30+ Summer Crafts for ALL ages (Kids AND Adults)

Summer is the perfect time for crafting. It's an excellent way for ALL members of the family to exercise their creative muscles and spend time together. Today, I am sharing OVER 30 summer crafts for ALL ages, and I've included helpful links and templates too!

I've divided the crafts into three categories (younger kids, older kids, and adults), but some of the crafts are fun for multiple age groups. Take a look and let me know what you think!

Summer Crafts for Younger Kids

1) Paper Fan - Paper fans are easy to make, and they are fun to play with after they are made. Kids will love this simple craft, and you can download the paper fan template for free here

2) Paper Popsicle I love this simple little paper popsicle craft. Tape a popsicle stick onto the back of a piece of cardstock, and decorate with markers and stickers. It doesn't get much easier than this cool treat!

3) Toilet Roll Binoculars - Toilet roll binoculars are fun to create, and they are perfect for taking along on summer sight-seeing adventures. Find the "how to" here.

4) Campfire Scene Artwork - Artwork that includes a photo of the child is extra special. Check out how my sun made this simple campfire scene artwork here.

5) Handprint Campfire - Handprint crafts are super-cute, and this one is perfect for summer. You can find the full instructions for this adorable handprint campfire here.

6) Paper Bag Kites - Paper bag kites are easy to make, and they are really fun to play with after they have been completed. This was always a favourite craft with my boys.

7) Under the Sea - Young kids will adore making these sweet "under the sea" crafts. You can find the details for these three fish crafts here.

8) Windsock - You just need a few simple crafts supplies to make this adorable windsock... and kids will love it. Find the full instruction for this fantastic craft for kids here.

9) Suncatcher This one simple crafts involves glue, so young kids will love it.  Pour a thin layer of white glue into a plastic lid, add some "treasures", and allow to dry completely.  Peel out the suncatcher, attach a string, and hang it in a window.

10) Magnet Movers - This is a fun little activity for little ones, and it's simple to make. Start by drawing a road on a piece of paper.  Then, take two "attracting magnets" -- attaching one to a pom pom creature and one to a folded paper "handle".  Put the creature on the top of the paper and the other magnet on the bottom of the paper.  The kids will have a great time moving the pom pom creatures around "like magic".

11) Noisemaker / Kazoo - This craft is perfect for kids because they love things that make noise. To make it, have the kids decorate a toilet paper roll, and then secure some wax paper to the top with an elastic. "Hum" into it, and have fun!

12) Celebrating Frog - This is a craft and a celebration all in one! Draw a basic frog face shape onto a piece of card stock, color it, add some eyes, and cut it out.  Then, cut a slit for a party favor "tongue".  Simple and silly!

13) Handprint Art - The possibilities for handprint art are endless, but this little crab is adorable.  Cover two little hands in red paint, press to paper and add a couple of googly eyes. Cute, right?

Summer Crafts for Older Kids

14) Felt Finger Puppets - Felt is a perfect material for young people learning to sew. It is cheap and super-easy to work with. Making finger puppets is wonderful sewing projects for beginners. They can be given as gifts or donated to a children's hospital! You can find a full tutorial for making felt finger puppets here.

15) Pom pom crafts - Pom poms are a simple yarn craft with several possibilities for further crafting. Pom poms can be played with "as is" or they can be turned into yarn animals, wreaths, flowers, and more. Find the step by step instructions for crafting pom poms here.

16) Nature Inspired Picture HangerWhat starts with a trek through the woods collecting branches, turns into a fun piece of bedroom decor. Wrap a stick with yarn, tie on a yarn hanger, use hot glue to attach two clothespins, and hang a favourite photo.

17) God's Eye Craft - This simple weaved ornament is the perfect summer craft. You can make them with yarn and popsicle sticks (or twigs), and you can find the full step-by-step tutorial here.

18) Friendship Bracelets - This was one of my favourite crafts when I was a little girl. They are simple to make, and they are fun to wear. If you google "friendship bracelets", you can find tons of easy-to-follow video tutorials.

19) Painted Rocks - Painted rocks are fantastic because the materials are inexpensive, and the design possibilities are endless. They are fun for decorating a garden or leaving on a trail for strangers to find and enjoy. You can find a beginner's guide to painted rocks here.

