Summer vacation is officially upon us and there are so many fun ways to keep kiddos occupied that don’t involve an electronic device glued to their hands. Ask any child if they like playing with markers, glue, paper, and other crafty stuff to all around making a mess that turns into a masterpiece and every single one will respond with a resounding, “Yes!”
Now, it’s one thing to say kids love crafts, and it’s quite another for a working mom or dad to don on their creative hats to encourage such play. After all, we have lots of grown-up stuff to think about, too. With that in mind, I have some fun, summer crafting ideas that you can incorporate all of your family photos into. Not only will your kids have fun with these, but it may spark some much needed artistic inspiration for you, too. 😀
- Father’s Day Gifts – Well, this one’s barreling down on us already, isn’t it guys? Just a couple of short weeks away, now’s a great time to get started on some personalized, thoughtful gifts for Dad (or Grandpa). Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Photo Collages – These can come in so many forms! You could collage a big heart on a large canvas, turn all of your photos sepia or black and white, then craft to a wooden or cardboard three-dimensional letter (like the first letter of their name – or get a little larger and spell out DAD). The possibilities really are endless. Let your kids help you pick out the photos, get some Modge Podge and set to work!
- Peekaboo Puzzles – These are really cute, I must admit. When your kids have outgrown their peekaboo puzzles (or if you want to give a new Daddy something fun that symbolizes their little ones), try replacing the images beneath the puzzle pieces with pictures of their little ones. What could be more adorable?
- Photo Coloring Books – Do you have kids who love to color? Why not turn some of their favorite photos into coloring book images? It’s easier than you think and you can memorialize their art along with their favorite images.
- Personalized Photo Frames – This one may go without saying, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention it. Your imagination is literally the limit with personalized frames as there are thousands of ways you could craft one up. You could incorporate photos as a part of the frame itself, or simply spell out the saying Happy Father’s Day – then include your favorite pics inside. No matter which way you go, this is a perfect match.
- Father’s Day Cards –Incorporating your favorite pictures over the past year in a hand-made Father’s Day Card is a great way to express love and keep kids crafty. Print off the ones you’d like to include, then get a big piece of paper (the bigger the better for dad, right?). Collage your pics and get the kids to craft the words with colored paper, markers, glitter – or whatever you’d like!
- 4th of July/Military Family Mementos – If you happen to be a military family, or someone who wants to celebrate your patriotism, you can create little picture frames to honor or celebrate this time of year.
- Christmas in July – Who doesn’t love being prepared? Why not set aside some time with your kids to prep photo ornaments for Christmas presents? Perfect for Grandma, Grandpa, and aunts and uncles.
- Road Trip Magnetic Puzzles – Who’s going on a road trip this summer? Raise your hands! For those of you who want to give your kids something fun to do that doesn’t involve their eyes glued to a screen, why not try crafting personalized road trip puzzles? You can make them as hard or as easy as you’d like, too!
- Baby’s First Puzzle Blocks – Young children love blocks – so why not combine this love with their first puzzle? Use a favorite photo to set the stage. Blow it up large enough to transfer the image onto blocks just the right size for baby (or toddler).
Whatever you do, have a fun, crafty, and creative time with your kids this summer. If you try out any of these fun tips, let me know in the comments section below. Or if you have any of your own ideas, leave those too!
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!