These Kid-Friendly DIYs Encourage Outdoor Play

April 11, 2022

Looking for ways to keep your little ones entertained this summer? Here are a few crafts that will be fun to do as a family—and the resulting toys will get everyone outside!

  1. “Popsicle” chalk. Popsicles are the perfect afternoon treat on a hot summer’s day, but did you know they can also be an activity? That is if you craft them using cornstarch, water, and washable tempera paint. You might’ve guessed by now that these aren’t edible popsicles, but rather popsicle-shaped chalk. You do, however, freeze them! Start by mixing one part water and one part cornstarch, then divide into plastic cups and add as much tempera paint as you need to achieve your desired hues. Next, pour the chalk mixture into a popsicle mold, add the handles, and freeze for a few hours. Once they’ve firmed up, you’re ready to get outside and start drawing!

  2. Super soaker sponge balls. Looking for a fun way to cool down with the kids at a local park? DIY these super-simple sponge balls. All you need to complete the easy craft are a few packages of soft (not scrubby) colorful kitchen sponges, cotton string or twine, and scissors. Simply cut the sponges lengthwise into four strips, then lay them side by side. Add another layer of four strips. Grab a piece of string and wrap it tightly around the center, knotting it. Then cut off the excess string and fluffy out the tendrils for the best dipping and splashing!

  3. Giant bubbles. Sure, your standard bubbles are fun, but after a while, they lose their intrigue. If your kids are at that stage, take things to the next level with a DIY wand that produces massive bubbles. Using items you might already have in your crafting kit (and if not, you’ll easily find them at your nearest craft store), you’ll construct the two-pronged wand before mixing up a particularly potent bubble blend. It includes the traditional dish soap and glycerine, of course, but the addition of corn starch, rubbing alcohol, and guar gum give these bubbles extra staying power.

  4. DIY ladder golf. If you’re a pro with PVC pipe, there’s no need to spend a pretty penny on a ladder golf set. Instead, build your own! Using different cuts of PVC pipe and connectors you can easily build the ladder structure for which this lawn game is named. Make sure to spray-paint the rungs first so they’re fun summery colors! Then spray-paint and drill holes into golf balls so you can string them onto nylon rope. All that’s left to do after this is to start tossing!

  5. Frisbee golf. If your little ones love to toss a frisbee around, impress them by creating your very own frisbee golf course. It’s surprisingly simple to do. Gather three to six large buckets and a frisbee or two. Then find an open, grassy space that doesn’t see too much foot traffic. Arrange the buckets at intervals that are appropriate for your little ones—you may want to weigh them down with heavy rocks if it’s a blustery day. Then let them try their hand at hitting the mark! Rearrange the buckets as needed to create new courses all afternoon.

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