During the summer, you’ll no doubt find yourself looking for ways to keep the kids occupied that don’t revolve around watching TV, surfing the web, texting with friends, or playing video games all day. And while you can shove them out the door to play for a while, there will be certain portions of the day where it simply gets too hot for them to run around. For these times you can keep them busy with fun craft projects that will help them to make good use of their time. And getting creative with photos is a good way to start. Here are just a few ideas you’ll certainly want to try.
- Photo mobile. Think outside the frame by putting together a free-form collage that hangs from the ceiling. With nothing more than a few themed photos (say a trip to the beach, a birthday party, or simply a stack of photos featuring each child in your household), some string, and a supportive structure to hang things from (a wire hanger, for example), you can quickly get crafty making photo mobiles to send to family and friends. If your kids are the truly crafty sort, they could even use an assortment of supplies to make customized paper frames for each photo. And if they want mobiles of their own, provide them with family photos or pictures of their friends that they’d like to have in their rooms.
- Wall art. Turning the idea of the standard photo-in-a-frame on its head is a good way to have some fun when working with images. And there are all kinds of ways to get crafty while creating beautiful displays for your wall. For example, you could use a couple of pieces of driftwood like the top and bottom of a frame and string pictures between them vertically. If you want to change the display frequently or you don’t relish the idea of punching holes in your photos, simply tie the string between the top and bottom ends and use cute clips to add photos and other artwork to your display on a rotating basis.
- Marionettes. If you want a craft project that provides for hours of fun, take full-body pictures of your kids in all kinds of fun poses, then print and cut them out. Cut out a cardboard backing for stability, paste on the photos, and turn them into tiny marionettes. From there you can add strings to your 2D puppets and have the kids create a diorama in which to stage their plays. The creativity is limitless with this fun photo activity.
- Pinterest page. In this day and age it’s all about digital photography, so if you’re looking for a fun way to get the kids interested in crafts, why not set up a Pinterest page and let them create pinboards to share with family and friends? You can start with a program like Photoshop (or other photo editing software) to clean up digital pics, crop and resize, and even add cool effects. And then the kids can compile pages that showcase their summer vacation. If you want to keep photos private, simply set up a “secret board” and invite only specific people to join.
- Photo books. Another great way to let kids get crafty with digital photos is to use a service that allows them create photo books. Once they’ve compiled their favorite pics they can arrange them and add extras (like virtual frames, colored pages, clip art, and so on) before creating their order. From there the photo books will be printed, bound, and sent out. If you want something a bit more personal and unique, you could always have the kids decorate wooden frames to put photos in. Or you might even order large prints and let kids get crazy with poster frames. But if you’re looking for a professional-style book to send out for the holidays, for example, sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish can make it easy.