Summer Fun in the Sun: Craft the Day Away
It’s that time of year again! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is beautiful. After being cooped up in the house during the winter season it’s time to shed those layers, get outside and enjoy the sunshine! Crafting outdoors is a great way to enjoy the summer season and connect with nature. The outdoors provides a cornucopia of materials (such as leaves, flowers, fruits, sticks, etc.), colourful inspiration, and an optimal workspace for crafting.
Moving the party outdoors also gives you space to move about and express yourself with paints, paper, ribbons, bubbles, or whatever medium you are feeling! Being outside gives you unlimited access to a necessary element for arts, crafts and overall health: the sun! Its light luminates the spirit, elevates our mood, and inspires creativity (like the figurative “lightbulb” which appears above our head whenever we get an idea!). So grab those art supplies, head outdoors, and bask in the summer sunshine!
KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOUR
The beauty of light is best illustrated by the art of stained glass. Stained glass or glass suncatchers shine majestically when bathed in sunlight. The same concept can be created with watercolours, plastic, tissue paper, string, and glue. This project is great for any skill level—from toddler to tween, the sun catching possibilities are endless!
- String or twine
- Empty glass jar
- Tissue paper
- Glitter, ribbon, stickers
Option #1 Draw a simple shape on a piece of paper (or use a printout), and cut it out. Glue strips of tissue paper across the opening created by the shape. Let these dry, then carefully cut a border around the tissue paper mosaic shape. Glue your creation on a piece of string and hang in a window.
Option #2 Using a glass jar, glue small pieces of tissue paper all over the exterior, making sure the pieces lay flat. Let dry, then apply a second coat of glue on top of the tissue paper, securing it in place. This is a great opportunity for glitter! Once dry, pop a tea light inside the jar, or place it near a sunny spot to enjoy the colourful display it creates! Trace the outline of the shape with string or twine, glue ends together and let dry, leaving the shape in place.
What a fun opportunity to teach the kids about harnessing the power of the sun! Make your own tasty solar infusion using on-hand ingredients and spend a quiet few minutes sipping the fruits of your labour while reading a book together!
Sunshine blend Chamomile, mint, or anise, and teas like green or hibiscus are all tasty options for this recipe. Use a single flavour or create your own custom combo!
- Empty glass jars
- Tea or dried herbs of choice
- Honey or sugar, if desired
- Lemon slices, optional
- Place 1 tsp of herbs or tea of your choice into a 500 ml glass jar. Fill to the top with filtered water, and cover with a lid.
- Place jar outside in a sunny spot and let it steep for a few hours. The sun will gently warm the water and brew your concoction.
- To enjoy, strain into a glass, add in sweetener and lemons, if using, mix, and top with ice.
Colour me tea-tolly impressed! Cover the outside of the jar with coloured paper, place in the sun and let the colour “energize” the tea: yellow for optimism, purple for clarity, blue for calming, green for balancing, red for grounding and orange for joy!
With light comes dark, the shadows from the sunlight. Shadows can be used to make sundials (a fun outdoor project) or full-figure drawings.
If you don’t have large paper on hand, try this with sidewalk chalk on your driveway!
- Large roll of paper
- Place paper on the ground in a sunny spot and have your child “strike a pose,” creating a shadow across the paper. Trace the shape on the paper, then let your little one colour it in!
- To show the sun’s path across the sky, leave the paper in place all day and draw the same shadow pose every hour all day long—creating a human sundial!
Everyday play can help little ones understand the power of the elements. While the summer is a celebration of light, thanks to the glorious sun that warms our faces and makes every day feel like an ice cream party, the earth, wind, and water are just as important elements to connect with, honour, and celebrate all summer long!
Air show Celebrate the power of air by flying kites, blowing bubbles, and making wind chimes!
Earth hour Get messy with clay, mold sculptures, or paint rocks, to evoke respect for the earth and its grounding powers!
Water works Cool off in a pool, sprinkler, at a splash pad or lake and enjoy water’s refreshing properties. You can even dabble in some watercolour fun using paper or found items from nature!