These 12 Outdoor Kids' Crafts Are Perfect for Summer
Build-Your-Own Boat Races
Make the most of your backyard inflatable pool (if you don't already have one, these are our favorite options!) by hosting a DIY boat race! Cut pool noodles into several 13-inch sections with angled ends; make a boat by attaching two or three noodle pieces together and securing with electrical tape. Add a wooden skewer with a triangle of washi tape to form the mast and sail, then pop the boats in the water to prepare for the race! Line up each child with their boat, and see which boat makes it the farthest.
DIY Sidewalk Paint
Help your kids make washable sidewalk chalk paint with just a few ingredients from the kitchen! Mix cornstarch, water, and food coloring for a paint set that will create hours of summer fun. Set the kids loose on the driveway or neighborhood sidewalks with a tin of paints and inexpensive foam paintbrushes ($2 for a 3-pack, Target). Plus, cleanup is easy! Simply wash the paint away with the garden hose—after admiring your mini Picassos' creations, of course!
DIY Pool Art
Making art is a great way to get the kids involved in a creative project, but making it inside can be messy! Take the art projects outside this summer with our easy craft for kids. Place a large sheet of poster paper in the bottom of a plastic kid's pool ($10, Target), then let each little artist dip plastic balls into tempera paint and drop them in the pool on top of the paper. Have the child swirl the plastic pool around to create their own colorful design, then let the art dry in the sun while the kids wash off with the hose.
DIY Bubble Wands
This budget-friendly summer craft for kids will keep the kids entertained for days. Help the kids straighten out wire hangers, then form a shape at one end to make a homemade bubble wand. Stars, hearts, squares—the possibilities are endless! Once the kids have created their DIY bubble wands, fill shallow baking dishes with bubble solution (or water mixed with dish soap) and start blowing bubbles.
DIY Ice Pop Sidewalk Chalk
Did you know you can make your own sidewalk chalk? Keep the kids entertained all day with this two-part project. First, have them help make the chalk; the recipe is simple, and it's easy to pour the brightly colored mixtures into silicone ice pop molds ($11, Walmart). When the chalk molds are ready (allow 3 to 4 hours for the chalk pops to dry completely), let the kids decorate the driveway and sidewalks with their chalk creations.
DIY Rainbow Foam
A bag of flat mosaic sea shells ($4, Michaels) puts a beachy twist on this kid's rainbow craft. To make, cut an arch from cardboard. We like to use leftover cereal boxes! Paint rainbow stripes on the arch using acrylic crafts paint. If desired, paint shells in corresponding colors. Once the paint is dry, hot-glue the shells to the rainbow.
Fun to Paint Garden Rocks
Dress up ordinary rocks from your backyard or a crafts store with acrylic paint. The flatter the surface, the more pattern you’ll get to enjoy. Use the finished rocks as colorful garden markers, or join the hundreds of people who are painting uplifting messages on rocks and displaying them around the neighborhood.
Once you've mastered tie-dye, try this fun outdoor craft for kids. DIY Ice-dyeing is a fun project idea for older kids. To create the pattern, top a crumbled t-shirt with ice and powdered dye. As the ice melts, the dye is distributed to create pretty watercolor designs.
Kids' Garden Plant Markers
Personalize painted rocks to decorate your garden. Look for rocks shaped like veggies (think round for onions or oblong for zucchini). Paint them with acrylic crafts paint. Once dry, add the plant name with a paint marker. Use them to mark your garden rows.