Kid-Friendly DIY: 10 Projects Sure to Inspire Summer Fun

Summertime is on, and the kids are out of school. Every mom knows that for these three months it's more important than ever to keep the kids busy. But you don't have to schedule your life away with camps, or drop a bundle on activities and games that come in a box. You can make your own fun, and even include the kids in the prep, with some simple, inexpensive DIY crafts that will keep them playing 'til the lightening bugs come out. Make your own fingerpaint, bubbles, and crayons. Create a fort-building kit and superhero capes that will kick their imaginations into overdrive. Here are 10 of our favorite kid-friendly DIY crafts to fuel your summertime fun.

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  1. Finger Paint


    Everyone loves to paint—even kids. Mix together cornstarch, salt, sugar, water, and food coloring to create your own inexpensive concoction. Store in an airtight container, and you'll have it at your fingertips whenever the need for art arises.

  2. Felt Play Mat


    Collect your fabric scraps and fashion a city play mat that you can fold up and take anywhere. Whether you machine or hand sew, you can create the perfect place for toy cars (or wild animals) to cruise. And, best of all, there are no annoying traffic noises (except for the ones your kids make).

  3. Bookcase Dollhouse


    Transform a bookcase into a dollhouse using little more than some wrapping paper and cardboard. Just apply the paper to the walls with double-sided tape and cut decorative elements like rugs, doors, and pictures out of the cardboard. Add some dollhouse furniture and get ready to move in.

  4. Tire Swing


    Provided you have a tall tree, you can turn your backyard into an amusement park with relatively little effort. Gather together some simple hardware, a rope or chain, and a tire that needs recycling. Make the swing even more fun by painting colorful polka dots on the tire.

    Related: How To Make a Tire Swing

  5. Chalkboard Table


    Give any small table a fresh new look—and a second life—with a coat of chalkboard paint. Simply apply a coat with a brush or spray can, gather some chalk, and let the nonstop creativity ensue. Bring the fun indoors by painting a bedroom wall with the same paint.

    Related: How To Make Chalkboard Paint

  6. Play Kitchen


    With a little ingenuity, you can turn an old cabinet, entertainment center, or dresser into a play kitchen. Create a fun backsplash, and add a shelf, towel rack, and drawer pulls, and your burgeoning chef will feel right at home.

  7. Fort Kit


    Assemble all the ingredients for a DIY fort in one neat package. Great building materials include bed sheets, clamps, a flashlight, rope, clothespins, and suction cups. Warning: As construction gets under way, prepare to relinquish your couch cushions!

  8. Crayons


    Recycle your broken crayons into brand-new ones. Just peel the wrappers off and break the crayons into small pieces. Put them in a muffin tin and bake in a low oven until they’ve melted. Let them cool and pop them out for a rainbow of coloring fun.

  9. Superhero Capes


    If you can cut and glue, you can make a superhero cape. Just cut out the cape from felt and add iron-on Velcro at the neck for a closure. Glue some felt designs on the back, and voilà! Instant awesomeness. While you’re at it, make one for yourself, Super Mom!

  10. Bubbles


    Blend together water, dish soap, and glycerin for a homemade bubble mix that will make your kids pop with joy. Twist shapes into the ends of a few pipe cleaners, and you’ll have some quick wands to go with the bubble juice. Bubble armageddon is close at hand!

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