longest", "Tallest", and of course the “What is that?” Award
4.  Need it be added-no more putting it back it the mouth! LOL




Good for any summer day-but great way to celebrate 'National Blueberry Month' during July!
1.  Give children blueberries to look at, touch, smell, and taste. (Good for the young)
2.  After the children have observed the blueberries add a little water to them and cook them in the microwave for one minute.
3.  Have children mush them up. Use the blueberry juice to paint a beautiful blue blueberry picture. 




On a sunny day take some chalk outside and have children trace each others and your SHADOW. When the outline is complete fill the shadow in with facial features and whatever you are wearing.



1.  Give each child a piece of wax paper.
2.  Have them make squiggles and different designs with the glue. Then sprinkle the glue with colors sand.
3.  After the glue has dried (overnight) peel the design off of the waxed paper.
4.  Hang the creations around the room.


Materials: Sandbox Sand, White Glue, Small Shells…
1.  Mix sand and glue until sand is syrupy.
2.  Pour the mixture into a bowl, plate, cup, etc.
3.  Push shells into the mixture to form a sculpture.
4.  Let this dry undisturbed; it may take a couple of days.
5.  When dry--the glue converts the sand to a plaster.





Have children take a large blue piece of construction paper and draw, color, paint a landscape or summer scene. Glue on clumps of white fluffy cotton balls to create cotton clouds in any shape desiered. Add a bright shining sun in the sky!




Collect different magazines with pictures related to summer. Have the children cut out pictures of what they like about summer. Have them glue their pictures to a bright piece and then tell you what their favorite things about summer are. If they can't write---write what they say under the collage.




  Give each child a piece of construction paper, and have them draw a picture or write words with the glue. Make sure that they do not put gobs of glue in any one spot.
2.  Before the glue dries, with the hand, pour/put sand onto the glue. Let it sit for a few minutes and then shake off the excess sand.
3.  It should dry flat for about a half an hour depending on how much glue was used.
TIP: This can also be done with colored sand--but for those on a budget--regular sand works just as well. 


You can get color by collecting items from nature, such as grasses, leaves, and berries!
1.  Cut a 7" x 14" piece of muslin.
2.  Place the items on one half of the fabric, then fold the other half over.
3.   Have the children pound the items through the muslin with a small hammer or mallet.
(This will make a wonderful hanging)


What you need:
  •  Jar
  •  Old Crayons in bright colors
  •  Scissors
  •  Aluminum foil
  •  Ribbon
What you do:
1.  Choose two or three different crayons into small pieces. If you use a large jar, you will need more crayons than if your jar is small. (Three crayons will cover a baby food jar.)
2.  Tear off a square piece of aluminum foil. Place the foil outside in hot direct sunlight. Sprinkle the crayons on the foil.
3.  The crayons will melt quickly, so be ready with your jar. Do not wait until the crayons are completely melted or they will blend together to make a muddy color.
4.  When they have melted, but still have some lumps in them, roll the jar around in the melted crayons to coat it. When you are happy with the design on the jar, take it to a cool place. The crayon will harden and set almost immediately.
5.  Tie a bow around the neck of the jar


 NO HOT SUN for Melted Crayon Jars?
  •  Place crayons on foil in 350 oven- not very long-watch them. They melt fairly quickly.
  •  Move foil off the hot cookie sheet and down to newspaper on the floor and have child roll the jar in it. You might want your child to wear some old gloves to protect fingers. The crayon gets hotter doing it this way.
  •  You can also try having child sprinkle crayon bits over inverted jar bottom and place both in oven. It will run down the sides nicely.
  •  This technique looks great on rocks, too. It coats them in a rainbow of wax. Hope these will work for you! 


A fun alternative to sidewalk chalk.
1.  You will need equal portions of water and corn starch. Mix well.
2.  Add a drop of your favorite food coloring color!
3.  Paint this wonderful concoction on the sidewalk. Give it a few minutes to dry and you'll have a wonderful work of ART! 


1. Collect a variety of nature items:
    Sea shells, dried wheat, grasses, flowers, sand, rocks, pebbles, bark, twigs, seeds, and small branches.
2. Put these out with glue and sanitized foam trays for the children to create! 


Need a Box of Froot Loops Cereal...
1.  Have children sort the colors.
2.  Put the different colors into baggies and crush them till powdery.
3.  Put individual layers in a baby food jar, or clear plastic or glass bottles… as you would colored sand.
TIP: This is good for younger children without the hazard of sand…Older kids may also like as a novelty :-)


  •  Cooking pot
  •  Mixing bowl
  •  Large mixing spoon   Measuring cup
  •  Plastic bag
  •  plastic trays or paper plates
  •  2/3 cup water
  •  2 cups salt
  •  1/2 cup water
  •  1 cup cornstarch
1.  To prepare sun clay, place the salt in the pot and add 2/3 cup water. 2.  Stir and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat.
3.  Gradually mix 1/2 cup water with cornstarch in a separate container. Stir until smooth, then add to the salt mixture.
4.  Return to low heat and, while stirring, cook until smooth. The beauty of this clay is that when it hardens in the sun, it doesn't crumble like play dough.
5.  Store in a sealed plastic bag. 


If possible, take this project outside. Provide children with a plastic tray or paper plate to work on. Give each child a glob of clay to model. Encourage children to search nearby for natural objects they can use to decorate their sun sculptures. Place the finished products in the sun. Predict how long it will take for the sculptures to dry.





