Summertime is the ideal time to keep the imagination going with the following crafts inspired by kids’ favorite books.
1. Harry Potter Wands
Purely magical, these home-made Harry Potter wands will have lovers of the series by J.K. Rowling thrilled to try out their own spells. For the wand itself you can use straws or chopsticks. Use feathers, sequins, cardboard stars, colored markers, glue and washable paint to decorate. Click here for more on planning an entire Harry Potter themed birthday party.
2. Harold’s Purple Crayon
It’s a magical wand in the form of a purple crayon from Harold and the Purple Crayon, written by Crockett Johnson, that inspires this craft. Encourage children to use their own imagination with a chunky purple crayon and drawing paper. Tell them to close their eyes and imagine their adventure before they start drawing. In addition to drawing with the purple crayon, they can use purple construction paper to cut out shapes to re-create some of Harold’s adventures. They can make their own moon shape or circles for the pies Harold eats. Encourage them to make their own book just like Harold, outlining their adventure by adding words to their drawing.
3. Giant Soft Pretzel Bones for Clifford the Big Red Dog
Cooking is a craft that is delicious too…especially for a Big Red Dog (in the classic Clifford series created by Norman Bridwell.) It is also a great rainy day activity. These “bones” are made with whole-grain flour and seeds for a healthier version of pretzels. Kids will love watching the dough double in size and stretching them out into long “bones.” Mom and dad should do all the “hot” stove and oven work. Click here for the exact recipe.
4. The Secret Garden Flowers
Mary Lennox may have found a secret garden in the novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett, but kids can make their own flowers and gardens. No need to keep these beauties under lock and key. Your child will want to display them where everyone can see them.
Get different colored tissue papers and pipe cleaners and let the kids choose their favorites. Lay 6 to 10 tissue papers (various colors work best) on top of each other in a neat square. Starting on one end, make about a one-inch fold and continue accordion style to the other side of the tissue paper. Fold the sheets in half length-wise. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the center by the fold to hold the paper tightly and let the rest of the pipe cleaner hang down like a stem. Cut a half circle by the end of the papers slightly to create pretty petals. Unfold and separate the tissue paper slowly to create the flower. Fluff the tissue paper out to make the flowers a little fuller.
5. I Love to Read Totes
Let kids decorate and personalize their own tote bag, ideal for carrying books back and forth to the library or to the beach and park this summer. Purchase a blank tote bag at a craft store. It’s a good idea to wash the tote bag before you start designing it. Let kids decorate it with fabric markers or pants and sequins. They can write “I Love to Read” or “I Love the Beach” or anything else that expresses their summer time fun.