Simple Summer Crafts

craftsSimple crafts are the perfect remedy for cabin fever.  This summer, the following easy and affordable projects have been lifesavers when it’s been too hot or too wet for my 8-year-old to run amok outside.  An added bonus:  these kid-friendly activities require very little adult assistance.  This makes them ideal to include at a variety of summer events such as family reunions, church picnics or birthday parties.

Homemade Suncatcher

Materials:

  • Colored tissue paper cut into small pieces of varying shapes and sizes
  • Safety scissors
  • Clear contact paper
  • Two large paper plates
  • Yellow craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Yellow poster board
  • Craft glue
  • Hole punch
  • Yellow or red ribbon

Directions:

  1. Dump the cut-up tissue paper into an empty shoebox and mix together.
  2. Place a square of clear contact paper sticky side up on a flat work surface.
  3. Arrange the tissue paper randomly on the contact paper or you can make a pattern; however, it’s important that the edges of the tissue paper overlap, so there are no empty spaces left in between.
  4. When you have covered the entire piece of contact paper, carefully place another piece on top and gently seal both together making sure to remove any wrinkles or air bubbles.
  5. Cut out the middle of the two paper plates, leaving about 2 inches around the outside edge.
  6. Paint the plates yellow and let dry.
  7. Cut the contact paper mosaic into a circle so it will fit inside the two paper plates.  You can trace the hole in the paper plates to help you determine the size needed before cutting the contact paper.
  8. Glue the contact paper circle of tissue paper in between the two paper plates.
  9. Cut-out 10 equal-sized triangles from the poster board.
  10. Apply glue to the triangles and slide them in between the paper plates to form sun rays.
  11. Punch a hole in the top of the plates and thread a piece of ribbon through.
  12. Display your suncatcher in a window.

Sponge Ball

Materials:

  • Three new, small rectangle-shaped sponges
  • Scissors
  • String

Directions:

  1. Remove sponges from package and cut each lengthwise into five strips measuring about a half-inch wide.
  2. Arrange the sponge strips into a three-layer tall block.
  3. Loop a piece of string around the center of the sponge block and cinch tightly.
  4. Knot the string and trim the excess.
  5. Fluff the sponge pieces into a ball.
  6. Have kids soak ball in a bucket of water and play catch.
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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.

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