Family DIY Summer Fun!

Weekly projects to make and share

Read, Make, & Share!

Join us each week for a new do-it-yourself craft or project you can make at home. Then share your creations with other families in K12 powered schools across the country. Let's get crafty!

Each Monday we will post a new project idea to this newsletter for everyone to make at home. Then take pictures of your creations to share in the weekly Padlet.

All challenges are open, you can join previous weeks' challenges at any time. We'd love to see what you create!

We strive to choose projects using things you have around your home already or inexpensive items that could be added to a regular grocery shopping list.

August 17th through August 23rd

DIY Calendars

When it comes to keeping everyone in the household on the same page with busy schedules, there are so many creative options to make a family calendar. Not only creative, but super useful, family calendars help to give everyone in your family a bigger picture of the daily, weekly and monthly notes of important details.

Maybe, it it transforming a wall into a chalkboard, using an old window, or even re-purposing an old picture frame into a calendar. We can't wait to see what creative tools you use to organize your days!

Be sure to share your creations on this week's Padlet, HERE.

Check out these inspirational DIY Calendar ideas:

August 10th through August 16th

DIY Wind Chimes

There are so many materials that can be used for wind chimes. Some that make beautiful and melodious music in the wind, and others that are simple there for mesmerizing dancing as the wind blows. What materials do you have around the house that you could use to make your wind chime?

Create your chime, and post your creation on this week's Padlet. Click Here to share!

August 3rd through August 9th

DIY School Space Organization

Join us this week as we take the DIY challenge of decorating our learning spaces with re-purposed items. Use an old box, re-purpose an old canister, or find a new use for a empty cereal container. Use your best creative ideas to find new uses for items that help you organize.

Here is a blog to get started with some inspirations:

Post your families creations on this week's Padlet by clicking here

July 27th through August 2nd

Sun Catchers

This week’s activity is making sun catchers. Suncatchers, said to originate with Southwestern Native Americans, can be hung in a window to “catch the sun” and spread a colorful display of light across the room. Here are two ways to make them :


Method 1: Make your suncatcher from a recycled container

What you will need:

Clean, dry, clear plastic food containers

Sharpie markers

Sharp scissors

How to make these:

1. Cut the plastic food container into flat pieces (adult supervision needed).

2. Create a design with a black Sharpie marker on one side of the plastic, then flip the plastic and color in the design with colorful Sharpie markers..

3. Tape the suncatchers onto the window and enjoy the colorful sun you catch!

Method 2: Make your suncatcher with clear glass beads or “gems.”

What you will need:

Empty lid from yogurt, butter, cream cheese, or frosting tub

Clear school glue

Translucent beads or flat-backed glass gems

Thread and needle to hang the suncatcher

How to make these:

1. Pour clear school glue into the lid to coat the bottom generously.

2. Place the beads or gems (flat side down) into the lid, covering the lid completely.

3. Add enough clear glue to cover the beads or gems and fill in any gaps.

4. Let dry for 2-4 days, then carefully remove the suncatcher from the lid, flip to the opposite side and let it continue drying.

5. Once the suncatcher is dry, use the needle and thread to make a loop to hang it.

6. Don’t let it get wet! School glue dissolves in water!

Post your DIY creations on this week's Padlet by clicking HERE

July 20th through July 26th

String Art Challenge

First gather your supplies. You will need a piece of wood, string, nails, a hammer, and a pencil.

Draw a design on the wood and hammer the nails around it.

Tie the string around one nail, wrap it around all the nails, and tie it off.

Now you will have an awesome piece of art to hang on your wall or to give as a gift.

Click Here to share your challenge creation!

