Friday Family Fun: Five crafty ideas to keep kids busy

I was in Costco the other day and they had the back-to-school supplies out already. Nooooooo! I’m not ready!!! Yeesh, summer has barely begun!

And yet, when the kids are restless, those long summer days can seem less like something to be enjoyed and more like something to be endured. For this week’s version of Friday Family Fun, here’s five crafty ideas that will keep kids engaged – for a few minutes, at least!

1. Make-yer-own sidewalk paint

I love this craft, and had no idea how easy it would be to make nor how easy it would be to clean up!! I wrote a post all about how to make-your-own sidewalk paint with nothing more than corn starch, water and food colouring last year.

Fun with sidewalk chalk paint (2 of 6)

2. Make-yer-own moon sand

Confession: we haven’t tried this one yet, but I’ve seen it all over the Interwebs this summer. Apparently, if you mix 4 cups of sand, 2 cups of corn starch and 1 cup of water, you get the equivalent of that mouldable Moon sand stuff. I think this would be really fun to try with that fancy Crayola coloured sand, which would give more than enough for each boy to have his own bin full.

3. Make-yer-own playdough

If moon sand isn’t your thing, how about some home-made playdough? We got this kool-aid playdough recipe from Simon’s nursery school years ago, and I really like how it turns out. You’ll need

1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 pkg unsweetened Kool-aid (the mini-ones)
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

In a bowl, mix flour, salt and dry kool-aid mix. Boil water and add with oil to dry mix. Be careful, it’s hot! Allow to cool a bit but while still warm knead with hands for about 5 minutes. Will store for up to two months in a Ziploc bag.

4. Beads

We make a trip out to the local bead store each summer. Once upon a time, I thought of beads as more of a girl thing, but I couldn’t be more wrong – all the boys I know love to make beady crafts. And you don’t have to limit yourself to jewelry, either – the boys make nametags for their backpacks and lunchbags, zipper pulls for their jackets, and even name collars for their Webkinz pets. I usually buy a big bag of pony beads and alphabet beads and some elastic cord at the dollar store, and let them choose half a dozen or so fancy beads each from the bead store, and we’re good for at least an afternoon of entertainment.


5. Rock painting

This is another one on my to-do list for the summer. You’ll need some bright colours of tempra or acrylic paint (not watercolours), some brushes, and various sizes of rocks. Tip: collecting the rocks can be a great way to waste an afternoon – erm, I mean, another way to spend some quality time with your children! You can be ridiculously fancy like Martha Stewart, or aim a little lower and just hope more paint ends up on the rocks than the kids. You can guess which end of the spectrum I fancy!

I also found this neat idea on Pinterest: Use a stamp kit, stencil or transfer to create a whole bunch of alphabet tiles made from small stones. Isn’t that a fun idea?

So there you go, that should keep the wee beasties busy for at least another week, right? 🙂 As always, please feel free to share your ideas for crafty family fun in the comments!

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

3 thoughts on “Friday Family Fun: Five crafty ideas to keep kids busy”

  1. Loved this comment from my friend Yvonne on Facebook: “I’ve seen the rock craft where you paint six lady bugs and six bumblebees (easy enough) and have your own creative tic-tac-toe set. Not hard to paint black dots on red, black stripes on yellow and anyone can draw a tic-tac-toe board!” Brilliant!!

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