You may not remember the long, lazy days of summer simply because it’s been so long since you actually had enough free time on your hands to experience feelings of boredom. But your kids have no such problem, and they’ll likely be pestering you all summer long with pleas for entertainment. Since you don’t want to let them spend all day with their eyes glued to television, video games, and texts from their friends, you’re probably seeking a few good ways to get them using their free time in a more productive manner. And when the heat outside gets unbearable and they want to come in, you can keep them off the keyboards and consoles by providing them with some crafty activities. Along those lines, you can have all kinds of fun with photos, especially if you have a digital camera the kids can use, some photo editing software, and a photo printer. Here are just a few crafty projects that are sure to keep idle hands busy for hours.
One option for a fun, crafty, and unique project is a collage, and you don’t necessarily have to use a specially-matted frame in order to put one together. Provide the kids with a stack of photos to get started and then try one of several methods of putting them together in a collection. For example, you could help them to make a mobile by punching holes in the corners of the photos, attaching varying lengths of string, and hanging them from a wire hanger, just for example. Or you might get a good-sized piece of driftwood, attach a few cool hooks and knobs (think about shopping garage sales or antique stores for these items) and hang strings of photos from them for a free-form collage that works on the wall.
Of course, you could also get crafty with wooden frames if you want the kids to help you with a larger project like creating a dedicated photo wall. You can hit up yard sales or shop online to find a kitschy collection of cheap wood frames to start with. From there you can rough them up a bit with sand paper, apply some spray paint, or add all kinds of artistic decorations, like glitter, charms, buttons, ribbons, decoupaged clip art, and more (depending on the age of your children). It doesn’t matter if they’re different sizes and styles so long as you add some measure of cohesion through color or craft to tie them all together. But if the kids all have different ideas about how to decorate them, simply add that element of coordination by printing all the photos in black and white.
As a final bid to catch the attention of your children, you might want to consider craft ideas that cater to their desire to work in a modern medium. Since pretty much everyone used digital cameras these days anyway, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to come up with some options. You might, for example, have them create individual pinboards on Pinterest to chart their summer vacations for the delight of family and friends (just create secret boards so you can control who sees them). Or you could have them go on Shutterfly or Snapfish to create incredible photo books, complete with colored backgrounds and clip art, which will be printed, bound, and sent to you upon completion. The truth is that there are almost unlimited ways to get crafty with photos. And with a few good projects on tap you can keep your kids busy all summer long.