Sunprints made with special sunprint papar and supples can be beautiful (See first (blue) photo) but you can also make them using construction paper as the second red and puple photo indicates...


CONSTRUCTION PAPER SUN PRINTS: Taped to a sunny window
Cut shapes from paper, and spread re-stickable glue on the back, then stick them to the construction paper.
Tape the paper to a sunny window, facing out, and leave for at least a week (longer for higher contrast), then peel off cutouts.
You can also lay three-dimensional objects (try rickrack, toothpicks, or buttons) flat on a piece of construction paper in a
sunny place where they will not be disturbed.

SUN PRINTS MADE OUTSIDE with Construction Paper
1.  Have children place colored construction paper out in the sun----Then have them put various shaped objects on the paper; such as, silverware, flowers, keys, a toothbrush, a box, etc.
2.  Leave everything out in the sun until the colored paper fades.
When the objects are removed, you should find prints of colored shapes on the paper. Take the paper inside, so it won't fade more.

Materials: Colored construction paper, leaves gathered from yard, glue stick, masking tape, picture frames.
1. Dab a bit of glue onto the back of a leaf, and attach to a piece of construction paper (we pre-trimmed ours to fit a 5"7" frame).
2. Tape the paper to a sunny window, with the leaf facing out. Leave up for THREE TO FOUR days, or UNTIL YOU NOTICE that the paper's color has faded. (The above directions say a week or longer--I think that time estimate would be more accurate)
3. Remove from window and gently peel leaf off to reveal the print. Frame and hang.
This version from Parents Magazine, August 2005

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Having a party, celebration--or just want to make something pretty?
MAKE A LEI. They aren't only for a Hawaiian theme!
Lay out pre-cut long pieces of string, twine, raffia, or fishing line---
long-tube pasta, and plastic or fabric tropical flowers.
The kids can string together the flowers and pasta to make a fun to wear lei necklace.


Craft foam
Sharpened pencil
Elastic cording
Red-and-white striped straws or drink stirrers
Time needed: About 1 Hour
1. Cut out craft foam stars and use a sharpened pencil to poke a hole in the middle of each one.
2. String them onto a length of elastic cording, alternating the stars with sections of straw or drink stirrer. Knot and wear.


Hang an array of colorful twirlers from a window frame, tree, ceiling or front porch. (I made some and they're really fun!) See sample photograph on this page of site.

Plastic coffee can lids (Lids come in a variety of colors)

1. To make one, use a nail to poke a hole in the center of a plastic coffee can lid.
2. WITH A MARKER, draw a spiral that starts 3/8 inch FROM THE HOLE (it keeps going around itself in circular pattern) and gradually extends to the rim---then cut along the line with scissors.
3. Knot an end of a piece of string, thread the other end up through the hole in the center, and the twirler is ready to hang up and spin.
To spin, grasp each one at the bottom, twirl it around and around until the string is wound tight, let go and enjoy the show.


5 pompoms
1 wiggle eye
1 craft stick
1.  Glue the pompoms to the craft stick.
2.  Glue eye to first pompom.
3.  You can glue a small piece of red yarn for a mouth if you like.
4.  Attach magnet to back.






  • Color an underwater scene on the "eating" side of a paper plate.
  • Glue goldfish crackers or cut-out pictures from coloring pages to the scene, a couple pieces of plastic plant for seaweed, and using glue and a little sand or soft dirt, make the sea floor.
  • Using a second paper plate, cut a circle in the middle.
  • Cut a circle of blue plastic wrap 1 inch in diameter larger than your hole in the plate.
  • On the "eating" side of this plate, glue the blue plastic wrap so that it covers and overlaps the hole on the plate.
  • Glue or staple both plates together with "eating" side toward the inside.
  • Punch a hole in the top and string a piece of yarn through the hole to hang your aquarium from the ceiling.



Cake pans in a shape you would like, sand dough, paint, cooking spray, paint
1. Spray the cake pans with cooking spray --Vaseline also works.
2. Fill it with sand dough. (
Sand dough recipes are below)
3. Let dry for 3 days.
4. Children can paint the stepping stones when they come out of the pan. You can also Varathane the stones to weatherproof.

1 part white glue
2 parts flour
2 parts sand
2 parts water
Mix together to create a dough. You may need to add water or flour depending on the consistency.
Add sand to quick set cement and follow the instructions for mixing the cement. Use this recipe when you have a mold or have created a pattern in the sand.


Items collected on a nature walk
Plastic dish pan
Rubber gloves
Spray bottle
A plain, bright-colored cotton t-shirt for each person

1. First gather materials to make the Summer T-Shirt--Take the kids on a nature walk. They are to find natural objects like leaves, flowers and shells of interesting shapes. The color or inner structure will not be seen, only the outline, so the goal is wide variety of silhouettes.
2. The actual "work" on the shirt needs to be outside. Bring all the items to a central, open location.
3. Lay all the shirts flat on the ground. Each person will place the objects they have found on their shirts and anchor them with small stones.
4. Fill the spray bottle with bleach. An adult wearing rubber gloves should do this. Aim the bottle at the shirts and spray each one lightly, covering the entire surface.
5. Let the shirts stand until the color begins to pale. This will not take long--only one or two minutes.
6. Remove the objects from the shirts and immediately rinse them out in plain water. The outlines of the objects should be clearly visible.
7. Wash and dry the shirts according the label directions. Wear the shirts all summer long.

