Sand and shells offer endless summer craft possibilities. Stock up on colored sand or dye your own. Kids can draw or write on paper with glue or glue sticks and pour the sand on the glue to create their own sandy signs and designs. They can also use glue and sand to “color” printable coloring pages. Or, for an even cooler keepsake, they can fill a glass bottle, vase, or candle votive with layers of sand in a rainbow of colors. Sand art can be messy, so it’s wise to do it outside! Baby spoons, beach shovels, and funnels can be helpful tools.If you don’t have a collection of seashells from beach vacations, you can order them online. Kids can glue shells to a drawing or painting, or use them to make decorative magnets, picture frames, jewelry, and plaster beach casts. Check out these other beach-themed crafts and activities.
Rainy Day Read-a-Thon
Rainy days are the perfect time to hit the bunk with a good book! Encourage your child to fill up this printable summer reading chart. Go to the library and stockpile classic summertime reads, like Where the Wild Things Are, The Swiss Family Robinson, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Choose Your Own Adventure books. Or use our Book Finder to pick new releases kids will love.
“Dear Mom and Dad…” Every sleep-away camper writes letters to their parents or keeps a journal to record their latest adventures. Get your child a new journal (or print these blank pages) and some pretty colored pencils, and encourage her to sketch and write about her summer days. How was the weather? What did she do? Did she see any cool animals or clouds? Did she miss school or friends who are away for the summer? If you want to take it a step further, get her some supplies to keep a summer scrapbook.
Are the kids getting cabin fever? During a stretch of nice weather, set up a tent (or even just a blanket fort) in the backyard for some “staycation” camping with your kids, complete with ghost stories, s’mores, and other classic camping foods. Even if your family chooses to sleep inside at night, the tent or fort is a fun place for kids to hang out, read, and play during the day for a change of pace.
Outdoor group games are a must for camp-inspired fun. Gather your family or some neighborhood kids for good ol’ group games like kickball, wiffle ball, and capture the flag, or try some classic backyard party games like sack races, horseshoes, or that camp classic: Tug o’ war!