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Summer Crafts

Summer vacation is here for many kids. Transitioning from busy school days to less scheduled days can be difficult. Get the kids busy by crafting with recycled items around the house. These are easy ideas that can be done by children of all ages.

1. Tin Can Lantern. Small children may need a parent to help with this and wearing safety goggles is a good idea. Take a tin can from the recycling bin and find a branch that is a similar diameter. Make sure the edges of the can are smoothed out to prevent getting cut. Place the tin can over the branch. The branch will act as a stabilizer. Use a hammer to pound holes into the can in any pattern. Place a votive candle in the can. Voila, you have a tin can candleholder.

2. Bird feeder. Find some pinecones and use vegetable shortening or nut butter. Lather the pinecone in either the nut butter or shortening. Use a spoon and lather on dried corn or nuts and seeds. Hang the pinecone with string or twine. Have a great time watching the new birds visit your yard. Better yet, check out a birdwatching book from the library and learn to identify the birds.

3. Wind chimes. Have the kids scour the yard for a good sized branch. They can paint or adorn the branch. Attach to the branch some string or twine. To the string or twine attach objects that, when the wind blows, will make noise. Old keys, shells, or coins are good choices. Hang the wind chime where you can listen to its music or even hang it in a tree.

4. Stained glass window. Search the recycle bin for clear plastic tops. Take a black sharpie and draw some outlined blocks. Use tissue paper and watered down glue or modge podge to glue the paper in any pattern. Let dry and hang your stained glass window. Admire the sunlight pass through the beautiful colors.

5. Lava lamp. Fill a large glass of water with a few drops of food coloring of your choice (no yellow). Pour the water and color mixture into a 2 liter empty soda bottle. Fill the rest of the soda bottle with vegetable oil. Secure the bottle by hot gluing or super gluing the cap on. Gently turn the bottle to see the lava flow.

Summer is a great time to see where your imagination can take you with the materials you have at home. Teaching your children some simple eco-friendly crafts can get their creative juices flowing and will hopefully eliminate boredom. Enjoy creating with your children this summer.

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