IDEA: Variations on the T-shirt project include using cut-out hand prints made by kids, letters and shapes such as hearts, musical notes and geometrics.
CAUTION: This project uses chemicals (bleach) and requires adult supervision. It must be done outdoors and the steps need to be performed in order as directed to avoid accidents or injury.


2 old CD's
Tacky glue
Yellow construction paper
String or yarn
Yellow sharpie marker

  • Cut triangles with about a 1 ½ inch base out of yellow paper.
  • Spread tacky glue onto printed side of CD. Place triangles onto the outer rim of the CD (where the base of the triangle is at the edge, but into the glue).
  • Place the end of the string/yarn onto the glue about 3/4 of the way into the glue, let the rest hang out.
  • Spread a little glue onto the printed side of the other CD. Now sandwich the CD's together (printed side/glue sides together).
  • Write child's name on the CD with the yellow sharpie marker. You have a sparkling sun to hang in a sunny window!



1.  Cut the inside out of a paper plate.
2.  Place clear contact paper over the hole (with the covering removed.)3.  Have each child stick pieces of bright tissue paper all over their contact paper.
3.  When the child is finished--- place another piece of contact paper over the tissue paper. Hang the sun catchers from the ceiling or windows.
1.  Punch a hole at the top of different sized clear lids.
2.  Allow the children to spread glue over the lid and then cover it with bright tissue paper for a stunning sun catcher.
3.  Or... mix corn syrup and a lot of food coloring; paint the lids with this mixture and let dry for a rainbow sun catcher.
4.  With both of these sun catchers, thread a ribbon through the hole and hang in front of your windows.





This is a simple craft made from a paper plate and a child's hand print cutouts.
A paper plate
Yellow construction paper
Glue (or a stapler)
Crayons, paint or markers
Googly eyes (optional)
1. Paint the front side of a paper plate yellow.
2. Trace child's hand on yellow construction paper about 7 times.
3. Cut out the tracings.
4. Glue or staple the hand print tracings to the backside of the plate - the fingers are the sun's rays.
5. Color in the sun, drawing a mouth and a nose. Either draw the eyes or glue on googly eyes.





Makes a nice gift!
Zip--close plastic bag, Wooden or rubber mallet , Smooth, flat rocks about the size of your fist, Aluminum foil or an old pie tin, Felt scraps,
Scissors, White glue


  •  Choose crayons in three or four light or bright colors. Dark crayons will make the color on the rock look muddy.
  • Peel the crayons, put them in the zip-to-close bag, and seal it.
  • Place the bag on a hard surface such as a floor or sidewalk. Using the mallet, pound the crayons into small pieces.
  • Place the rock in the pie tin or on a sheet of aluminum foil in the hot sun. Sprinkle it with the crayon pieces.
  • When the crayon pieces have melted, but before they reach the point that they run off the rock, take the rock out of the sun to cool.
  • The crayon will quickly harden and form a colorful and waxy coat over the rock.
  • Cut a piece of felt to glue to the bottom of the rock to keep it from scratching the table.


The sample photograph is courtesy of World Preschool Mom. The rock was made by a four year old boy; it was colored after being in the oven for about ten minutes. With this method as Deneal states, place the rock on a sheet of foil (with a hot pad or towel under the foil) before decorating with crayons. The hotter the rock, the more runny the wax will be. (Use supervision with this method.)




For each child, tie a long piece of yarn to a plastic berry basket. Have children weave the yarn in and out of the basket holes. If desired, they can also weave in item such as ribbon pieces, pipe cleaners or twine.




No-bake modeling clay (Crayola Model Magic Clay good): Red, yellow, blue
Wooden skewers
Clear crafting lace
1. Pinch off small pieces of modeling clay, one pinch from each color. Start with red and yellow and knead the together long enough for them to form a marbled effect.
2. Once you have the desired effect, roll the clay in your hands into a ball.
3. Slide the clay ball on to a wooden skewer, twisting as you go to create the hole in the bead.
4. Repeat this process for as many beads and as many color combinations as you like.
5. Let the beads dry on the skewer; be sure that they are spaced enough apart so that they are not touching each other.
6. Remove from skewer when dry, about 3-4 hours, and thread onto crafting lace. Tie and wear!
Extension Idea:
These beads make cute key chains as well, key chains are available at your local craft supply store.




Materials: A clean, empty two-liter plastic bottle with a cap, clear vegetable oil, water, a funnel, blue food coloring, shells and sea creatures (available from craft stores- be sure to use lightweight items that float), one teaspoon of glitter, white craft glue and a hot glue gun (to be used ONLY by staff and supervised by staff at all times).

For one "Ocean in a Bottle"

  •  Fill bottle halfway with water.
  • Add a few drops of blue food coloring and swirl around to mix.
  • Add glitter and sea creatures/shells and then fill bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil using a funnel.
  • Make sure that cap and rim are dry--- and then apply white glue around the rim and seal cap.
  • Use a layer of hot glue around the outside edge of the cap for additional protection from leakage.
  • Turn the bottle on its side to create a wave in this ocean habitat! From Kids domain website.




