My favorite thing about summer is how much time we spend outdoors, enjoying nature. These nature wands help keep the magic of summer alive a little longer. Nature wands are perfect for inspiring a little creativity and imaginative play.
Got a stick? Then you have a Nature Wand! We used sticks that we had collected on a recent walk through the woods. We also collected some leaves, flowers, seeds, and grasses. We added a bit of extra sparkle to our wands by sorting through our left over craft materials and having a wee bit of fun with glitter, paint, ribbon and stickers.
Made with creativity and loaded with the magic of nature, what could possibly be more powerful? Hazzah!
Summertime is the season of outdoor adventures and imaginative play. Making a simple pair of toy binoculars can inspire a backyard safari, a game of eye-spy or endless imaginative adventures. They're easy to make, super customizable, and provide hours of creative play.
Looking for a fun activity for a cold winter day? New Jersey has a variety of studios that offer make-and-take crafts for your little Picasso. Some are even drop-in spots, so spontaneous potters, glassmakers, and jewelers, take notice! However, patience is required as most art is not ‘taken” the day it’s made and pick up times vary according to studio. Remember, the best parts of make-and-take---no mess at home and a beautiful one-of-a-kind artifact made by your one-of-a-kind kid.
Nothing says summertime fun like bubbles, but add a little color and take your bubble play to a whole new level. This simple project is a little bit art, a little bit science, and a whole lot of fun. Little kids love the anticipation of watching the bubbles burst into blooms of color. You can also experiment a bit with mixing colors each time you blow a new bubble. This is probably the one time my daughter was not sad that I burst her bubble!.
If you are taking a vacation that involves fishing this summer, fish printing is a great way to preserve a couple of fun family vacation memories. Fish Printing, or Gyotaku, is a traditional Japanese art dating from the mid-1800s. Think of it like a pre-Instagram way of recording the size of your catch. In these days of digital media; however, it has evolved into a bit more of an art form. We had the good fortune to learn a bit more about it on vacation in Cape Cod. I wasn't sure how my 2.5 year old daughter would react to painting a fish, but she loved it. Luckily, if she hadn't we had a fake fish on hand to work with too. You can also use this method to create one-of-a-kind t-shirts, a great DIY vacation souvenirs ( I mean, who needs another tie-dye shirt!)
Kids love to role-play and act out stories and, the truth is, they don't need fancy toys or puppets to do it. The beauty of kids' imaginations is that they can be sparked by anything and the stories just seem to flow from inside of them. These simple puppets facilitate that because they put the focus on your child's imagination, not store bought puppets that are confined to preconceived roles.
This upcycled clothespin puppet craft is a perfect rainy day activity or summertime activity and can be whipped up with whatever you have lying around the house. searching for the images or drawing your own is half the fun. The whole family can even get involved in making sweet puppets for storytelling fun.
Summer is a great time to catch up on reading, and not just because the local library gives out prizes (though we are big fans of prizes). Whether your kids are nose-in-book types or the sort that require a little literary nudge, our SUMMER OF PLAY has plenty of room for playing your way through some great kids' books. Check out my time-tested list of vintage classics, modern classics, and recent best sellers that inspire fun activities beyond their pages—and at very little cost. And if you snap any photos along the way, remember to share them as entries in our weekly SUMMER OF PLAY prize drawing!
Everyone loves sparklers on the 4th of July, but they aren't safe for all little hands. This 4th of July we have a safe sparkler magic wand craft for all the littles in your life. This is a super easy craft to do and one of the best parts is that the kids can go on a scavenger hunt to find the perfect wand before sparkling it up.
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