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6 Simple Summertime Art Projects for Kids

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Written by Jessica.

This spring we added two puppies (yes, TWO!) to our family within a few weeks of each other, closely followed by two kittens (yes, TWO!). Needless to say, for several months, our homeschool routine was utterly, completely, seriously derailed! In fact, the last few weeks of our school year were spent trying to catch up on everything that fell to the wayside and was never finished.

Art was one of those things.

Because summer vacation was just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to have the kids make some seasonal art and arts & crafts type projects that could be displayed around the house during the summer months.


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6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

With our time still very limited due to looking after all the new fur-babies, the projects needed to be super simple and easy to make.

And let's face it, sometimes there are days that are wet and rainy or just too hot to be outdoors for long! If you, too, need to add some indoor activity ideas to your summertime arsenal, look no further. Here is a list of our favorite completed projects.

Most of these can be made in an hour or less, use materials you’re likely to have already, and are best suited for elementary-aged kids – although some tweens and teens might enjoy a couple of them as well.

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Flip-Flop “Pop Art”


I printed off some black-line flip-flops onto white cardstock and then had my kids decorate them with fine-tip markers. I encouraged them to divide the flip-flops into blocks of color and draw summer-themed patterns. We brainstormed ideas together first and came up with things like ice-cream cones, popsicles, watermelon slices, waves, grass, flowers, trees, fireworks, and sandcastles.

(Pro tip: I modeled how to make the patterns and blocks of color. Most of the time, it worked best to draw the patterns in first and then fill in blocks of background color around the patterns with lighter shades so that the patterns would show up.)

The flip-flop graphic I used was from a purchased set, but here is a free set of summer graphics you could try. Alternatively, you could simply have your kids trace their own real flip flops with a black marker and draw in their foot straps.

Materials needed: white cardstock, fine-tip markers

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Beach Scene Collages


We used cardstock for these collages to make the backgrounds sturdy. The kids painted water and sand using acrylic paints. They blended different shades of blue to make the water look more realistic and rippled. Then, they dabbed on yellow and brown paints to make the sand look textured.

Over the water section, they painted on a layer of Modge Podge to make the water look shiny, and then they brushed white glue over the sand parts and sprinkled on clear glitter to resemble sand shimmering in the sun. They used markers to draw colorful shells on separate sheets of paper, cut them out, and glued them onto the sand. (I was trying to be frugal. But craft shells would work great, too!).

Materials needed: cardstock, acrylic paints, Modge Podge, clear glitter, shells (optional)

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Ice Cream Cone Cut-Outs


We used white and tan cardstock to make these summertime cut-outs. I encouraged the kids to draw their favorite kind of ice cream cone on a piece of tan cardstock and then scoops of their favorite flavors of ice cream on sheets of white cardstock.

My first-grader made simpler oval-shaped scoops, while my third and fifth graders made fancier ones. They then used oil pastels to draw in details on the cones and to color in the scoops. They found that rubbing the oil pastels on their sides made a nice texture for the ice cream, and they added in darker details for things like chocolate chips, cookie dough, and strawberries. This is a really simple but whimsical project that provides fine motor and cutting practice, too.

Materials needed: tan and white cardstock, oil pastels

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Nature Scene Paintings


My kids love the outdoors so I tasked them with drawing fanciful birds and imaginary flowers. They used oil pastels to draw and then filled in the backgrounds with watercolor paints. We love using oil pastels and watercolor paints together because the watercolors fill in around the waxy oil pastels without covering them up. And the finished projects are always bright and colorful.

I had my kids make birds and flowers, but you could encourage your kids to draw anything summer-y: butterflies or other insects, trees, waterscapes, etc. I love to mount finished pictures like these on construction paper because it makes a colorful border, and these look especially pretty hanging up!

Materials needed: white cardstock, watercolor paintsoil pastels

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Woven Turtles


These woven turtles were simple to make and came together quickly. The kids painted wooden craft sticks with watercolor paints and drew on faces with markers. We then glued them together and let them dry before starting the weaving.

My kids chose “realistic” yarn colors so their finished turtles turned out a little basic. But you could make yours more colorful by using a greater variety of yarn colors. You can find the tutorial here. If your kids aren’t that into turtles, they could try making these woven kites instead.

Material needed: wooden craft sticks, watercolor paints, markers, glue, assorted yarn

6 Simple Summer Art Projects for Kids #artforkids #artprojects #summerbucketlist

Sand Art Bottles


I purchased these sand art kits as a treat for a fun last-week-of-school art project. These took a little longer to make (about two hours for my three kids to make three bottles apiece with me helping here and there). I thought they were affordable for what they included: three plastic bottles for filling with sand, eight bags of colored sand, corks, and tools to get the sand in the jars. These would be an ideal rainy-day activity!

(Pro tip: As mentioned in the Amazon reviews, there is only enough sand to fill the three bottles. So before you begin, you really have to plan out how you want to use the sand. Also, a couple of people mentioned in the reviews that filling the necks of the bottles with glue before putting in the corks will prevent the corks from popping off and the sand from accidentally getting mixed together. Trust me, this is good advice to follow!)

Materials needed: sand art kits



Summer is for soaking up the sunshine and the beautiful weather. But for days when you have to be indoors, these projects can be a great way to keep kids occupied, happy, and busy creating. As a bonus, the colorful and cheery projects will brighten up your indoor spaces this summer!




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