Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Projects for Older Children

If you are running out of ideas for summer projects for your older children consider introducing them to the idea of making gifts to donate to a children's hospital. No one wants to think of children becoming ill and spending summer days cooped up in a hospital, but the fact is many children suffer from chronic illnesses and diseases and do spend weeks to months at a time in the hospital.

Introducing children to the craft arena can give them the chance to explore a hobby too. There are so many ideas for craft projects that children can manage with minimal direction including painting, beading, crocheting, scrap-booking, leather kits for belts or key chains, garden stones, and the list goes on.

Here are some ideas that older children may be able to complete with adult supervision. Most of these ideas are not costly but when completed will put a smile on the face of a child. Even if the children learn a new craft that can be given as a gift to family members, decorate items for school, or used for personal pleasure it will expand their interests and their motor skills while keeping them from boredom.

1. Sew a bright pillowcase for a child, and donate it to your local pediatric unit or children's hospital. It takes only a yard of fabric to sew. If your sewing skills are not up to par, consider buying a plain pillow case and letting children paint or draw, hot glue or applique fun things on the pillow case to make it special. This would work for adults too if you would rather donate to a local nursing home. Make certain any picture or embellishment is secured to avoid choking. Making a gift for a friend can be very rewarding.

2. Decorate plastic buckets and fill with stickers, crayons, or a toy. You can find many inexpensive items at a discount store and the child who is confined to the hospital will be overjoyed to get a surprise package. Consider doing a neighbor hood party where several of your child's friends can get involved. If each donates a bucket and a couple of items to share it can be not only fun but a life lesson on sharing and doing for others.

3. Beading is a rather inexpensive hobby initially. Start with less than 10 dollars and purchase beads, wire, and clasps for bracelets, necklaces, or earrings. Your child might find their talent is in creating something special in the line of jewelry.

4. Paint kits can be found for under 5.00 at your local craft shop. Give kids card stock and a few paints or colored pencils and see what kind of well wishes they can create. You may find a budding artist in your midst.

5. Tied fleece blankets are a great project for their bedrooms. Fleece comes in a variety of colors and your child can cut and tie his or her own blanket for under 20.00 ( 2 yards will do or 4 yards if you are doing it double layered)  which is less than most movie tickets and a popcorn. Let them pick the fabric, assist them in cutting the  3 inch slits all around the fabric and sit back while they tie the strips in knots. Walla... your child has his or her own soft cover.

With some guidance and imagination you can find all kinds of crafty projects for your kids. Summer is the perfect time for many of these projects because you can do them at a table under the shade of a tree outside. Cuts down on clean up and gives them fresh air. What craft ideas do your kids like to do in the summer? Feel free to send me your ideas or pictures of your projects to post here.

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