With the Kids

Keeping the Kids Busy this Summer

Summer is already here for my kids as they’re out of school for 3 months… yes people, 3 months! What are we going to do? Well, I’ve come up with a solution for some summertime fun! We’re calling this our “Summer Tub o’ Fun“. I’ve collected lots of things from around the house perfect for creating and crafting. Now if my kids need something to do, they can turn to the “Tub o’ Fun”!

Summer Craft Tub

Supplies for Tub O’ Fun:

  • pipe cleaners
  • tissue paper
  • beads
  • thread
  • yarn
  • cotton balls
  • popsicle sticks
  • straws
  • recycle items – egg carton, paper towel roll, plastic containers
  • tape
  • kid scissors
  • glue sticks
  • plastic zip bags

Summer Crafts for Kids

Plastic zip bags are a must! They help keep similar items together and help everything stay organized. We’ve got 3 months of summer and this tub’s going to get some use, so I’d like to keep it clutter free. So after you collect all your supplies, put them all similar items in plastic zip bags.

Summer Tub of Crafts

Then I named the tub, so we could know what’s inside. It’s best if you have a clear tub, so you can see everything, but we already had this one laying around. Hopefully this should keep us busy, set with plenty of craft supplies for the summer!

Here’s a few links sharing some great activities for Summer Time Fun:

What are you doing to keep the kids busy this summer?


  1. We made this 2 years ago after seeing this post and it’s still going strong! My son needs to organize it a little – but that is a-okay by me! :)

  2. Hey pEOPLE YOU LIKE MY NAME WILL TO BAD YOU DONT!!!!!!!!!!I love doing this crafts Bye bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)=) =0

  3. cool and fun to do i love it do you people ok so dont mess with me so if you want to send me something you better say good stuff OK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! see you all by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. You’ll have to read my post about the Idea Jar. We created a jar together (which was a project all in itself) that has tons of ideas of things to do when my oldest daughter gets “bored.” When she runs out of ideas, she pulls one from her jar….things ranging from playing dress up to reading to going swimming. It has been great so far!

  5. Great box! I have a similar one. I also cut out pictures from magazines and add scraps of paper, ribbon, etc. from my own projects so the kiddo can make collage.

    And washable markers are awesome! She draws all over herself and then I can just throw her in the tub. lol.

  6. I also have tacky glue, silk flower petals, glitter paints, little pompoms, and googly eyes in our craft stuff. Oh, and craft foam they can cut up and use.

  7. A take on Julie (Word of Julie)’s jar of ideas–when my kids would get bored during the summer they never liked my ideas of what they should do. So, last summer I made them each a jar…really a leftover gladware container with activities written on pieces of paper (they are each 2 1/2 years apart in age so some things the oldest could do wouldn’t work for the youngest). Anytime someone complained that they were bored I made them take something out of the jar and the agreement was that they would have to do whatever the paper said. I had fun things in there, some less fun things (like picking up toys) and also things like “say five nice things about your sister/brother”. It worked like a charm! Very few complaints of boredom and if they couldn’t decide what to do they would just go to their jar. With school ending on Friday I pulled the jars back out this week and they already know what to expect this summer!

  8. I love you tub o fun. I wish I was ready to organize my way there. The end of the school year is going to blur right into our summer. My first grader is doing swim team and has just two sessions of golf camp planned. When I looked at our summer I felt I needed to do more at home this year.

    I am planning two things for the summer.
    We are looking at exercising (our mind and our body).

    We have so many rising 2nd graders in our neighborhood that I decided to start a read along book club. It is to encourage them to read together or independently but to casually re-emphasis the ideas taught this year in school. I am excited about this project and when my son found out that I organized it and several of the neighborhood kids were going to do it with him he was excited, not dreading the thought of something I was ‘making’ him do. http://keepreadingkids.blogspot.com/

    My other plan is to keep the kids moving and outside.
    I stole this idea from another neighbor. Last summer they had a chart set up and they charted their miles that they walked or rode everyday. It is a count down to 100 miles. I should be easy to accomplish but looks like a challenge. If he rides his bike around the block three times = a mile.

    Now if I had the tub….

  9. Great idea! I need to simplify this a bit and make one for my 18 month old. We’re always in need of activities.

  10. Love the tub and the ideas from the other readers! Thanks for sharing! The only thing I would add are paper plates! Kids sure can do a lot with paper plates! :)

  11. This is great — I love having everything in one place. My summer fun idea is to have a “summer jar.” I’m writing up all kinds of fun activities (a partial list is here: http://worldofjulie.com/?p=1722) and putting the ideas into a jar. Each day we’ll pick out one idea and that will be our activity for the day. That way we’ll always have an activity, and I don’t have to sort through my tired brain to come up with something to do.

  12. Love this idea! I think I will totally be using it for my kids this summer, as long as I can devise a way to keep them out of it while I’m not looking. :)

  13. This is actually pretty clever. We have a cabinet full of items just like this that gets “forgotten.” Maybe if I put it in a tub they would be more apt to use it.

  14. Marie~LOVE this idea! I made my corner cupboard (turntable) into our craft cupboard. It works pretty well, but gets messy! Maybe I should move some of the stuff into a container like this to keep it organized and out of my way.

    The favorite thing the kids use the most is when I turned a pampered chef tool caddy into a crayon/marker/colored pencil organizer caddy. I’d bought it and never used it for kitchen utensils, so I got the idea to put the markers, etc. in it. The kids use it all the time and it keeps the items all in one place. It turns so they can find what they need with a simple push from their hand.

    Hope you have a wonderfully crafty summer with your kids!

  15. I have a plan in place. We cannot afford summer camps and I do not let my kids laze about in pajamas playing video games all summer.

    I am using this chore chart: http://www.dltk-cards.com/chart/chart2.asp . I went with no graphic so I could fit the chores on it and this week the list is: Wake up Get dressed Clear floor, Straighten bed Straighten Bookcase, Brush teeth, Worksheets, Chore, Art, Journal, Reading Time, Shower Clean Floor, Brush teeth, Go to Bed. I am copying and pasting it into an email to myself so I don’t have to retype it each Sunday (lazy me!)

    We have all kinds of things we do from making jello, popsicles, bread in the breadmaker to counting the money inpiggy banks and watering the grass (ie: playing in a hand sprayer since we are in a drought and only hand watering is allowed). But in everything is an aducational aspect- when the 5 yr old made jello last night, he stirred and counted to 200 by 5’s (gonna teach him to tell time this summer!)

    The art each day is all different things- the 5 yr old is painting a picture on canvas (1$ yardsale find) right now (painted a yellow background then thin green stems and now will fingerpaint with dk blue, lt blue and white to make bluebonnets) that we will either keep it or give it to Grandma. The 11 yr old I want to teach how to make lanyard keychains this summer.

    Free workbooks can be had at the school this time of year – just ask!

  16. We have an “Art Box” that is basically this same concept. I love it, they know right where it is and can keep themselves busy with projects anytime they want.

  17. Thanks for mentioning my post to your readers! I enjoyed the other links and ideas as well. Here’s to a fun, frugal summer!

  18. Marie,

    This is a great idea! Today is the last day of school for my three children and I was starting to panic about what I am going to do with them all summer. Your summer box is a fun way to keep them occupied in the down times.

    Thank you!


  19. I was just thinking of making up something like this yesterday to keep the kids busy.
    Thanks for sharing your ideas it’ll save my brain having to do so much work!

Make and Takes more recent posts