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Summer activities to beat the heat

 

We spend every waking hour in our backyard in the summertime, meaning that we’re always looking for fun activities to do. Whether it’s getting messy with paint, looking to nature for inspiration, or creating things from scraps, we can turn just about anything into a summer project.

 

So here are some awesome summer activities to beat the heat.

 

Milk carton birdhouses

I remember making these in grade school. With a few simple supplies, you can turn an ordinary carton into an inviting home for your feathered friends.

 

Garden markers

We have a massive herb, veggie and fruit garden, so every year we experiment with new ideas for handmade garden markers. We made these from clay (which I bought at the dollar store), but you can make garden markers out of Popsicle sticks, rocks, wooden spoons, and more.

 

Construction site

My son came up with this one, using scrap wood from daddy’s garage – we used it to fashion roads, then collected other rocks, branches, sand and gravel to put on our site. Then out came the trucks! Later we turned it into a dinosaur habitat for his plastic dinos.

 

Leaf rubs

Quite often we’ll go explore a park or nature trail (or even our own backyard) in search of unique leaves. Then we peel the paper off our crayons and use the side of it to make leaf rub art.

 

 

Boats

Those little plastic baby pools are even more fun when you have boats to play with. These boats are made from wine corks (see, it’s a good thing that mommy drinks wine!) and straws, but we’ve also made them out of cut up pool noodles.

 

Shaving cream art

This may be my favourite summer activity, and it’s messy, which makes it perfect for outdoors. Spread a thin layer of shaving cream in a baking sheet and then add drops of food colouring. With a toothpick, swirl the colour, then press a piece of cardstock on top of the design. Peel back, wipe away the excess shaving cream, and let dry.

 

 

Raindrop art

Prop some cardstock or a small canvas up on an easel, and slightly water down some blue washable paint. Use an eyedropper to make raindrops (kids love using little tools like eyedroppers!).

 

 

Sidewalk chalk paint

Mix cornstarch, water and some food colouring for a fun outdoor paint that can be used on sidewalks, driveways, and even fences. Super easy to make and clean!

 

 

Jennifer Cox is a full-time freelance journalist who writes for Today’s Parent, CBC Parents, Parents Canada magazine, and more, and she is a mommy to a 4-year-old bean. She also loves crafting and other DIY projects, which she shares on her Whoa Mama! Facebook page  and YouTube channel .