20) Boho Wreath - This wreath isn't difficult to make, but it's a super-cute piece of decor that tweens/teens can make for their rooms. Find the full step-by-step instructions here

21) "No sew" Jersey / T-Shirt Bags - Old t-shirts that are destined for the donation bin can easily be turned into "no sew" bags. Find the full step by step instructions for crafting your own bag from a jersey or t-shirt here.

22) Toilet Roll WeavingToilet roll weaving is simple... and totally addictive. You can use a toilet roll, yarn and popsicle sticks to weave a snake, necklace, bracelet or rug. Once you start this fun craft project, you won't be able to stop. You can find the step by step tutorial for toilet roll weaving here.

23) Tassel bookmarks - Paper bookmarks are fun, but bookmarks with easy-to-make yarn tassels are even better. Find the full step by step instructions for creating these cute bookmarks here.

243D handprint art - Simple handprint artwork can be created with only paper and markers. You can find the step by step instructions here.

25) Jersey Painting - Sporty kids will love creating these jersey paintings to hang in their rooms. They are easy to customize to any name / number / team colours. Find the step-by-step instructions here.

26) Simple beaded key chain - Dollar store beads can be strung and attached to key rings to create a variety of beaded key chains. You can also add words and messages to wooden beads with a Sharpie. Make a bunch of these to hang from backpacks or give as gifts.

27) Placemat Wreath - This is one of my favourite summer DIYs. It's a simple idea, but the result is super-cute. All you need is a dollar store pizza pan, a placemat, some nautical rope, and the instructions you can find here.

You can also try this cheery version. Find the full instructions for the HELLO SUNSHINE wreath here.

28) DIY Planter - I was inspired to make this planter when I saw a similar one selling online for $140. I gathered up some dollar store supplies and make this one for only $10. Check out both versions and the step-by-step instructions here.

29) Turquoise Grapevine Wreath - I made this wreath several years ago, but it's still one of my favourites. I love the bright colours and the simple design. You can find out how to make your own version here.

30) DIY Lemonade Tray and FREE Printable Picture - Yellow is the perfect colour for summer, and lemons are a great source of crafting inspiration. I am absolutely in love with this lemonade tray and free print. Find the instructions and get your freebie here.

31) Summer Themed Tiered Tray - I love having a tiered tray and trading out all the displayed items for each season / holiday. For summer, it's easy to DIY items using dollar store supplies. Find the details for the items on the summer themed tiered tray (below) here.

32) Summer Flower Arrangement - Creating a flower arrangement using dollar store supplies is a fantasstic way to create high-end home decor on a budget. Find the DIY details here.

Are these summer crafts fun? I love coming up with fun crafts that using inexpensive (and easy to find) supplies. I hope I've inspired you to stock up on craft supplies and have some fun getting creative this summer!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You may also be interested in these FIFTY ideas for summer fun!

A Birthday Letter to My Middle Son on his 14th Birthday

When my boys were little, I started a tradition of writing them each "birthday letters" on their birthdays. I love that they will always have annual literary "snapshots" of their personalities as they grow into young men. Today, I am sharing the letter I wrote to my middle son for his 14th birthday.

My sweet boy,

I can't believe that my crazy, curly-haired, spunky toddler has turned into a giant 14 year old (who now towers over his mother). As you head to high school, I hope that you continue to be the same sweet boy (with the sparkle in his eyes). Here are a few of the things that make you the most special 14 year old in the whole world

* Even though you are taller than me (just shy of 6 feet), you still like to sit on my lap during movie night. It's not the most comfortable for me, but I will never ask you to stop. 😀

* You have a huge heart and continue to be one of the most sensitive, empathetic people I know. 

* You are soooo easy-going... until you come up against something you believe is not right. Then, you become super-stubborn. As a mother, it's not always easy to deal with, but I know it's a quality that will serve you well in life.

* You have a wonderful, positive attitude, a dry/mature sense of humour, and a fun spirit. You treat all people with kindness, and because of this, people love to be around you. You are a loyal brother, son, and friend.

* You enjoy being outside, and you really love playing basketball, golf, and hockey. You especially love being part of a team.

* You conquered another year living through a pandemic, and although you missed a bit of school and hockey, you took it all in stride. I think you actually enjoyed the extra downtime with your family.

You are strong-willed, helpful, "go with the flow", and kind-hearted. I'm so proud of the boy you are, and I look forward to seeing the man you will become. I love you to the moon and back!


