If you are a homeschooler then you know that just because summer starts doesn’t mean you aren’t still working with your kids. If you aren’t a homeschooler then summer time is like having to homeschool for a couple months until public school starts up again. So everyone in a way homeschools at some time when they have kids.
It can be a bit of a challenge trying to figure out how to keep our kids entertained over the summer. It doesn’t matter what age either. Teenagers need entertainment too. Best if they don’t just watch screens and play video games all summer.
For summer lessons I would design programs that centered around summer themes. We would learn about weather, fish, water activities, and lots of museum and trips up to the cool pines where the kids could be outside in nature learning about wildlife and plants.
This craft project was one of those activities I would do for my kids over the summer months. We had pool parties at our house every summer. Each child went home with a grab bag of ocean themed prizes and treats. Our pool parties were so much fun. It was a chance for the kids and parents to come over and cool off for a day. It’s a pretty big pool which means a bunch of people can fit in it. I miss those pre-covid days.
We bought little individual ice cream cups with the little wooden spoons, made popcorn grab bags, tortilla chips and salsa, lemonade, and Popsicles. You know how hungry people get when they are playing in the water.
For games we had ring tosses in the pool, pirate scavenger hunts and seashell hunts (like Easter eggs), prizes included beach balls, bubbles, and summer themed toys.
There was also a craft table set up where all supplies were set out , just in case a child wanted to do some art in between swimming. I would have someone at the table in charge of the paint. You know kids, you can’t allow them to squeeze out the paint, otherwise they would be dumping paint into the pool and all over our garden area.
For this craft project you will need….
Plaster of Paris
Acrylic paint in assorted colors.
Paint pens- fine tip work the best.
Plastic primer spray paint- assorted colors.
Dollar store plastic ice trays in animal shapes.
1. Mix plaster according to directions, then pour into molds and allow to dry/cure. It’s better to do this step outside, actually most of the steps to this project should be done outside.
2. Once dry, pop out of molds and repeat step 1 to make a large selection of animals/fish to paint.
3. After you are finished making all your pieces and they have dried then take them outside and spray paint them. This is optional. You really don’t need to spray paint but if you want your pieces to look like the ones in my photos I’m just describing everything I did to get those bright colors. When you just use one type of paint you have to add several coats. Using a spray primer can help cut back on time.
4. You can add a couple coats of paint if you like, which I did. Once that was dry I added a clear Polyurethane, just one coat, front and back. Then I allowed that to dry for a couple of hours. It doesn’t take long for anything to dry here in Arizona right now, it is hot HOT.
5. Now the fun part starts. Have baskets of different animals set out on a table and glass jars full of paint pens and permanent markers to decorate and design your pieces. I also used acrylic paints to add more detail and colors.
Happy crafting everyone and remember, keep those kids off those screens and spend some one on one time with them. Take them to the library, read together, color together. Go for an early morning walk. Get a plastic or blow up pool and play water games together. Eat lots of cold fruits and sweet treats to stay cool. Make lots of art and share that with others. Have a happy summer everyone.