Summer vacation is the best. It’s a time to rest and refresh. However, you want those lazy hazy days of summer to be productive too. With students out of the regular classroom routine for weeks, it’s good to have some planned educational activities to keep their minds sharp. Below we have a few craft ideas for teachers leading summer school, summer daycare, or to do at home.
- Time for Fun
A clock-themed project will help kids learn how to tell time. It’s easy to make their own clock. Use paper plates to get a nice, smooth circle base to work on (thicker is better). Punch a hole in the center with scissors. Make a mark at the quarter hour points with marker or stickers. Draw the “12,” “3,” “6,” and “9.” This will make it easier for him or her to fill in the rest of the numbers. Cut a big hand and little hand from thick paper. They can be rectangles or have arrows at the ends. Secure a paper fastener through the base of your hand pieces to the plate. As you go along, discuss the clock elements. When complete, make a game out of calling a time for the kids to create on their new clocks.
2. Beautiful Butterflies
During the summer months, kids are likely to notice the insects that come out to play. Talk about the four life stages of a butterfly: eggs, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult butterfly. The transformation process is a fascinating topic. Distribute cross-grid handouts. Have the kids draw a picture of each stage with crayons or markers. Another option is to distribute butterfly templates for the kids to color. They can get fancy with decorating the butterfly wings with glue and glitter, rhinestones, or other embellishments.
3. Ice Cream Cone Counting
Ice cream is a delicious summer treat. Pair this art project with a real ice cream snack to continue the fun. Cut out simple triangle shapes from construction paper for the “cone.” Cut out or die-cut circles shapes from different colored papers. Brown and pink can be chocolate and strawberry flavors, but you can also cut from patterned paper to add visual interest and variety to the picture. The kids can stack the circles onto the cones and write the number of scoops on their ice cream cone.
4. Rock & Roll Gems
These rock creations can foster geology appreciation while also getting the kids outdoors. Take a field trip to gather a few rocks. Take notice of the different shapes and textures. Pour out metallic paints, like gold, silver, and copper, into separate cups. Add some water and white glue into the paint cups and mix. Dip the rocks into the paint. You could also lay the rocks outside and pour the paints onto the rocks for a multi-colored swirl effect. Use paintbrushes for more precise painting. Air dry for a week to dry completely.