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Summer Projects for Elementary-Aged Kids


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#1 mommysanders

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 07:29 AM

Looking for ideas for summer projects. Craft projects, service projects, cleaning projects (wishful thinking?).

 

Growing up I always had a new craft I was learning over the summer. Something I could pull out and work on bits at a time. My kids are still young, but I think my oldest could learn something new. Just looking for ideas. Here are some of my own ideas for various ages.

 

Crafts:

Learn to knit

Learn to sew

Make a model plane/ship/animal and paint it

A small garden project of some sort

 

Service:

Volunteer at local food shelter

Get a group to pick up trash somewhere


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#2 EKT

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:00 AM

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.

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#3 ondreeuh

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:37 PM

I love EKT's ideas. I did cross stitch, puzzles, and crosswords during many summers. :) You might look at buying single Doodle Crates. We have a subscription and have a wide variety of crafts - making papier mache masks, rubber stamps, soap, and paper; book binding, tie dying, sewing slippers, etc. http://www.kiwicrate.com/store

 

DIY.org is a fantastic website that has kids earn badges similar to scouts - you pick what you skill you want to work on and which projects you want to make.

 

Other ideas:

Zoob STEM challenge kit

make stop-motion animation with the ipad (we used Smoovie)

work through a cookbook

friendship bracelets

weaving

build a club house out of pallets and scraps

 


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#4 mommysanders

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 03:07 PM

Wow, EKT, you have a lot of great ideas! And the links are helpful. Thanks! I remember doing latch and hook rugs as a kid. So much fun! Yes, my kids are a bit young for some of these, but it's nice to get some ideas anyway. And I didn't know what to call "Perler beads". I call them "those beads that you iron and they melt into designs." Lol. So now I know what they're called, and I bet my kids would love it. Thanks!


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#5 EKT

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:09 PM

Wow, EKT, you have a lot of great ideas! And the links are helpful. Thanks! I remember doing latch and hook rugs as a kid. So much fun! Yes, my kids are a bit young for some of these, but it's nice to get some ideas anyway. And I didn't know what to call "Perler beads". I call them "those beads that you iron and they melt into designs." Lol. So now I know what they're called, and I bet my kids would love it. Thanks!


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Happy to help! :-)


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#6 Margaret in CO

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 02:14 AM

What about joining 4-H? They'll get instruction and have a lot of fun. Most signups are due May 1st though!


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#7 FawnsFunnyFarm

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 06:06 AM

Finger knitting

Make a solar oven

Make a vagabond stove

See if a local animal shelter needs someone to play with puppies (kittens tend to scratch), ours will if a parent stays with the kids.

Spice gardens

Fairy gardens
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#8 OnMyOwn

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:41 PM

Your little ones might enjoy the Judy Press craft books.  I used this one with my dd when she was that age and there were many she could do on her own. It was so easy to implement and she just loved it.  I had her go through the book and tab projects she liked and then I made sure to have the supplies on hand -- popsicle sticks, flour for salt dough, glue, paper, etc.

 

https://www.amazon.c...p_27:Judy Press

 

I also did Meals on Wheels with mine when they were the ages of your two.  The older people just loved seeing my kids each week when we delivered the meals.  


Edited by OnMyOwn, 23 April 2017 - 12:44 PM.

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#9 Ranger

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 12:59 PM

We are going to choose projects from The Daring Book for Girls and The Dangerous Book for Boys.


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#10 Zinnia

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:48 AM

Our fair is at the end of summer (mid September), so we spend the summer working on fair projects. My kids like the goal of creating for a competition.
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#11 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 05:29 PM

At those ages we did library storytimes and plays. The summer programs include children's theater, science programs, music, etc. We went to one a week all summer. We also did the summer reading programs at the libraries. We did swimming as much as possible with swimming lessons as often as possible. We did camping and nature walks and study. We did museums and playgrounds. 

 

As far as hobbies and crafts, one of mine always had a very intense subject she was into from magic and magic tricks to dinosaurs. We would just read on those subjects and see shows and go to exhibits and do projects around those. We did art projects and science activities whenever we wanted either from a specific book I had or from opportunities that came up. (If the botanical gardens was releasing ladybugs and we could help, we would then learn about them and read about them and do crafts that I could find about them, etc.) My kids went to VBS, both ours and with friends to their churches. There were always crafts and projects there. If they got into something specific we would follow it up at home. 

 

I don't remember planning anything specific for summers at those ages besides reading, swimming, and VBS, plus taking advantage of whatever was happening around us. 


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