Now that the heat of summer is in full swing, it’s time to find some ways to enjoy our free time without melting -- and we’ve got just the activities!
For the month of June, Jungle Roots patients can bring in your Summer craft made from the ideas in this post and the crafts will be entered into a drawing for a prize. All entries must have the artist's name and phone number. The winner will be announced in July. Happy crafting!
Just give the instructions below a quick glance before starting to make sure you have enough time and all the supplies you’ll need to complete the activity you selected! Now without further ado, please join us for a quick look at 14 of our favorite ways to have fun and stay cool in the summer heat:
1. Water balloon pinatas
Image credit: Hello, Wonderful!
Ready for something a little different this summer? Check out this DIY outdoor summer fun project! Instead of sugary candy, these water balloon pinatas cool off the party fast when filled with refreshing cold water.
To get started, locate a spot in your yard where you can stretch a sturdy rope or string between two trees, or two posts, or something similar. Then you’ll need to secure that sturdy rope, get some latex balloons, grab some sticks for swinging, and plan your game. Make sure you keep enough of the rope/string to tie each balloon to the main string, as shown in the picture above.
We think that as long as everyone is careful and politely takes turns, there is little that can go wrong with this activity. However, as with any activity where you swing a stick or try to break something, extra caution should be used to avoid hitting anything nearby, including other kids, outdoor furnishings, pets, etc.. - so adult supervision is a must. Besides that, the adults might want to get some hits in too, if it’s hot enough outside. Enjoy!
Here’s how to do it: Water balloon pinatas
2. Swimming jellyfish craft
Image credit: I heart crafty things
Recreate the mesmerizing motion of a swimming jellyfish with this fun summer craft from iheartcraftythings.com!
Give the supply list a glance and see what you’ve already got on hand. Everything else should be easily gathered on a quick trip to the dollar store or a super speedy browse through Amazon for the no-contact shoppers (check the clearance section first or some discount art supply shops like this or this.
Once you’ve got it all, just follow along with the blog’s instructions, planning ahead for paint and glue-drying time when needed. We think you’ll have loads of fun when the jellyfish starts swimming – and you can always add to the “aquarium” if you have extra time. There’s a cute octopus waiting to join in on the fun, and a friendly dolphin after that!
Here’s how to do it: Make your own swimming jellyfish
3. Thumbprint Dandelions
Image credits: glued to my crafts, crafty morning, mas and pas cotton bud dandelion craft
Since it’s dandelion season and we’re all making lots of wishes, why not recreate the beauty of the little yellow then white flowers in our artwork as well?
The first method caught our eye as the colors are stunning and the process looks fun for the littles:
The second technique reminded us of the bright yellow dandelions we see so often on grassy lawns in springtime, and we found it amusing that you could recreate the look so easily with a plastic fork!
And, last but not least, it’s time for our wish! (You can’t have dandelions around without making at least a few wishes, you know.) This third technique highlights the wispy white seeds of the aged dandelion, ready to be gently blown into the breeze as you think quietly of your wish:
4. Pool noodle pom pom shooter
Image credit: Hello, wonderful!
Boredom, be banished! We’re about to elevate the fun level in your rec room. If it’s too hot to play outside, we’ve got a safe, virtually damage-free game you can play in the cool indoor air conditioning of your favorite activity room.
Enter: the pool noodle pom pom shooters! The ammunition “shot” from these adorable little pool noodle pom pom shooters are incredibly soft and cute, just like launching a hug across the rug to your friend! Just follow the instructions on the blog and have adults on hand for helping out, and you’ll be ready to play games in a jiffy.
What games can you play? They suggest several on the blog which we think sound fun--or we especially like freeze tag (if you get “hit” by a soft ball from the other team, you have to “freeze” (stand very still) until someone else on your team hits you again and frees you!)
If you need a video to follow to get this just right, here you go.
Otherwise, here’s how to do it: Pool noodle pom pom shooter
5. Flamingo finger puppets
Image credit: iheartcraftythings.com
Beautiful, showy flamingos. Who doesn’t love to see them, especially when visiting the sunny spots in the world where the summer never ends?
Well, get ready for a feathery pink invasion! These fun and pretty flamingo finger puppets only require 6 simple supplies, some of which you likely already have on hand, and can be made in an easy 20 minutes or so (with a little help from the adults available)!