Mom xoxo

A Birthday Letter to my Youngest Son on his 12th Birthday

Every year on my boys' birthdays, I write them a "birthday letter". My goal is to create an annual "written snapshot" that captures each boy's personality. I want my boys to know how much I love them, and how much a treasure EVERY year I get to be their mom. Today, I'm sharing the letter I wrote my youngest son today... on his 12th birthday.

My sweet "baby" boy,

As you turn 12, I realize that you are almost a teenager, but as my youngest son, you will always be my baby boy. 😀

I could never put into words how much you mean to me, but here are a few of the reasons you are so special to me:

* You finished your second year as a goalie, and I'm so proud of how far you have come. I'm proud of your skill improvement, but I am even more proud of the way you have learned to handle the stress and adversity that comes with the position. As a sensitive and competitive person, I know being a goalie isn't always easy, but you are growing with every practice and every game... and I'm super-proud of your effort.

* This is the second year that you are celebrating your birthday during a pandemic, and I am impressed (again) by the resiliency you have shown. You wore a mask, you had a few weeks locked down in our house without friends, you flipped from school -- to home school -- and back to school again. You followed the rules, and you kept a positive attitude. In fact, you seemed to enjoy the extra time at home with your family... especially when we turned our house into "fake Florida". 

* You tried "intensive French" at school this year, and you did great. You faced your fears and anxiety around public speaking and failure, and you thrived. You are really brave. 

You are extremely goofy and funny. Your quirky sense of humour keeps us all laughing. I love that you aren't afraid to be silly.

You love playing with your brothers, your cousins, and your friends. You especially love being active -- always up for any game with a ball or a puck.

You love to quietly observe situations, you are a great judge of character, and you ask insightful questions. 

Your favourite colour is green, you love hockey and golf, and your favourite foods are multi grain crackers, all dressed Crispers, and Froot Roll Ups.

You give the best cuddles and foot rubs.

As you turn 12, I hope you know that you are a very special boy. I'm so proud of the young man you are becoming, and I love you to the moon and back!


Mom xoxo

50 Old Fashioned (1970s/80s) Summer Vacation Ideas

Organized sports, camps, scheduled vacations, and parent-organized playdates are great summer activities, but don't we all miss the slower, free-range summers of our childhoods?

The “lazy” days of summer provide the perfect opportunity for kids to assert their independence and engage in free play. Parents benefit from being able to take a break from planning and entertaining, and kids learn decision making skills, negotiating skills, how to build relationships, and how to use their imaginations and foster their creativity. An old-fashioned summer can be good for everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

Here are 50 “old school” 70s/80s summer ideas:
  1. no schedule
  2. neighbourhood freedom
  3. no electronics
  4. play outside
  5. spend time with cousins
  6. swim
  7. bike
  8. play hide and seek until dusk
  9. play flashlight tag
  10. build forts
  11. fish
  12. dance in the rain in bathing suits
  13. splash in puddles and plastic pools
  14. blow bubbles
  15. make mud pies
  16. read books outside
  17. cloud watch
  18. star gaze
  19. hang out in someone’s shed / clubhouse
  20. trade stickers
  21. tent in the yard
  22. catch fireflies
  23. slip and slide in the backyard
  24. roller skate
  25. catch frogs
  26. play old school lawn darts
  27. play hop scotch
  28. enjoy family meals
  29. drink from the hose
  30. have watermelon seed spitting contests
  31. eat boiled hot dogs
  32. eat bologna or PB&J sandwiches
  33. make homemade ice cream and popsicles in plastic molds
  34. make frozen chocolate covered bananas
  35. drink kool aid and tang
  36. drink lemonade in Styrofoam cups
  37. eat half cooked cakes made in easy bake ovens
  38. walk to the store and buy candy
  39. eat rocket popsicles
  40. wash your hair with shampoo in the lake (which totally counts as a bath)
  41. have a bon fire 
  42. pick berries
  43. learn jump rope rhymes
  44. play with neighbourhood kids
  45. buy ice cream from a guy on a bike
  46. play Red Rover
  47. play Simon Says
  48. listen to the radio on the back deck
  49. play clapping games like “Miss Mary Mac”
  50. parents holler when it's time to come home... when the street lights come on

Do any of these things remind you of your childhood? What would you add to my list?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

You may also be interested in these FIFTY ideas for summer fun!

Don't miss any of the fun....