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11 Ways to Have a Creative Summer with Kids

by Jean Van't Hul
May 1, 2021

11 ways to have a creative summer with kids, including strewing, doing summer art activities, being inspired by nature, and encouraging open-ended play.

messy play for summer
Photo by Rachel Withers

Updated May 2021

Now that summer vacation is fully under way, there’s more time for art projects, open-ended play, experimenting, and games.

There’s more time for creativity.

But in the moment, sometimes it can be hard to think of ways to build creativity in your family. So we’ve created this list of ways to have a creative summer with your kids. There are some tips, some art projects, some experiments, and lots of chances to have fun!

how to have a creative summer pinterest

11 Ways to Have a Creative Summer with Kids

1.  Don’t over schedule.

In fact, let the kids get bored sometimes. It’ll help get the creative juices flowing for their imaginations.

“I think it’s necessary to let kids get bored once in a while – that’s how they learn to be creative.”

Kim Raver
chalk paint on stone walkway

2. Try some new-to-you art activities.

We’ve got some great lists of outdoor and summer activities. Don’t feel like you need to do them all! Bookmark the pages and come back to them when you need inspiration.

oil pastel painting

3. Experiment with different materials and techniques as you revisit favorite art activities.

Pull out some tried and true art activities and try them with new materials. Ask “what if” questions then follow through to see what happens.

Nature Suncatcher for creative summer

4. Get outside and use nature as your inspiration.

Summer is the perfect time to make some nature inspired art! And we’ve got plenty of ideas for you to try.

Back and Forth drawing of a cat

5. Play art games for a creative summer.

Drawing games can be so much fun, for kids and adults alike! You never know what drawings the whole family will come up with.

Painted Rocks for creative summer

6. Have an artful lemonade stand.

Spend as much time and creativity in building and decorating the stand and making the signs as making the lemonade. Sell art, too, if you like. Or melted crayon rocks.

Building Blocks and Branch Blocks

7. Encourage open-ended play.

Toys and materials that encourage your child to use their imagination when playing are fantastic! We’ve got lots of suggestions on how to get started.

Talking with your child about art

8. Be mindful of how you talk to kids about their art.

Do you find yourself saying, “That’s pretty” or asking, “What is it?” when your child brings you her latest drawing, simply because you don’t know what else to say? We’ve got a quick guide to help you know what to say next time.

strewing art materials for creative summer

9. Experiment with the art of strewing for a creative summer.

Strewing is the perfect summer activity. It is the art of casually yet strategically leaving “invitations” for learning and creativity out for your kids to discover on their own. You get to sit back a little and your kids get to explore, all at the same time!

kids painting at a table - kids art spaces

10. Move your kids’ art space closer to the heart of the family action, if appropriate.

We’ve discovered that if you choose an inviting space near the heart of the family action for your kids’ art space, it will actually be used.

making a seashell mandala for creative summer

11. Turn a beach vacation into an opportunity for creativity.

Just because it’s a beach day, doesn’t mean it can’t be a creative one! We’ve got 10 ways to use time at the beach for building creativity.

Here’s wishing you a creative summer! If you try any of these ideas out and share them on Instagram, be sure to tag us!

More Ideas for a Creative Summer

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have a creative summer pinterest

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