Me too! We are crafty project people, so we look forward to this summer for all the extra crafting time! :-)
Sewing and knitting are always happening in our house, so those crafts go into high gear in the summer! Some other ideas:
-Cross stitch and embroidery (This craft travels well, so we work on them during Adult Swim at the pool, or my girls will do it during read-alouds. It's also less hot to have on your lap than wool knitting.)
-Clay Charms. Pretty sure my girls could spend weeks making these.
-Latch hook kits (Latch hook is hideous, really, but it's so much fun to make! Kids love it. I have the fondest summer memories of making latch hook stuff in my bedroom with my sisters.)
-Fancy coloring books with great pencils and pens.
-Friendship bracelets and/or seed bead jewelry making. (I've seen all sorts of kits for these on Amazon, etc. I remember making a million different seed bead necklaces the summer before 7th grade....)
-Family jigsaw puzzle. Something with a thousand + pieces that stays set up for weeks on a small table and everyone in the family works on it here and there throughout the summer. (Add audiobooks for even more fun, lol.)
-If you love crafting, you might want consider getting a $4.95/month subscription to Creativebug.com. It's the best thing in the world if your family loves to make things! (Creativebug has it all: drawing, painting, sewing, knitting, journaling, jewelry making, cake decorating. It's the only computer time our kids get and it is always time well spent! We love it so much and every member of the family uses it.)
-And I remember, too, my parents sometimes used to get us each a giant crossword or word search book at the beginning of the summer. (Sneaky vocabulary and spelling practice!) I loved working on those! Sudoku books would also be fun.
And then we do all the usual summer stuff like hiking, biking, swimming, tons of summer reading, etc. Pinterest is full of "Summer Bucket Lists," too, for all sorts of ideas. I like your idea of doing a family service project each summer...I'll have to think about that in more depth!
ETA: Just looked back at your sig in your OP and realized your kids are maybe a bit young for some of my suggestions, but you can adapt most of them to the younger set! For instance, you can use pony beads instead of seed beads, simpler coloring books and puzzles, etc. Your 6-year-old might love Perler beads; my girls still love that! And when my girls were younger, their first introduction to embroidery was with yarn and burlap. (Get a bit of burlap fabric from Joann, stick it in an embroidery hoop, grab some variegated yarn and a giant plastic needle, and your child will likely spend hours just embroidering on the burlap.) My girls also loved embroidering yarn on plastic canvases from Joann. They come in square shapes, heart shapes, etc. Variegated yarn is very motivating, because they can't wait to see what the next bit of color will look like! Hope that helps!
Edited by EKT, 21 April 2017 - 09:19 AM.