Ocean Treasure"--add coins and beads!
TIP: If you have trouble getting the entire label off - you may want to place a label over it writing the "childrens' names" and "Ocean in a Bottle".


Remember making these when you were in Brownies or Girl Scouts? Children can make them for family members to kneel on during summer gardening! (Good for Camping too!) Also great for your outdoor 'Circle Time". Need:
  •  1 thick magazine or catalog.
  •  Old plastic coated tablecloth
  •  Yarn
  •  Large sewing needle
1. Fold your tablecloth in half. Place your magazine or catalog on the tablecloth. You'll be cutting out 2 squares from this. Cut out a square about 1 1/2-2 inches wider than the magazine. You don't want too much of an edge because then the magazine will slid around too much. The plastic part of the tablecloth will be the outside covering.
2. Take the 2 plastic squares and the one magazine and make a "sandwich " putting the magazine in the middle. You can use large straight pins to hold all the "sandwich" pieces in place. Once you have done this, using the hole punch, make openings equally spaced all around the perimeter of the "sandwich ".
3. Thread the sewing needle with the chosen yarn. Make a knot and start sewing through the holes. This will keep the "sandwich" together. After going all away around the perimeter of the rectangle end with a knot.


1.  Cut a piece of tissue paper or garbage bag into a square, about 12 to 14 inches . Decorate the paper or bag with paint
and markers. Draw your favorite design or print your name on it.
2.  Tape the four corners with masking tape. Hole punch each corner.
3.  Cut four pieces of dental floss or thread of equal amounts---about 15 to 17 inches. Attach to the four corners and allow the string to hang down.
4.  Tie the loose threads together at the bottom leaving approximately 3 1/2 inches to tie your object.
5.  Tie a light toy to the parachute. You can use farm animals, dinosaurs or toy soldiers that are available in bulk at discount stores. The heavier the object the faster it drops to the ground. Experiment with the size of your parachute and the object.
6.  Throw the parachute in the air and watch a picturesque landing.


(Great for Summer camp, Day camp, Home or Family Care!)
Here is a fun summer activity. Brainstorm with children things to hang from a tree in the yard---that will make sounds when the wind blows.
Metal cans
Pie plates
Plastic bottles
Jar lids
Metal utensils
Wooden spoons
Set out some yarn or string for children to use to hang their objects. If you don't have a tree, you could use a sturdy object outside. Love this one!







Have children weave strips of fabric, ribbon or yarn on paper plates. Joing the plates together to make the scales of a fish! Photograph of Display Wall is by Lisa Tregellas at Display Photos.




Make a rainforest liana vine to decorate a room. (Wonderful for summer!) This simple-to-make string makes a great room decoration. It represents a rainforest vine full of leaves, flowers, butterflies, caterpillars, snakes, lizards, and other life. You can drape the colorful string around the classroom, from the ceiling, or over the windows. (Liana is a woody, climbing vine that grows on tree trunks in order to reach sunlight in the rainforest. Rattan, used for making wicker furniture, is made from liana vines.) Supplies needed:
Construction paper (many colors)
Crayons or markers
Glue, tape, or staples
A long piece of green or brown yarn or string

1.  Make some template for the kids to trace...
Example: When you make leaves ---make sure to draw a thick stem on the top (your leaf will hang from this stem, which will be folded over). 2.  Cut out the leaf.
3.  Draw the leaf veins if you wish.
4.  Fold the leaf's stem in half. Attach the leaf to a long string using tape, glue, or staples. Make more leaves and attach them to the string.

Make flowers, butterflies, caterpillars, snakes, and other animals for the vine. A nice way to attach butterflies to the vine is by taping (or stapling) a V-shaped pipe cleaner to the butterfly's head (as its antennae), and then twisting the pipe cleaner to attach it to the vine.
Draw details on your flowers and animals, and attach them to the string (using tape, glue, staples or pipe cleaners).
Hang your rainforest/summer vine across the room for a colorful decoration.
Adapted from EnchantedLearning



Make a SEASIDE SCENE inside a small to medium clear glass vase or bowl.

Use beach sand, shells, small stones, small pieces of driftwood, twigs, the small discarded shell of a crab, etc.,

TIP: Put small glass vases or bowls on your wish list to parents and staff members! I imagine your parents have quite a few vases in their cupboards that they could donate--I get a couple every year with gifts of flowers!



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Go to Page 2 for a 'variety' of Warm Weather Fun Ideas...



Summer Fun-Page 2

July 23, 2010 10:20 by Barbara Shelby

Back to Page 1 for Art & Craft Ideas...