Feel free to get creative with it. Remember, flamingos can be very different shades of pink. Some blend an orange-y tone in, while others look almost completely orange, and still more have been seen nearly solid white with pink legs. While some people think there are blue ones around somewhere, we haven’t seen them -- but that doesn’t mean you can’t make yours blue anyway!
Want to make a different animal entirely for your finger puppets? There are countless options!
Why not try a koala bear, some black bats, a few owls and bears, a baby chick, or some busy, buzzy honey bees -- or maybe one of each! The sky’s the limit when you’re making your own puppets and writing your own indoor summer puppet show!
Here’s how to do it: Flamingo finger puppets
6. DIY balloon dart painting
Image credit: Hello, wonderful!
If you love creating colorful, abstract art as much as we do, this is the cool-off in-the-shade summer activity for you!
You’ll need 7 supplies for this activity, one of which is a paint pump, which keeps you from getting paint on your mouth blowing up the balloons -- because it blows them up for you!
Once you’ve gathered supplies, look around and find a great spot to hang your paper, then just follow along with the blog and watch the artists throw their darts and create their masterpieces!
Note: Plenty of supervision should be utilized with this activity, especially considering the darts are sharp.
The final result is always gorgeous and gift-worthy. Consider making them for friends or family as birthdays or other holidays approach -- or place one on the mantle to be admired by all, as shown on the blog.
Here’s how you do it: Dart balloon painting
7. Pineapple bookmark corners
Image credit: red ted art
With all the summer reading lists to keep up with, it’s essential we keep our place in each story. (Don’t have one yet? Peep at these, organized by age.) Good news -- you can mark your page in the cutest way ever when you make these homemade pineapple origami bookmarks to hold the corners for you! Each one only takes a few minutes to make and once finished they’re great for keeping, trading, or gifting.
What’s more? There are many different ways to make these, including adorable animals, crazy monsters, and simple, beautiful designs, so you don’t need to limit yourself to pineapples!
Here’s how to do it: Pineapple bookmark corners
8. Black glue cactus craft
Image credit: i heart crafty things
Get in the Phoenix spirit with these gorgeous and colorful black glue cacti watercolor paintings!
You’ll need 9 simple supplies, and the black glue is a cinch to make. (Hint: you can just use the kind your kids take to school!)
This craft should be split into two days (the first day is for the black glue outlines to dry overnight).
We think you’ll have some frame-worthy pieces at the end of this project. Consider in advance where they might look best in your home. The den? Home office? Breakfast nook? Be sure to hang them or stand them wherever they can be most inspiring -- and enjoy!
Here’s how to do it: Black glue cactus craft
9. Rock painting
We’ve included rock painting in our activities before, but there or so many excellent ideas that we wanted to share a few more! This rock painting hobby has become quite popular lately, and all over the country people are making all sorts of painted rocks and leaving them hidden outside for strangers to find! If you find one? You can take a picture of it to share with the group (if you want to), and then hide it again for someone else to find!
Check out this public FB group, Mid-Michigan Painted Rocks, to see how the idea is growing -- it’s even spread into as many as seven other states now!
There are so many ways you can do these - your kids are sure to find it fun one way or another! For some, it might be nice if you drew the outlines for them with a nice fine-tipped black marker, and they could paint the picture in whatever colors they like best. It is also fun to use glow-in-the-dark paint for a few!
We thought these looked particularly cute for a hot day’s activity:
Fairy door rock painting for the advanced painters in your group
Colorful designs or abstract for the younger painters/novices in your group
Cartoon characters with tic tac toe for those who enjoy a game with their art project
Different shaped rocks to make a scene on another large rock
Here’s how you do it: Rock painting
10. Seed sorting and planting
Image credit: stay at home educator sarah punkoney
It’s really fun to plant things just to see what happens, and plenty of kids are ready for growing and sorting seeds whenever you are -- especially if they see you’ve got supplies in hand! (You’ll need some gloves, a shovel, some tongue depressors to label each item, etc.)