Week of July 13 - July 19th

Sun Prints

This week’s activity is making sun prints, also known as cyanotype prints. Sun prints can be made on special light-sensitive paper often known as sunprint paper, on dark construction paper, or on fabric that has been treated with a sun-sensitive solution or paint. The basic idea is the same: place objects onto the surface to be printed while in a place with low light, then place the arrangement in the sun for a specified period of time, and then then remove the objects and complete your masterpiece. Here are instructions for each type of project:

Construction paper method: You will need dark-colored construction paper (dark blue or black work best) and interesting objects to print. Place the paper outside in the sunshine and arrange the objects on top of the paper. You may wish to place a clear plastic or glass flat object (a glass baking dish can work) or plastic wrap secured at the edges by tape or some kind of weight over the paper to keep the design and paper in place. Leave everything outside in the sun for 2 - 4 hours, then remove the clear cover and the objects and enjoy your creation! Here are some examples:

Sunprint paper method: You will need Sunprint paper, an acrylic sheet or something flat that is glass, cardboard or another base surface, a tub or water, and interesting objects to print. This process only takes a few minutes, and requires that the paper be rinsed in water. Here are complete instructions:

Making sunprints on fabric: You can paint dark acrylic paint mixed with water onto white cotton fabric, such as old sheets, a pillow case, kitchen towels, or t-shirts, and then print objects onto the material. Here are complete instructions:

Making your own sunprint paper and fabric: (Advanced – requires adult supervision required) If you love the beauty of cyanotype prints, you can make your own solution to convert watercolor paper to sunprint paper. You can use this solution to make cyanotype photos and even print on fabric. You can use a ready-made solution such as Lumi Inkodye kit or follow this link with detailed instructions to make your own solution:

Post your challenge creations on this week's Padlet HERE

Week of July 6 - July 12

Super Bounce Ball

This week’s activity is to make a super bouncy ball. In addition to being fun to play with after you make it, this super ball can teach a little about polymers and the physics of bouncing. The instructions are from the NatGeo Kid’s book entitled Try This!

Here is what you need:

  • · borax (check laundry section of grocery store)
  • · cornstarch (in baking section of store)
  • · white glue (to make an opaque ball) or blue or clear school glue (to make a translucent ball)
  • · warm water
  • · food coloring (optional)
  • · spoon
  • · small containers for mixing
  • · measuring spoons
  • · permanent markers to decorate the ball (optional)
  • · resealable plastic bag to store the ball

Here is a link to step-by-step instructions: You can decorate your ball with permanent markers. Be sure to use adult supervision when making super bouncy balls and store them in a resealable plastic bag so they don’t dry out!

Post about your challenge creation on this week's Padlet by clicking HERE

Week of June 29 - July 5 DIY Challenge

Pressed Flower Challenge

This week's challenge is to make art with pressed flowers.

There are so many different ways to press flowers, from using a book, a microwave, or an iron. A quick internet search will give you many tips and tricks for pressing flowers. Now is the time to get creative! Make bookmarks, framed-art, cell phone covers, greeting cards and more! Check out Cool Crafts for inspiration to get started.

Share you creations on this week's Padlet!

Week of June 22 - 28 DIY Challenge

Kindness Rocks Challenge

This week's challenge is painting rocks with kind messages and hiding them to brighten someone's day when they are found.

Check out The Kindness Rocks Project for inspiration and step-by-step instructions.

We look forward to seeing your kindness creations in this week's Padlet by clicking here



This week's challenge is to create melted crayon art!

You'll need:

  • Crayons (Crayola brand wax gave the best results, other brands were oily.)
  • Hair dryer
  • Glue or glue gun
  • Cardboard, canvas, foam core or posterboard

Watch the video for directions or do an internet search for "melted crayon art." There are so many fun ideas. Create art for your school space or for anywhere that needs a pop of color!

We'd love to see what you create -- post your challenge picture on this week's Padlet:

Summer Fun Family Challenge


This week's challenge is to up-cycle items around the house into useful projects. Find items that you would typically just throw out, and give them new life. Re-purpose an old bag from chips . . . re-use the box from your soda . . .

Find new use for those items, and share your projects and creations.

A quick internet search will give you more ideas and inspiration.

Post your challenge creations on this week's Padlet:

Big picture

Try Interactive Sidewalk Chalk!

Big picture

A quick internet search will provide plenty of ideas and inspiration!

Remember to share your pictures on Padlet!

Week of June 1 through June 7th Padlet:

Week of June 8th through June 14th Padlet:

Week of June 15th through June 23rd Padlet:

Week of June 22nd through June 29th Padlet: