9 DIY Summer Crafts Your Kids Will Love!

Enjoy hours of summer fun with these DIY crafts for kids.

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With summer here and the children at home, this is an opportunity to put on your creativity caps. Doing art and crafts is a wonderful way to engage the family together, plus encourage creativity and self-expression.

DIY crafts are a great option. Not only do you save money on materials and art lessons, many DIY craft ideas tend to use recycled materials. This is also an opportunity to show your family how being eco-friendly and repurposing can also be creative.

Making crafts and toys is also educational for children of all ages in a surreptitious way – children develop agility and learn how to follow instructions, while toddlers develop color and shape identifying skills, as well as hand-eye coordination. Here are nine easy DIY projects that inspire, create, and bond families!

Whirligig spinner

Kids are mesmerized watching whirligigs spin and twirl. During medieval times, as written in Dress The Yard, Whirligigs were a popular toy and they still are. But it is more gratifying and fun when you make your own! Kids can draw their own colorful design, glue and string it together, then spin away. Use cardboard boxes or packaging for a recycled version. Here’s how they work:

Plastic bottle helicopter

Kids love helicopters. This toy can also be made with recycled bottles and straws, or use biodegradable veggie straws. It’s fun to make and will provide many amusing hours of playtime. Follow the simple instructions here on YouTube.

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Sun-melted crayon art

Created by melting wax in the sun, this is an ideal craft for a hot summer’s day. Your kids’ imaginations can go wild with this craft as there are no rules. Let them help prep the activity; peeling the labels off the crayons develops strength in the fingers of toddlers. They can also texture the art, making it bumpy and smooth in places. This could be a fun opportunity to review colors with your young children. Cute kids in this YouTube video will show you how.

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DIY bottle bubble blower

Great for outdoor play, kids love bubbles – and this bubble blower creates giant elongated bubbles that will even impress the adults! This is another project made from recycled materials and you can even make your own bubble solution with dish soap, glycerin and water. Hello Wonderful shows you how it works. Simply take a plastic bottle and connect a mesh bag from the grocery store. Outdoor play requires some healthy summer snacks!

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Watercolor bubble art

Now that you have a bubble blower, it’s time to take this to the next level! Simply Wonderful explains how; add liquid watercolors to your bubble mixture, take out your bubble blower, dip, and blow onto the canvas. You can take this outdoors in nature and paint on a huge canvas with friends and family to create a collaborative piece. The effect, as seen below, is beautiful.


This craft is originally from the Native American Ojibwe tribe and is now cherished by many people around the world. These “sacred hoops, ” according to Legomenon, were hung over children’s beds to catch bad dreams, while good dreams would safely slide through the woven strings. Weaving is a great activity for developing children’s fine motor skills. Your children can make a dreamcatcher out of recycled materials. Watch how easy it is on YouTube. While you are creating, read them the Ojibwe Spider Woman legend as told by Legomenon.

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DIY Turtle toy

Here is another activity that recycles plastic bottles. These cute turtles from Krokotak  are fun to design and once they are finished, they will float! Fill a tub with water and head outside so your toddlers can watch their turtles swim. If you cut a narrow opening in the top, you can turn this toy into a cute turtle/piggy bank. This may be an ideal opportunity to show your kid a science video on turtles. Click on  Krokotak for instructions and a template.

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Paper roll fish

This great project for preschoolers recycles paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Kids can paint their roll a solid color then decorate them with colorful stripes and spots, cuts outs, stickers, and googly eyes. You can turn this craft into a toy. Using paper clips, a string and a magnet, your kids can now go fishing. The Craft Train explains how to make fish, grasshoppers, lizards, swans, giraffes, and a fox all out of paper rolls! Watch on YouTube and you will see how easy, fun, and creative this can be.

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DIY puppets

Creativity, imagination, and storytelling all come together with this craft. You can make recycled puppets out of almost anything: paper bags, popsicle sticks, single socks, gloves, or mittens. You can also add strings to puppets and create marionettes. Crafts By Amanda explains how to create a world of puppets. 

Then set up a curtain and let the show begin. Role playing using puppets, said We Have Kids, provides children with a forum to express themselves and to develop language skills as well as social intelligence.