A fun-packed summer is just around the corner for you and your elementary-age child. Your child's curiosity will keep her coming back for more when you plan crafts and activities that follow what she has learned in school about science, math and social studies. From a simple indoor garden to a homemade lantern, summer crafts and activities will give your child memories for a life time.
An interesting summer activity is an indoor garden, also known as a terrarium. You can make a terrarium in a large clear plastic or glass container with a lid. One-gallon large-mouth jars work well for this project. Fill the bottom of the container with 1 inch of pea gravel, 1/2 inch of activated charcoal, 1/2 inch of sphagnum moss and 2 inches of potting soil. Select and plant small mosses, lichens, ferns, miniature violets, pilea (baby tears) and other small plants. Mist the inside of the container and soil with 10 sprays. Secure the lid and place in a sunny location. Mist once a week.
Make a magnetic chalkboard from an old pizza pan or cookie sheet. Ask your child to paint the back of the pan with chalkboard paint. Allow the paint to dry and give it a second coat. Turn a piece of chalk on its side and cover the entire surface. Wipe the chalk off with a clean towel and hang. Write notes with chalk or use magnets to hold papers and photos.
Feed your child's curiosity with a homemade treasure box. Make the treasure box from a shoe box or cigar box. Talk to your child about how he would like to decorate his treasure box. Cover ideas include paint, construction paper or decoupage. Jazz up the box with glitter, gems, decorative stones, beads, metallic roping, ribbon or lace.
Paper Mache Lantern
A paper mache lantern uses a 6- to 8-inch balloon. Ask your child to tear newspaper and tissue paper into 1-inch strips. Blow up the balloon, then dip the strips of paper in paper mache paste made from one part flour to two parts water. Cover the balloon with three layers of criss-crossed paper strips. Allow the project to dry, then cover with two layers of 1-inch strips of tissue paper. Cut a 3-inch hole somewhere on the balloon to create the base. Poke holes through the paper mache with a wooden skewer. Light the lantern with a battery-operated candle.
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