We're well into the summer season. It’s the perfect time to get out, get some sun, and start on some summer art projects.
Nothing brings a family together quite like arts and crafts. It’s so much fun, plus crafts keep your kids occupied and engaged.
Even if we say arts and crafts for kids, these are activities even adults can do.
A busy mom who's finally made time for her kids can join in an easy, low-skill, and high-engagement activity. Older kids can benefit from starting their own art projects, too. Blocked artists can discover new art ideas, reconnect with their inner children, and find inspiration just by trying some easy summer crafts for kids.
So whether you’re enjoying a day out in the summer sun or staying indoors to avoid too-warm weather, try out a couple of craft ideas to pass the time. Here's the ultimate list of super easy, super fun summer crafts for kids of all ages!
What materials do you need for your summer art activities?
These summer craft ideas needn’t be complicated. You don’t need a lot to create a colorful art project. In fact, many of the summer art and craft ideas we mention here can be accomplished with things you find at home.
The fun part about making art with kids is it teaches you to be resourceful and creative with the art materials you have. Think outside the box. Use what you have. Explore your pantries and get crafty.
You’ll need some basic supplies
Meet the new friends you'll be playing with often this summer:
Paper: plain, colored, patterned, textured—you name it!
Pencils, crayons, pens, and markers
Non-toxic or kid-friendly paint—if you trust them, they can graduate to acrylics!
Good ol’ PVA glue
Paintbrushes you don’t mind getting ruined
Old newspapers, paper towels, dish rags, and sponges—for easy cleaning
Craft-loving parents may have a heat gun or a glue gun at home. You can pick these up from any arts and crafts store. For quicker gluing and drying time.
That goes without saying: Don’t let your little ones handle anything hot or sharp without supervision.
Use what you have lying around
Someone’s trash is a crafty person’s treasure. The best ideas are borne from resourcefulness. You probably already have these at home. Do the eco-friendly thing and reuse your would-be trash in an arts and crafts project!
Paper Plates (also works as a makeshift palette)
An old toothbrush
Kitchen and toilet paper rolls
Paper lunch bags
Hunt and gather materials
Spend a day exploring your neighborhood, nearby beach, or park to find objects to craft with! There's beauty and future art in nature. In fact, many artists find their best ideas outdoors.
Flowers and leaves from your garden
Sea shells and sand
Interesting rocks and sticks
Acorns or pinecones
We’d also recommend letting your kids choose what materials they would like to use for your summer arts and crafts activities. Let their imagination run wild!
10 Fun summer art activities for kids
It’s so important to raise your kids in a creative environment. It’s a fun and engaging way to improve child development—they get to exercise motor skills and communication skills. Plus, when you join in on the fun, it makes for great quality time for the family.
Let your children create freely this summer and give them the liberty of choosing which projects to try next.
Running out of projects to fill the rest of your summer schedule with? Here are some easy summer arts and crafts ideas for kids.
Highly sensory activities are crucial in early child development. That’s why this one’s a classic in any children’s art class. It also aids in emotional expression for both kids and adults.
Make sure you’re using non-toxic and child-friendly paint. Supervise your kids as they can easily mistake these goopy blobs of color for food!
Adults can definitely benefit from finger painting, too. Think of it as reconnecting with your inner child. Fun fact, the artist Joan Miro started finger painting in his late 80s!
Salt Dough Art and Ornaments
Introduce your children to the therapeutic medium of clay modeling! This is such a wonderful craft to do with toddlers since it improves their fine motor skills. Here’s a cheap and easy DIY recipe for salt dough. It’s a kind of clay made only with a few ingredients you already have at home.
All you need are:
½ cup flour
¼ cup salt, and
¼ cup water
Mix up the ingredients in a bowl til you can form a ball. Pinch, press, and mold the dough to your heart’s delight. Once you’re done shaping, bake it at 120°C/250°F for 3.5 hours.
Done baking and cooling? Color your creations with acrylic or tempera paint.
PSA: It may come from your pantry but it’s not edible.
DIY play dough
No oven? No problem. Make play dough at home! This recipe is all-natural down to the dye, which is made of fruits and veggies! Though you can take a shortcut and use food coloring instead.