If you really want things to grow and be able to eat them at harvest time, why not set it in motion to have veggies for a family and friends get-together in the fall. First things first? Buy your seeds. We enjoy these, but get whatever you prefer. You can also just grab packets from the dollar store or grocery store locally.
First, have the littlest gardeners “sort” the seeds for you, making sure each seed goes back into the right location. Then gather all together as you plant and water and wait!
Here’s how to do it: Seeds sorting and planting
11. Ice excavations
Image credit: lifeatthezoo.com, schooltimesnippets
On the hottest of summer days when the scorching sun reaches its highest, kids really need to cool off -- and sometimes only ice itself is up to the job!
Ice excavation kits can be easily made in any household with a little creativity and maybe a few bucks at the nearest dollar store. To start with, consider what you’ll want in your ice blocks for the kids to dig out. Of course, there are countless options depending upon age and interests, including:
Little figurines or toys
Little plastic dinosaurs to make “dinosaur eggs”
Letters, numbers, alphabet magnets
Plastic fish or ocean animals
Rainbow colored items, kits or toys
Foam letters, numbers, shapes
Butterfly or hummingbird toys
A sensory excavation kit for kids with sensory challenges
Leaves, dandelions, grass, or anything else they collected from the yard
Blueberries, pitted cherries, seedless grapes, blackberries
*Be sure to separate the edible from the inedible and excavate accordingly (with plenty of supervision for the littlest excavators!)
Once you’ve gathered your items, decide what type of mold you’ll need. We think these are a good size and shape, but use your imagination to find your own! (If you don’t want to purchase a mold, any old bowl, pot, or cake tin will do. To remove after freezing, just let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes, or run some hot water on the outside of the container. Once the edges thaw a bit just turn it upside down to get the iceblock out.) Make sure you plan on enough time to let them all freeze properly before your group arrives.
Ready to begin? Get everyone properly in the shade with their favorite excavation tools (a water spritzer or spray bottle, a little salt, tongs, shovels from the sandbox, etc.) and hand out the ice blocks. Then? Get to digging! You can do it at a leisurely pace (recommended by the tired adults around you), or give out awards for “firsts”, i.e. “first to find a yellow butterfly gets a popsicle break with their choice of flavor!”
Here’s how to do it (well, one of many ways, actually): Ice Excavation Kits
12. Plastic bottle sprinkler
Image credit: the handy mano
Is it hot enough to run through the sprinkler, but there’s nary a sprinkler in sight? Fret not! All you need is a decent-sized plastic water bottle, something to poke holes with, a little duct tape, and a hooked up hose, and you’re set to get sprinkled!
If you can mount one of these on a simple stand or hang it from above so the water can spray down on the runners - instead of up from the ground -- try it! Do whatever your group finds more fun!
Here’s how to do it: Plastic bottle sprinkler and here’s a quick video (make sure parents are around before anyone gets the drill out, guys! Better yet -- skip the drill. The sprinkler works MUCH better with tiny holes than larger ones, as you’ll see!)
13. Handprint Flower Bouquet
Image credit: the best ideas for kids
This one is so simple and so cute, we had to include it for a scorching day activity!
Only 3 supplies are needed (you probably have some of them on hand already), plus a steady hand for tracing (supervising helpers, stay nearby) and it can be given to someone as a gift at the end of the day, or just made for fun!
For a slight variation, you can make the same handprint flowers for standing in a vase
Or make butterfly handprint cards instead of flowers (these are super cute!)
Image credit: the best ideas for kids
Here’s how to do it: Handprint flower bouquet
14. Frozen paint
Image credit: Busy Toddler
Let the littles get creative with this fun frozen activity designed for toddlers, but older kids may enjoy it, too! You only need a handful of supplies, and two of them are likely already in your kitchen just waiting to be used! The vital element here, besides the right washable tempera paint, is foil, so make sure you’ve got the bonafide sturdy kind on hand.
This craft’s creator recommends putting on a little classical music to accompany the kiddos’ work to bring out their natural creativity.
Let them stay cool while creating their Masterpieces by doing it indoors just as the creator has shown… OR...take the art project outside into the shade and let them paint to their heart’s content.
Note: Washable tempera paint should hose right off most outdoor surfaces, although you may want to stick to areas you don’t mind getting messy just in case!
Here’s how to do it: Frozen paint
At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.