1.  Play hopscotch.
2.  Jump rope. See Jump Rope ideas here on this site.
3.  Take an easel outside and have the kids finger-paint.
4.  Eat strawberry shortcake.
5.  Plant a flower garden.
6.  Have a picnic--or take your snack outside!
7.  Draw with sidewalk chalk.
8.  Read a book together outside. (Under a tree would be nice)
9.  Make a simple bird feeder. Seventeen Ideas here!
10. Play badminton or tennis. How about bocci ball or croquet?
11. Make a collage of all the things you'd like to do together this season.
12. Make personalized garden stones.
13. Start a butterfly garden.
14. Clean and spruce up outdoor toys. Wash them outside...
15. Run in the sprinkler on a hot day.
16. Have a 'Cleaning Party'! Have kids sign-up for what they want to do. When the job is done, 'Celebrate'!
17. Play tag. See outside games
18. Make fresh salsa. Serve with tortilla chips.
19. Make a wind chime or windsocks. See Category here for ideas!
20. Make and fly kites.
21. Each week, try at least one or two NEW outdoors games (Outdoor Games Here...and Outdoor Water Games Here...
22. Make some bubble solution---Blow some bubbles.
23. Eat some watermelon. Save the seeds and have a "seed spitting contest". (Of course each child uses their OWN seeds!) The furthest seed wins!
24. Begin playtime with a "lap" around the play area.
25. Make and fly paper airplanes.
26. Have a Theme Party.
27. Plan your 'summer-end event'!
28. Have an ice-cream social or set up an ice-cream bar!
29. If you don't already have one---Start an Earth-Day EVERY Day Club! Check out the Earth and Green Thread 


Place 'Glow Sticks' in several Balloons.
Place them in your pool at night to create some enchanting floating light.


Offer activities that you normally do 'inside'---and take them 'outside'!

Of course you can always take out bubbles and chalk, written out games with rules, etc., but consider putting a few boxes together that contain...

•Sketch books with your choice of colored pencils, pastel chalk, markers for drawing pictures of trees, flowers, each other, etc.

Embroidery floss and yarn for making friendship bracelets.

Yarn loops and frames for making pot holders; kids can also use the loops to make ropes and belts.

Beads and yarn/elastic for jewelry making.

Bags for collecting nature items for later projects.

Wire for where imagination goes: Sculptures, art, jewelry, etc.

Long sheets of roll paper for murals.

Books to read under a shady tree.

Take a nature walk. When you get back , depending on the age of the child---have them WRITE AND/OR DRAW the things they saw or collected. And on and on..

TIP: If you are a parent, these are also good ideas to do with your kids!



 1.  Have child lay on cement. Outline the body shape in an ACTION pose...fill in the body with realistic clothing and details.
2.  Playing a game with boundaries? Pull out the chalk to mark them on the concrete.
3.  Mark off broad jumps and leaps!
4.  Outline shoes. Who has the largest or smallest foot? 
5.  Hopscotch
6.  A group mural



IDEA: Consider having a JUMP-ROPE MARATHON (DAY OR WEEK...) Keep track of numbers of jumps reached---and the kids try to beat their own highest number by the end of the day or week...


Give each child a scoop or two of ice-cream in a bowl. Have them sit comfortably at a table ...
The fun is that they keep their hands behind their backs and eat the ice-cream with only their mouths! It's NOT a speed eating contest--Just silly fun!

Do this at a family party and have Dad's participate

IDEA: I SCREAM FOR ICE-CREAM!  Pair this up with an ICE-CREAM SOCIAL Teach the kids: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Divide the group into teams (number of teams depends on number of youth) WHICH TEAM CAN SAY IT THE LOUDEST?  Have a third party judge ...


Kid's love this one!!! SUNBAKED S'MORES (Check out warm weather food ideas!)

1.  Have children place one graham cracker sheet in a foil pie plate; sprinkle with chocolate chips, and miniature marshmallows. Cover the pie plate with tin foil (shiny side up), and label tins for each child.
2.   Place outside in a sunny hot place, check after 10 minutes. They are done when the sun has melted the chocolate and marshmallow. Yummy!

Take a shoe box and line the inside with foil (shiny side showing). Then take a kabob skewer and put it through the long way. Put plastic wrap over the top and you have an oven. The most successful things you can cook are marshmallows and hot dogs. Just set outside on a sunny afternoon!!! The kids will find it great fun (Also, you get science and snack all in one). Pizza boxes also make excellant solar ovens.


 MAKE A WATER BALLOON YO-YO...Materials: Balloons, Water, Rubber bands, Markers
First fill the balloon up with water ---but don't make the balloon stretch.
Next, blow the balloon up a little just so its half water and half air. Tie a knot to close the balloon. Take the rubber band and tie it on the end. If you want - decorate it with the markers. Have Fun!




Create and decorate paper-airplanes
Come up with categories for the fun.
Who's can go the farthest? Straightest? Highest?
Can anyone fly it through a hula hoop? Do loops?
Make a 'bull's-eye' similar to what you would use for playing darts; can anyone hit the bulls eye...or the outer circles?


1.  Cut off both ends of a potato.
2.  Stand the potato upright on one of the flat cut surfaces and scoop out a hole in the other end.
3.  Carve out a face on one side of the potato.
4.  Have the children place two cotton balls in the potato’s scooped-out top.
5.  Let them water the cotton balls and sprinkle them with grass or alfalfa seeds.
6.  Place in a sunny spot and watch his hair grow.




Put out a variety of decorating items such as pom-poms, beads, jewels, pipe cleaners, etc. Have kids bring old shoes and watch creativity explode! Depending on the material of the shoes-use either a good white glue or hot glue. Photo from Carleton Place Public Library



In cold weather climates we often have "A Beach Party" Theme in January/February to boost our spirits--BUT don't forget about the theme during sunny weather AND and have it outside! (Great for a 'Good-Bye to Summer' Theme!)

  • Play beach music and beach-ball volley ball; put umbrellas in the drinks, limbo dance, make ice-cream and leis! Check out the Outdoor Water Games Here...


