10 Creative Ideas to Keep Kids Busy All Summer Long

For when those lazy days of summer start to feel a little too lazy.

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School's out, people! And as anyone who has ever spent any time with a kid in the summer knows, it only takes a minute for end-of-year celebrations to turn into that dreaded two-word sentence. You know the one. The one that you always fear is coming. The one that drives you crazy just hearing it. The one that makes you feel exhausted just anticipating how you might rectify the oh-so-common situation.

Bored Kids

Bored Kids

Two siblings bored in the park. Laying down with face in hands.

Photo by: WhitneyLewisPhotography

WhitneyLewisPhotography

The very first “I’m bored” of summer might actually be the worst one of all. Because we all know it doesn’t stop there. You’ll be hearing that nagging phrase for months to come … but not anymore, friends! To save you from this yearly plight, we’ve rounded up all of our favorite kid-friendly activities to keep your not-so-stimulated sweeties occupied, entertained, and dare we say, amazed?

DIY Squishy Soap

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DIY Squishy Soap 01:00

This colorful soap makes hand washing good clean fun.

Not only is this colorful squishy soap super fun to use, but it’s simple enough that kids can definitely lend a hand or even make the soap themselves. Consider this the summer of clean hands.

DIY Chalk Flowers

DIY Chalk Flowers 00:54

Learn how to make colorful chalk flowers that kids will love.

Sure, you can buy chalk in the store. But kids will take pride in knowing they made these adorable two-toned masterpieces all by themselves.

Pounded Flower Scarf

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DIY Pounded Flower Scarf 00:52

Use fresh flowers to make a beautiful floral-patterned scarf.

Let kids collect vibrant flowers from around the yard and assist you with this incredible project. They’ll love the process and learn a new skill while they’re at it. Pounded flower backpack, anyone?

DIY Felt Veggie Garden

DIY Felt Veggie Garden 01:43

Give your kids a new, educational play area with this felt veggie garden.

If you don’t have access to a garden outside, this is definitely the next best thing. Educational and adorable, this sweet garden is the ideal project for your littlest babes.

Kite Bow Holder

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DIY Decorative Kite Bow Holder 01:26

Leftover wrapping paper can be repurposed into a fun decorative kite for a bow holder or simple wall decor.

Tired of never being able to find the right hair accessory when you need it? The is a cute project that kids can help with and you both will benefit from later. Not to mention, it couldn’t be cuter as a colorful wall accessory.

Edible Cookie Dough

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Four Tasty Edible Cookie Dough Recipes 01:36

These safe-to-eat cookie dough combinations are the delicious sweet treats you've been missing.

One word: Yum. Every kid (and adult) always wants to lick the cookie dough right out of the bowl, right? It’s one of our most basic human instincts, IMO. But then there’s that whole food-safety issue that crushes dreams and stomps on our happiness. Finally, we have a totally safe and definitely delicious way to let everyone enjoy cookies at their finest. Feel free to let your oven retire for the summer.

Animal Pancakes

Adorable Animal Pancakes 00:30

Perk up your morning with cute animals made of pancakes and fruit.

Not so much an activity as it is a fun way to take advantage of relaxed summer mornings, these too-cute, tasty creations will put a smile on everyone’s face.

Puzzle Soap

How to Make Puzzle Soap 00:30

Make washing up fun with these colorful glycerin soaps.

More soap? You better believe it. What can we say? We like a clean kid whose hands don't have to be smelled just to prove they washed them. Fun soap is always the answer.

Flamingo Hoop Toss

Flamingo Ring Toss 00:30

Turn yard art into a warm-weather yard game.

This one will have you wondering why you didn’t do it a long time ago. Simply spray-paint a few lawn flamingos, arrange them in the yard and have the kids test their tossing skills. To really amp up the fun, designate a certain amount of points to each color. It’s the perfect way to encourage a little outdoor play.

Succulent Garden

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DIY Felt Succulent Garden 01:24

Add some whimsy to your home with this charming felt garden.

For the older child, a lovely display of handmade felt succulents is the perfect way to let them embrace their creative side. Trust us. They’ll be cutting up felt all summer long.

20 Fun + Easy Kids' Crafts

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Hand-Painted Bracelets 3 Ways

From fingerprints to polka dots and stripes, these easy painted wooden bracelets are easy enough for kids to make but stylish enough for Mom to sport.

Butterfly Window Garland

Bring the outdoors in with a colorful, spring-inspired butterfly window garland. This super-easy project will look great no matter which side of the window you're looking through.

Decoupage Photo and Quote Cans

Transform an old tin can into a personalized, decoupaged storage bin. Let the kids cut out their favorite photos and sayings for a completely customizable look.

Recycled Crayons

Gather broken, forgotten crayons and transform them into colorful new treasures that fit perfectly in the hands of even the smallest artists.

Ruffled Rose Headband

With just a little help from a crafty adult, kids can turn a plain elastic headband into a sweet ruffled-rose headband, perfect for girls big or small.

Make an Easy Rag Wreath

Upcycle odd bits of fabric into a cute rag wreath. This no-sew wreath can be a beautiful accent for any holiday or occasion — just choose seasonal fabrics and get started!

Create an Easy Pencil Pinwheel

With just a little help from an adult, kids can craft these handmade paper pinwheels to add a splash of color to playtime.

Hanging Birdfeeders

Feed the birds with these adorable molded birdseed crafts. Kids will love helping to mix, shape and hang this simple project. Watch step-by-step instructions here.

Make a Bejeweled Plant Marker

Transform an ordinary rock into a colorful work of art that labels your plants and accents a garden bed.

Found Object Stepping Stones

Grab an old cereal box and some odds and ends like buttons, shells, marbles and mosaic tiles and let kids create their own custom design on a quick-drying cement stepping stone. Watch Weekday Crafternoon to learn how.

Turn Terra-Cotta Pots Into Windchimes

Transform tiny terra-cotta pots into cheery music for your garden. These chimes are constructed entirely by knotting and gluing — no drilling required!

Natural Tie-Dyed Shirts

Stain a shirt on purpose! With a few simple materials, you can turn edibles into safe, beautiful fabric dyes right in your own kitchen.

Block Print Napkins With DIY Stamps

Turn basic household items into simple stamps, then create your own custom-stamped towels and napkins.

Make a Tin Can Lantern

These recycled can lanterns are so simple to make that the kids can help, and so beautiful after dark that the adults will want to join in the fun, too!

Easy-Sew Tote Bag

A straightforward sewing project for tweens, teens or anyone new to sewing, this lined fabric tote bag is simple to make. Mix and match fabrics to make it totally custom.

Make a Family Terrarium

Terrariums are one of the easiest ways to keep plants alive in your home. Make one with a tiny family inside using miniature train display figures.

Photo By: Jessika Creedon ©Jessika Creedon 2013

Road Trip Art Kit

Think of this traveling artists' tool kit as your "Are we there yet?" insurance. Add chalkboard paint to the outside of a metal lunchbox for fun drawing surface, then fill with favorite art supplies. Get step-by-step instructions for ths project.

Teacher Mugs

Use porcelaine paint pens to create customized mugs for teachers, parents or grandparents. After drying for 24 hours, the ink is top-shelf dishwasher safe.

Recycled Bottle Ring Toss

Recycled soda bottles and an old fruit crate find new life as a fun ring toss game perfect for summer gatherings. Learn how to make this ring toss game.

Make an Animal Silhouette Growth Chart

Chart your child's growth with a cute, colorful and crafty wall hanging they can help build.

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