Summer Craft Camp, Again!

A rainy week at the lake with the tremendous trio of Zeke, Lila and Allie (my son & niece & nephew) resulted in a craft bonanza. We made and we made and we made. Some projects created tangible results, while others were just about the process, man.

Tie-dye spirals--in process

Tie-dye spirals–in process

The list of our productivity is long: salt dough beads (a blast, and with many production stages so we could drag it on a bit–but the wet weather made the beads kind of soggy); paper beads (less soggy); marble painting (our paintings faded but rolling marbles through paint puddles was very intriguing); and tie-dye tees (and undies for those who just couldn’t get enough tie-dye!).

Salt dough beads--somewhat soggy!

Salt dough beads–somewhat soggy!

Here are some helpful links if you happen to find yourself in a damp summer cottage with a few stir-crazy kids:

Salt dough recipe from Crafting Connections

We used this recycled paper bead kit from Green Creativity but you can make them with skewers with instructions from Rookie

Marble painting instructions from First Palette

This youtube video from Jacquard Products really helped me perfect the tie-dye spiral

Paper Rollercosters

This paper craft for kids comes straight from one of my favorite museums: the Peabody Essex in Salem, Mass. Yes, it has an amazing Asian art and Maritime art collection (including a room-size model of the S.S. Queen Elizabeth, which never fails to impress us). But sometimes we go just to hang out in the sunny atrium designed by architect Moshe Safdie, admire the sky, and pretend it’s not 4 degrees outside.

The paper rollercoaster craft (offered as part of the PEM’s “Eye Spy, Playing with Perception” exhibit through May) had the qualities of a good kids’ project: simple enough for little guys to enjoy and interesting enough to engage bigger kids. Plus you probably have all the stuff you need right in your house: glue sticks, strips of colored paper, and a piece of paper for a base.

Dab one end of a paper strip and press to the base. Twist, bend, or loop–then glue the other end and press. 

    My 10-year-old made his rollercoaster a continuous circuit. My five-year-old’s design defied the laws of physics, but he thought it looked really cool.


 On the way home, we drove by the Salem harbor,

 and it was winter again.