This one is always great for ouside summer fun-the klds never tire of it! MENTOS ERUPTION -- Soda Geyser-- or just Diet Coke and Mentos... This is a reaction between Mentos candy and cola. The experiment involves dropping several Mentos candies (usually 5–8) into a bottle of diet cola resulting in an eruption occurring because of rapidly expanding carbon dioxide bubbles on the surface of the Mentos.

 I recently tried this experiment with three of my grandsons (Ages 6, 8,11-see photo) They all loved it! We quickly put five mentos into the Coke. The reaction starts 'immediately'-so be quick!

If you want an explanation:
There are various theories being debated as to the exact scientific explanation of the phenomenon, many scientists claim that it is a physical reaction and not a chemical one. Water molecules strongly attract each other, linking together to form a tight connection around each bubble of carbon dioxide gas in the soda. To form a new bubble, water molecules must push away from one another. It takes extra energy to break this surface tension. So, in other words, water resists the expansion of bubbles in the soda.

When Mentos are dropped into soda, the gellan gum and gum arabic of the candy dissolves and breaks the surface tension. This disturbs the water connection, so that it takes less work to expand and form new bubbles. Each Mentos candy has thousands of tiny pores over its surface. These tiny pores function as nucleation sites, perfect places for carbon dioxide bubbles to form. As soon as the Mentos enter the soda, bubbles form all over their surface. They quickly sink to the bottom, causing carbon dioxide to be released by the carbonated liquid with which they come into contact along the way. The sudden increase in pressure pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle.

ALKA-SELTZER ROCKET a model rocket fashioned from a 35mm film canister and propelled by the generation of gas from an effervescent liquid. It is often used in science classes to demonstrate principles of chemistry and physics to students.

1.  In the experiment, a film canister is filled with water and an effervescent tablet (commonly Alka-Seltzer) and tightly sealed.
2.  After a short time, the evolved carbon dioxide reaches sufficient pressure to cause the body of the canister to be launched into the air with a popping sound.
3.  The
canister may be elaborated (or not) with paper fins to resemble more closely a real rocket.

Lessons based around the Alka-Seltzer rocket can focus on a number of principles. For example, the students are sometimes asked to experiment with the amounts of water and Alka-Seltzer to find the combination which propels the rocket the greatest distance.
Alternatively they may derive equations to calculate the speed and velocity of the rocket from the distance it travels.



How much water do kids need when playing outside? WHEN IT'S HOT OUTSIDE... and kids are playing sports—or even just actively playing—head off problems by making sure they drink fluids before, during and after activity.

As a guideline, encourage at least 4 ounces of fluid every 15-20 minutes, or whenever there’s a break or time-out. Tip: One ounce equals about one "gulp."  So kids need a minimum of 4 GULPS OF WATER EVERY 20 MINUTES!

In high temperatures, kids don’t sweat as much as adults do, so it’s harder for them to cool off. This makes them more at risk for dehydration and heat exhaustion.


Here's a 'cool' summer/warm weather COMMUNITY SERVICE idea! PENNIES FOR POPSICLES...
Collect pennies and then provide popsicles for a kids' homeless shelter. They'll love it!

 One group collected 19,447 pennies. A lot of popsicles!


ADOPT A TREE! Find a special tree on your playground and explain that your kids can adopt that tree as your “pet” plant. Have a contest to name the tree. (This is a great way to use a graph!)

Take photos of your tree and encourage the children to draw pictures of it during different seasons.

  • Ask children to hug your tree. What does it feel like? What does it smell like? Can you hear your tree?
  • Measure the tree...  
  • Read books, have picnics, or sing songs under your tree.



Materials: Piece of 12" square cardboard, an empty thread sppol, a pencil, white glue

Glue the spool in the middle of the cardboard. Put the pencil in the hole in the spool. On a sunny day--Put the cardboard and pencil in a sunny spot at 8:00 a.m. Write the number 8 where the pencil shadow ends on the cardboard. Do the same at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m., etc., until it gets dark. You now have a solar clock! OR...

LOOKING AT THE SUN...You should never look directly at the sun--but there's a safe way to see the sun's light. You'll need two index cards, and scissors. Poke a small hole in one index card so that sunlight can shine through it. Hold another card below the hole so that the sunlight shines on it!

Back to Page 1 for SUMMER Art and Craft Ideas!

Also, be sure to check out the 'category list' on the left side of the page. There are loads of ideas and themes under 'Seasons' Spring and Summer!


Sand Theme-Inside and Outside

May 21, 2009 20:37 by Barbara Shelby



Bowls, Buckets, Cars & Trucks, Colander, Cookie Cutters, Funnels, Ladles, Magnifying Glass, Measuring Cups, Molds of different shapes, Muffin tins, Natural Materials: Seeds, shells, pebbles, sticks, Pails, Plastic animals, dishes, people--Rake, Rolling Pin, Scale, Scoops, Shovels, Sieve, Sifters, Spoons, Strainer


SENSORY TABLE TIP  Yes, this is a 'Sand Theme' however-- along with the above-- You could add Beans, Seeds, Pasta, Rice, Ice cubes, Snow, Dirt and Worms, Packing Peanuts, Cotton Balls, Instant Potato Flakes, Oatmeal and Shaving Cream. Have mittens available if playing with snow and ice in the table or tubs.