Make a big batch and separate the dough into seven balls—one for each color of the rainbow. Add as little or as much food coloring as you want. Less color yields a pastel batch. More, and you get vibrant hues your kids will definitely ogle at!
For an added sensory experience, add a few drops of natural essential oils into your play dough.
Black Glue Painting
I distinctly remember this activity from the (many) arts and crafts classes I took as a kid.
This little tutorial on how to make it is from Red Ted Art.
Black glue paintings remind me a lot of the pop art movement. If you fancy an art trip with your kids, show them some beautiful stained glass art at a cathedral. Or head to the museum and check out the Cloisonnist style of art, pioneered by the post-Impressionists like Paul Gauguin.
Now recreate that art at home!
Contact Paper Suncatcher
I love this fun and easy, stained glass-inspired summer craft idea that you can hang up to decorate and brighten up your home.
Cut out a frame from a paper plate or piece of thick card stock. Cut out the contact paper to fit this frame. Now start creating your suncatcher. Make cute shapes out of pieces of paper. You can also use what you find in nature: flowers, leaves, feathers—anything that’ll stick flat on the contact paper.
Anyone else have a rock collection when they were growing up? You don’t need to go far for new art ideas—nature will provide.
Take a stroll around and pick up some interesting rocks. Then get creative. There’s a whole Tiktok niche just for rock painting and it’s a highly addictive rabbit hole to fall down. You can create any image on a simple rock or stone: adorable faces, zen patterns, food, succulents, flowers, you name it.
This is a good way for kids to immerse in nature while encouraging imaginative thinking.
Of course, the viral internet sensation: slime. A timeless summer craft for all ages—whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart.
Every toy store carries slime nowadays. But if you want to save or avoid unwanted chemicals in your kids’ playtime, best to make it at home. Get a kid-friendly recipe without Borax! It’s easier and more fun! And you get to add in whatever you want to soothe or tickle your senses—glitter, essential oils, beads, confetti, foam, sequins, charms and more.
Slime may often look good enough to eat so make sure your kids don’t do that.
Fun origami for kids
Did you know that origami is part of the kindergarten curriculum for kids in Japan? It helps develop their spatial, motor, and analytical skills. And it’s an adorable way to enhance creativity.
The Japanese perfected the art of paper folding by looking at nature: the bees buzzing, birds flying and chirping, flowers blooming, butterflies evolving…
You can make a whole summer art project by creating adorable paper animals with your kids. Even toddlers can do this!
Pro-tip! Add some adorable details to your origami projects to bring them to life—googly eyes, glitter, stickers, stamps, drawing faces, and more.
A perfect summer art project to encourage younger kids and adult artists to enjoy the outdoors. You just need some watercolor paper, soap, and food coloring or liquid paint.
Plus, it’s a calming and fun way to learn color theory. Mix and match your colors, create cool abstract art, and relish watching those bubbles pop!
For tips on color mixing with paint, we have free printables on our blog.
As a journaling junkie, I have a growing collection of stamps. You don’t need to splurge at a stationery shop to build one, though. Again, use what you have at home.
Stamps make arts and crafts easy, repetitive, and replicable—most of all, fun—for your kids. It’s a sculpting and coloring project in one!
Carve out some corks or old pool noodles. Cut out pieces of styrofoam to make foam stamps. Head to the beach and find some shells and sand dollars. You can even paint and press patterns with leaves and flowers.
What summer art activities will you be doing with your kids this year?
Partaking in summer crafts with your kids is an excellent bonding activity. With all these ideas, we doubt you’ll be bored! We hope these summer arts and crafts ideas got your creative juices flowing.
Sooner or later, you’ll have an entire collection of cute things your kids made during their summer arts and crafts sessions with you.
- MEET THE AUTHOR-
Belle O. Mapa is a writer and artist based in Manila, Philippines. She believes that everyone is born with an inner creative spirit—we just need to nurture and discover it on the blank page. Currently, she lives out her passion: writing stories, hosting journaling workshops, and advocating for mental health awareness.