12 Fun Summer Crafts for Toddlers to Beat the Heat

summer crafts for toddlers

The weather is heating up, and the older kids are out of school. It’s time for some fun arts and crafts activities to keep everyone busy and creative. Read on for some of our favorite summer crafts for toddlers!

Indoor Summer Crafts for Toddlers

Colorful Turtle

Take some tissue paper squares and have your child glue them to an upside-down paper plate. Then, glue pieces of green construction paper for four legs, tail, and head. Googly eyes and a smile are a nice finishing touch for your new turtle friend!

Handprint Campfire

Although the weather may be hot, there’s nothing like a summer campfire. Fortunately, paper crafts don’t give off any heat! Use orange, yellow, and red paint to make “flames” with your child’s handprint. Then, have them fingerpaint brown “logs” underneath the fire. You could even glue cotton balls onto a drawn “stick,” so you’re roasting marshmallows over a fire!

summer crafts for toddlers


This is one of the simplest crafts out there. You need a paper plate, some paint, and watermelon seeds! Paint the outside green to look like the rind, the inside red for the fruit. Use dots of non-toxic glue (in the bottle) to add the seeds. If you don’t have watermelon seeds, paint some black dots!

Egg Carton Flowers

Cardboard egg cartons are an excellent resource for crafting, so save them whenever you can! Cut your carton into 4 square wells. Then, decorate the inside of your egg carton like flower petals. Paint works best because the paintbrush can easily get down into the wells. Once the paint dries, glue a pom-pom to the center! Turn over the decorated carton and glue a straw or skewer into the crease between two wells for the stem.

Pool Noodle Racetracks

If your toddler loves all things racecar, try this fun and easy way to bring playtime outside! Start by splitting two pool noodles lengthwise. Line up the four “racetracks” so they’re on an incline. Grab any wheeled toys or racecars, place them at the top, then send them off! You can also add a little banner at the end that says “finish!”

Pipe Cleaner Painting

Pipe cleaners are one of the most versatile craft materials, especially for preschoolers. Twist your pipe cleaners into shapes with a handle for easy manipulation. Make sure no sharp edges are pokings out! Then, show your kiddo how to dip the pipe cleaner shape flat into paint and press it onto a fresh sheet of paper. You can make fireworks, flowers, grass, ocean waves, anything you’d like!

Decorate a Popsicle!

Cut out construction paper into popsicle shapes, then glue them onto popsicle sticks. Now’s the fun part! Use glitter glue, markers, pom-poms, sprinkles, or anything you like to make your popsicle look fun, pretty, or wacky! Make a bunch of them and you could even create a festive banner to hang on a window or doorway. A red-white-and-blue bomb pop banner could be the perfect decor for your Fourth of July bash!

Sun Catcher

Back when I was a teacher, sun catchers were my go-to summer crafts for toddlers. While they did get fascinated with the sticky contact paper, I could almost always get them interested in the bright colors and shapes. Take bright-colored tissue paper and cut them into squares. Lay a black butterfly outline on a piece of contact paper with the sticky side of the contact paper facing up. Place tissue paper pieces inside the butterfly wings.

Once you’re done filling in the wings, place another piece of contact paper on top of the project sealing the butterfly and tissue paper between the sticky sides of the contact paper. Carefully trim around the butterfly, leaving a small border of contact paper to keep the project sealed inside. The prettier side will be the bottom, not the side where the tissue paper pieces were laid down.

Outdoor Activities and Summer Crafts for Toddlers

Painted Rocks

When I was a child, rocks were a big deal. I loved to collect, decorate, arrange, and use them in outdoor pretend play. Collect some palm-sized, smoother rocks and grab some paint. Now, it’s time to get creative! You can paint animals, bugs, faces, words, or anything you’d like on the rocks’ surfaces. You can even make a “pet rock” with googly eyes. When you’re finished, you could go on a walk and leave them in fun spots for neighbors to find!

Pool Noodle Sailboats

Use a serrated knife to cut a 10- to 14-inch length of a pool noodle. Slice it in half lengthwise to create the hull of your ship. Alternatively, you can make round slices for smaller boats. Cut two triangles from craft foam to create sails. Decorate them however you’d like, whether that’s a pirate ship or a racing boat! Thread the foam sails onto a barbecue-skewer mast and stick into the noodle with the cut side down. Then, watch your boats set sail! Check out this tutorial for more details.

Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Chalk is always a fun outdoor activity! But have you ever been annoyed with all the chalk dust on your hands and clothes? Chalk paint is the perfect solution, especially for toddlers. To make it, mix 1/4 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 cup of water, and 1-2 drops of any food coloring! Take it out to the sidewalk or driveway and start creating masterpieces! It’s non-toxic and completely toddler-safe!

DIY Recycled Binoculars

Do you have any small cardboard toilet paper rolls around the house? If not, save a couple of empty ones for more fun summer crafts for toddlers! Start by decorating two toilet paper rolls. Tape them together, then add a neck strap made of yarn. You can better secure them by tying them together, too. Test them outside as you search for birds, squirrels, bugs, or anything your nature-loving heart desires!

Summer Crafts for Toddlers

Whether you spend all day on DIY projects or just need a 10-minute break from the outdoor heat, summer craft ideas can be a lifesaver. Which of these summer crafts for toddlers are you ready to try first? Share your favorites on social media and tag us @getfamilyapp!

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