Even if you don’t have a sandbox, this sand-painting craft is guaranteed to give your kids hours of warm weather fun.
You need:
Sandbox or large dishpans filled halfway with sand (fill a few pans to share)
Spray bottles filled with water
Food coloring
Small sand shovels
1.  Add 20 or more drops of food coloring to spray bottles to make colored water.
2.  At the sand area give children several bottles of colored water. As they spray, the sand will change color, creating a wonderful painting.
3.  If the kids want to ‘paint’ a new picture, direct them to mix under the top layer with their shovels. Be sure to protect clothing from the food color!

SAFETY NOTE: Most commercially sold play sand is actually powder from quarried quartz – a substance known by OSHA to cause lung disease. You can purchase safe sand from companies like

  Give each child a piece of construction paper, and have them draw a picture or write words with the glue. Make sure that they do not put gobs of glue in any one spot.
2.  Before the glue dries, with the hand, pour/put sand onto the glue. Let it sit for a few minutes and then shake off the excess sand.
3.  It should dry flat for about a half an hour depending on how much glue was used.
TIP: This can also be done with colored sand--but for those on a budget--regular sand works just as well. 



1 cup sand  and 1 T. powdered paint

Mix and put into a shaker.
Put glue design onto paper-Shake sand onto the glue


cup sand
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup boiling water
Mix ingredients together and knead.


#2 To make a similar recipe Cassie in Michigan uses:

2 Cups Sand
1 Cup Cornstarch
1 Cup Water

• Play sand comes in a variety or colors. A 50lb bag of play sand is usually about $5.00.
• To use the entire 50 pounds, you'd need 24 boxes of cornstarch.
• It may not make perfect sand castles, but is fun to squeeze, squish, bury things, make hand prints & other shapes. Some have said their castles came out nicely! Let us know!


1 part white glue
• 2 parts flour
• 2 parts sand
• 2 parts water
Mix together to create a dough. You may need to add water or flour depending on the consistency.



4 cups of play table sand
3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup of water
Put all ingredients in a large container and mix well...


Add sand to quick set cement and follow the instructions for mixing the cement. Use this recipe when you have a mold or have created a pattern in the sand.


HOMEMADE 'MOON' SAND (Way cheaper than buying it!)
1 1/2 cups water
3 cups corn starch
6 cups play sand
Optional: Add package of Kool-aid if want it colored

Recipe for 1 batch...

1. First thoroughly mix together the sand,cornstarch and water. It will take a few minutes to get it smooth. Really work it in with your fingers...and then it's done!

2. You may need to add a bit more water--but be careful and add just a small amound at a time; it could get goopy.

3. When done--Place in an an airtight container. Next time, revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.


Materials: Sandbox Sand, White Glue, Small Shells…
1.  Mix sand and glue until sand is syrupy.
2.  Pour the mixture into a bowl, plate, cup, etc.
3.  Push shells into the mixture to form a sculpture.
4.  Let this dry undisturbed; it may take a couple of days.
5.  When dry--the glue converts the sand to a plaster.






Need: Baby food jars or other jars, colored sand or sand and tempera paint

If not using purchased colored sand, combine the sand with the dry tmepera paint. Make a variety of colors. Salt also works for white.

Layer the different colors of sand into the jar. (Using small funnels to put the sand into the jars keep areas neat.) You can also use a straw or kabob stick to 'poke' through desired layers of sand to make designs


Bottles (Such as peanut butter jars, baby food jars, etc.)
Sea Creatures or _______
Water and salt
1. Put sand and small rocks in a bottle.
2. Add small plastic sea creatures and grass (seaweed)
3. Put in water and salt.
4. Tip: Super glue lids shut to keep secure. (Submitted by Cassie/Mi.)


Decide where to make your sand footprints. You can use a sandbox or a deep box filled with sand.  If you are at the beach-- the damp, hard-packed sand near the water's edge works best. If the sand is dry, add water to make sure that it is firm and will hold the shape.

1. To make the foot prints--place foot hard into sand so the imprint is at least 1/2 inch deep.
2. Mix the plaster according to the instructions on the package until it is thick.
3. Fill the foot imprint with the plaster mixture, pouring slowly so the mold remains intact.
4. While the plaster is drying --cut  wire into 2 inch or 5 cm pieces.  Bend in the middle to create a hanger. As the plaster begins to harden, push the hanger into the plaster. (If you will be casting both of the child's feet--use wire that is about 6 inches long and shape each end of the wire into a "L" shape before you insert into the plaster.)

When the plaster should form and harden in about 45 minutes. Gently lift the shape from the sand; clean the sand from it.
Allow the foot print to dry for at least one hour-- or follow instructions on plaster mix for drying time.
When dry it's ready to decorate as desired. Example: Paint it and then glue on beads, etc.



Cut off the bottom of a milk jug and put it aside for another activity. Glue the lids onto the tops of the jugs to make scoops. Have children decorate the scoops with colored glue and permanent markers.


1Give each child a piece of wax paper.
2.  Have them make squiggles and different designs with the glue. Then sprinkle the glue with colored sand.
3.  After the glue has dried (overnight) peel the design off of the waxed paper.
4.  Hang the creations around the room



2 Graham crackers
Chocolate sprinkles
1.  Place graham crackers in a plastic sandwich bag and crush with a rolling pin.
2.  Add a few chocolate sprinkles to make ants, then seal the bag.
3.  Give the bag to the kids to take outside to eat; they can also pour it into a small bowl and eat at the table (Using their fingers, of course.)

