Summer crafts to entertain the kids

Have you thought about what you are going to do with the kids during the summer holidays?  Today’s guest post shares some inspiration! 

With the school holidays nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with your children for the next six weeks.   And since the great British weather can’t exactly be relied on to provide outdoor playtime all summer, upcycling projects and crafts are a great rainy day solution – and double as a way to upgrade some of the things you might have lying around.

I’ve put together three of my favourite children’s upcycling projects – so whether you’re taking time off work to accommodate the holidays, or you’re a stay-at-home parent or babysitter at their wits end, there’ll always be something fun and creative to pass the time with.

The Dollhouse Suitcase

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Most of us have an old suitcase lying around somewhere. If you’re contemplating throwing it away because of a broken handle or ripped lining, turning your case into this cute dollhouse is a great alternative that will keep children entertained for hours – and it’s portable, so perfect for trips away over the summer.

First off, make sure the inside of the case is clean, and line it with decorative paper so that your house is properly equipped with wallpaper. If you want each room to have different wallpaper add it after the shelves are in, instead.

Next, measure the width and depth of the suitcase, so you can cut wooden planks to fit – do this part without the kids! Depending on the height of your dolls and furniture, you can opt for 3 or 4 floors to your house. Screw the shelves in from the outside of the case and then grab some chalkboard paint for the outside.

Once the paint is dry, it’s time to decorate your dollhouse – you and your child can glue fabric to the floor as carpet, or leave them “hardwood” if you prefer minimalist decor.

Finally, get your little helper to draw the facade of the house on with chalk – and the best part is that if you want to remodel your dollhouse at any time, it’s as simple as wiping it off and starting again!

Skateboard Swing

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Summer can be a peak time for broken skateboards – usually through overuse! But luckily, they’re easily repurposed to a fun swing for the garden in just a few short steps.

First of all, remove the wheels (if they haven’t come off of their own accord), and if you want to, scrape off any decals and sand and paint the board to your preference.

Use the existing holes from the wheels to determine where to drill for your rope to go through, then cut two pieces of dowel to the same width as your board and drill corresponding holes so they can serve as handles.

Cut two lengths of rope to 20 meters, and thread each through the holes you drilled – knotting above the board.

Measure your rope to determine where the handles should go – between the child’s waist and shoulder – and knot again at this point. Thread through the dowel so it sits on top of the second knot, then tie the remaining rope securely so it hangs from a tree and you’re ready to swing!

Kids-Art mugs

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We’re each convinced our child is a budding Picasso, so if you’d like to immortalise their doodles, why not do so on a clear mug or glass?  These are dishwasher safe, as long as you use oil-based permanent markers – which should be readily available online or in craft and stationary shops.

Cut some paper to the approximate size of one side of a mug, and give it to your kids to draw on. While they’re doing this, clean your mugs with rubbing alcohol – you want to make sure there’s absolutely no grease on them, or the ink won’t take.

Once the mugs are clean, place the slips of paper inside, and either you or the children can trace their artwork back onto the mug. If you want to have your kids draw directly onto a mug (either to save time or because it’s not clear), this is fine too but remember mistakes can’t be erased this way!

Leave your mugs overnight so the ink is completely dry and cure. The next day, pop them into a cold oven and turn it on to 350F. Bake your mugs for an hour and allow them to cool completely before removing them from the oven – as a sudden change in temperature can cause the glass or ceramic to crack.

Thanks to guest author, Liberty – a content strategist currently working on behalf of Lifestyle Blinds.

© Copyright 2015 Antonia, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tidylife
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