Summer crafts kids can do together

Ladybug Tic-tac-Toe is a fun project for even the youngest kids.
Ladybug Tic-tac-Toe is a fun project for even the youngest kids.

School’s out and summertime fun is in. It’s a great time to plan a few craft projects, especially those that groups of kids can do together.

Rain or shine, these activities will gather friends around the table to use their creative skills — and keep their faces away from screens for a while.

You probably already have many of the materials around your house.

Blooming flip flops

Blooming Flip Flops slipped off b4 tree climb
Summer flip flops can be decorated with flowers, ribbon and other fun materials to give them a unique look.

What’s more fun than a teen flip-flop shoe design party on a summer day? Buy a stash of flip flops in common sizes and place them in a bucket. Flowers make the prettiest summer shoe in town, so have everyone bring their favorite silk blooms and anything else they’d like to attach to their flip flops.


  • Two of the same large silk blooms
  • Wire cutters
  • E6000 or a heavy-duty, waterproof craft adhesive
  • Pair of flip flops that match flowers well

1. Select silk flowers and cut off wire stem so that the flower is as flat as possible on the underside.

2. Use adhesive to glue on blossom to the plastic shoe where the larger part of the straps connects to the toe areas.

3. Hold the flower on until glue begins to thicken. Keep the flower upright.

4. Let shoes dry over a 24-hour period.

Note: Keystone vintage jewelry pieces from mom’s old jewelry stash (get her permission first!), beads and soft pom-poms make fun decorations to flip flops, too.

Turn the tables

Turn the tables scrabble table
Pick up an old board game from a garage sale or second-hand store for your table.

For the teen looking to take on something a little more advanced in crafting, it’s fun to redo a bedside or lamp table. There’s often a stray table in the house that (with permission) a parent will allow to be “revamped.” Think of unique ways to reface just the top of the table or a stool that could become a table.

Here’s a fun one: Use Scrabble game pieces from a garage sale game to cover the top of a table. A strong craft adhesive like E6000 or Amazing Goop will adhere the game pieces to the table top. Spell out words that are meaningful and use a hacksaw to trim off any edges to make the pieces fit just right. Allow the pieces to dry for 1-2 days before using the table.

You can also cover your table with mosaic art using a broken plate. There are many tutorials on that teach how make a mosaic tabletop. Visit for more detailed instruction and more craft ideas.

Ladybug and bumblebee tic-tac-toe stump

DSC_2692 ladybug tictactoe
Ladybug Tic-tac-Toe is a fun project for even the youngest kids.

This is such a sweet and simple idea for little children and has been enjoyed by many generations. A stump and a few round rocks can make the perfect tic-tac-toe board for kiddos this summer.


  • Wood slice from a tree or bought at a craft store
  • Sand paper
  • 6 rocks
  • 1 small bottle each of white, red, yellow and black craft paint
  • 2-3 craft paint brushes
  • 1 can of Minwax Polycrylic clear coat spray
  • Cotton swabs

1. Locate a stump or piece of tree that has been trimmed. Craft stores and online sources have trees slices for weddings, catering and craft projects too.

2. Lightly sand the slice of wood so that the top is smooth.

3. Paint a solid light color and then use black paint to create the “number sign” grid for the tic-tac-toe board.

4. Find six rocks. Three will be painted in the pattern of a ladybug and three will be very bumble bee friendly.

5. Using your craft paints, paint three rocks red and three rocks yellow.

6. Use a cotton swab to paint little black dots on the red rocks like a lady bug would wear.

7. Next, paint black stripes on the yellow rocks to create a bumble bee pattern.

8. Place the rocks on the wood slice game board on the back patio and let the games begin!

Stylish seashells by the seashore: Vacay photo frames

2Seashells from Summer Trips to Frames
Seashell-decorated photo frames remind you of your time at the beach.

Apply special seashells to unique, wooden photo frames. Look for more updated, modern wooden frames to match a kid’s room. Styles of frames that have more wood than photo space allow you to have the space you need to apply the shells in a nifty way.


  • Wooden photo frames
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • A few cotton swabs for glue clean-up
  • Disposable paint brush
  • Seashells
  • Craft adhesive, such as: E6000 Adhesive, Amazing Goop plumbing adhesive or a low-heat glue gun with glue sticks. (Low-heat glue and guns are better for younger children, E6000 is very strong but is not odorless. Amazing Goop plumbing adhesive is less odorous and dries fast.)

1. If you are painting a photo frame, select your colors and paint the frame with two coats of your craft paint. Let the paint dry.

2. Sift through the shells to find the favorite ones and lay them onto the frame in a way that is pleasing to the eye. Often, less is more.

3. Once you have the design layout, it’s time to glue. When using hot glue, it’s best to use a low-heat glue so little hands can’t get burned. Adult supervision around the glue guns are always recommended. Put gobs of glue under the shells so they have something to grip and adhere into.

4. Use a cotton swab to clean up any oozing glue that is seen on the frame that you don’t want to see and let the entire frame dry (overnight to 24 hours)