5 DIY Projects to Keep The Kids Busy This Summer

Summer is here! While this means warmer temperatures and vacations, it also means around 8 extra hours a day with your little ones. Sometimes this can be both a blessing and a curse. To avoid hearing “MOM, MOM, MOM” every 5 seconds, here are 5 fun little DIYprojects that are easy and screen-free!

1. Make Your Own Bird Feeders

While it’s just as easy to go out and buy a bird feeder and seeds (which is totally fine too, we have some on sale right now), making your own feeders is a great way to get crafty with your children with minimal effort and items. This craft can be completed with as little as 4! All you’ll need to get started is some bird seed, gelatin, twine, and cookie cutters in your child’s favorite shapes. To learn more about which seeds will attract different birds, check out our birdwatching article here.

First, follow the directions on the gelatin to make the melted gelatin mixture. Once the gelatin is combined, add your birdseed and mix it thoroughly. For this project, we used 2 gelatin packets and 2 cups of bird seed, but you can easily change the amount to suit your needs. After you’ve blended your ingredients, pack the mixture into the cookie cutter molds you’ve selected, making sure to create a hole for the twine to go through once it sets. Then put the molds in the freezer to let them firm for a few hours.

When all those steps are complete, simply create a hanger out of some twine by looping it through the hole in your feeder and hanging it from tree branches, your porch, or any other convenient bird watching location. Now you and your child can birdwatch together from your window or porch.

2. Play Yard Twister

Wanna play twister but don’t have the game? Make it a fun project between you and the kids to craft an outdoor twister game board right in the grass!

What you’ll need:

  • Spray paint – four colors
  • Poster Board or Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Bowl
  • Pencil
  • Bucket
  • Paper

First, use the bowl and poster board or cardboard to create a circular stencil for spray painting your game board. Set up your 4×4 grid with the template you’ve made, making sure to let the kids get in on the spray painting fun if they’re old enough. Use color & body part-coded cards instead of a spinner. Before you start playing, make someone the referee who will call out the body part and the color by looking at the card pulled out. And just like that you’re ready to play!

To make things more fun (and a little more challenging) on a hot day, play under a sprinkler in bathing suits!

3. Make an Obstacle course – With or Without Water!

Ever heard of “American Ninja Warrior”? We’ll let you in on how to make a mini version for your kids right in your backyard. Kids will love challenging each other to complete the course! This DIY can also be customized for different ages and include water related obstacles to beat the summer heat. Here are a few ideas for obstacles:

Balance Beam – Kids try to get across the two-by-four balance beam. Just be sure to stress to your kids to be careful and keep the beam close to the ground to avoid any injuries.

Wet Sponge Basketball – Cut sponges into strips and tie them together to make “basketballs” use a small goal and set a number of baskets to make before heading to the next task.
Don’t have a goal? No problem. Make a target on a fence or wall to have them hit instead.

Water Balloon Piñatas – This one works especially well if you have a set of monkey bars or play set in your backyard. Hang 4-6 water balloons in a row and have your child bust them
with a pool noodle before they move on to the next obstacle. It also helps to keep them cool on a hot day!

String “Laser” Maze – Create a task fit for a spy with a little yarn or crepe paper. To make it outdoors, simply tie your string of choice to a few lawn chairs and have kids crawl through it.

Water Fill Relay – Use an old gallon pitcher or bucket and have kids fill it up with water one glass at a time.

Ladder Run – An oldie but a goodie. Kids scamper through the rungs of a wooden ladder (sanded to prevent splinters then painted a cheery red) laid flat on the ground.

Newspaper Walk – Give participants 3 (or less) sheets of newspaper and task them with getting from one point to the next without touching the ground. Make things trickier by
turning tight corners.

Rope Jump – Hang a rope from a tree with an inflatable pool underneath for them to swing over. (make it toy shark or gator infested for bonus points)If kids get a good running jump
and keep knees high, they are likely to clear the inflatable wading pool. Several big knots tied in the rope’s end make it easy to grab.

Slip N’ Slide Finish – Who wouldn’t want to slide to their victory? If you don’t have a store bought slip n’ slide, make one with a tarp and a little dish soap.

4. Play Painted Rock Tic-Tac-Toe

Nowadays you can find painted rocks hidden throughout your local cities thanks to painted rock groups who hide rocks to help brighten strangers’ days. Get in on the fun with painted rock Tic-Tac-Toe. Let your little ones customize 2 pairs of rocks: one to represent x’s and another for o’s. Rocks don’t necessarily have to have just x’s and o’s, get creative with patterns and colors!

5. Create Poured Flower Pots & Watch a Plant Grow

Create a cool effect with

What you’ll need:

• Terra cotta pot sized for what you’d like to plant
• Paint Brushes
• Masking Tape
• Newspapers
• Acrylic Paints

First, be sure to cover the hole on the bottom of your pot with masking tape from the inside. Set your planter upside down on top of newspapers to contain the paint. Pour paint colors directly onto the top of your pots, allowing the paint to drip down the sides. Layer as many different colors as desired. Another fun way to personalize your planter is to add splattered paint by using a short bristled paint brush or even a tooth brush. Simply thin the desired color of paint with a splash of water, dip your brush in the mixture, and flick it toward your planter.

Once you’ve given your poured flower pot time to dry, plant your desired seed and document it’s growth with your child.

Ritter has you covered! Our knowledgeable associates are here to help answer your questions and help you find what you need.