Add raisins (Call them beetles)
Red Hots candy (ladybugs)
Mini chocolate chips (spider eggs).
1 Serving


SAND CUPS #1 - Kids love them!

2 c Cold Milk
1 pk Jello pudding mix (4 serve)
8 oz cool whip, thawed
12 oz Vanilla wafers, crushed
8 7oz clear plastic cups
Choice of Mini umbrellas, gummy bears, worms, star fish, etc.

1. Pour milk into large bowl.
2. Add pudding mix. Beat with a whisk until well blended, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Let stand 5 minutes.
4. Stir in topping
5. Place 1 tablespoon crushed cookies into each cup. Fill cups 3/4 full with pudding mix. Top with remaining cookies.
6. Refrigerate for one hour.
7. Before serving- decorate with some of the above...
8. Makes 8 servings.

If you're making a batch of Sand Cups and feeling creative--serve it from a  child's new sand pail and scoop it out with the shovel!


ANT HILL-- Make  edible ant hills in cups!
Use clear plastic punch cups to see the layers.
1. For the 'dirt" layer--first put chocolate pudding into the cup.
2. Crush graham crackers in a plastic Ziploc bag and pour the crumbs into the cup for the anthill "sand".
3. Add chocolate chips or raisins for the "ants".



Low on time???
Try this version from Kraft Canada using purchased pudding cups! How easy can it get!

Ingredients for one serving...
1 Honey Maid Graham Cracker/Wafer
1  Jell-O Ready-to-Eat Vanilla Pudding Snack Cup (can also use chocolage pudding cups) 
3 Teddy Grahams
Ring-shaped hard candies or cereal
1 worm-shaped chewy fruit snack (optional) 

  • Crush graham wafer; sprinkle over pudding snack.
  • Top with remaining ingredients.
  • Garnish with paper umbrella.
  • Recipe and photo credit Kraft Canada




LOOK AT SAND (Inside or Outside)
1. Put a few pinches of sand onto white construction paper.
2. Instruct children see what the sand looks like using a magnifying glass.
3. Note the difference between grains of sand. (Size of grains Colors and Light reflection)



Materials: Sand, gardening soil, egg carton, seeds
Grow a garden in an egg carton. fill one side with sand and the other side with soil. Bury a seed in each cup for a side-by-side comparison. Which seeds started growing first...and which grew the fastest, strongest and tallest?


Make one of the above 'SAND DOUGH RECIPES'...  ARTS & CRAFTS.  Anything starting out liquid and becoming solid is science...this includes all play dough and much of cooking...(Recipes also found in Play Dough Category)


Hide metal objects in dry sand to see if the magnet can find them. After, extend the activity by adding water to the sand. Will the magnet still find the metal objects? Next, put the magnets in tubs/pails of water. Will the magnet attract the metal?





    Required: Sand Play area, Numbered tags and prizes
    Players: Small to medium groups.

Play this game at a sandy area like a volleyball court or large sandbox. The object of the game is to hide small tags or slips of paper that have been labeled, in the sand. There are two options for labeling the slips of paper.

One would be using a point system by labeling the tags 2 points, 5 points, and/or 10 points.

Bury the tags with the higher points deeper in the sand, so that it takes a little bit more effort to find them.
A point system would work better for a small group. For each player you should make and bury about 5-8 tags.
The other option rather than the point system for labeling tags is winning a prize.

Purchase various prizes for the group to win from small items like candy pieces, bags of chips and cracker snacks, to large items that might have even been donated. Have each number on the tags represent a different prize.
By Bob Brickner at


Have children pretend to be gold miners.
Paint very small rocks, gold.
Hide them in the sand.
Give children small sifters to sift through the sand looking for gold.


What child wouldn’t like searching for dinosaur bones?
    1. Save old chicken bones.
    2. Clean in hot soapy water.
    3. Hide the bones in the sand.
    4. Give children small brushes to brush through the sand searching for bones.


Need Containers, Paper Plates and Sand

Divide the group into two (or more) teams and line them up.

Have the first person in each line grab a handful of sand from a container. They must pass the sand to the next player, who passes it to the next, and so on down the line.

When the sand reaches the last player, he/she pours what is left of it on a plate. The team with the most sand wins the game. (You may have to weigh the sand on a food scale if it's close.)




1. Form groups of 3 or 4 children to a team.
2. Set up a time limit and challenge youth to create a castle or village.
3. Creations can be judged based on:  teamwork, creativity, largest, smallest, tallest structures, most unique, originality, style, etc.

Suggestions: If possible, offer a variety of sand-types.

Extension Ideas: The challenge can also be for kids to build their sculptures on the current theme--such as Medieval, Country around the worlds, Sports, etc. Have children create stories to go along with their creations.


Don't forget about TAKING OUT THE SMALL CARS AND TRUCKS! Encourage children to build roads, hills, and bridges. This can be an organized activity where childrens' creativity is challenged! Can they add a small Lego or Lincoln Log village, action figures and other props?


There may also be some ideas in the STONES, ROCKS, AND PEBBLES THEME (Geology) that you could combine with Sand Ideas...OR... THE OCEAN THEME