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It’s almost time for schools to break up for the summer holidays and lots of excited children will be looking forward to sunny days full of summer fun. However, as we all know too well, the British summer often doesn’t live up to expectations! We’ve got a lot of arts and crafts ideas to entertain children on those inevitable rainy days. Whether you’re just an exasperated parent or a youth club leader looking for activity inspiration – you’ve come to the right place!

1. Soda Bottle Flower Stamping

This is a quick and easy activity that kids will love! Simply cut off the bottom of a plastic bottle that has a ‘flower shaped bottom’, paint it and use it as a stamp! All they have to do then is simply paint in the yellow centres and stems by hand, then create a masterpiece that will be good enough to pin to the fridge.

See the full tutorial and results at Happiness Is Homemade.

2. Tie-Dye T-Shirts 

A favourite of hippies around the globe; making funky tie-dye t-shirts is always fun! Follow a design online or create your own.

tie dye t-shirts  

What you'll need: a plain white t-shirt, elastic bands, a bucket or other large container, coloured dyes and rubber gloves.

First you will need to check the instructions on the specific pack of dye that you have chosen, as you may need to prep your t-shirt by soaking it in warm water in order for the dye to take effect. Take your plain white t-shirt and use elastic bands to create any pattern that you want; the areas that the plastic bands cover will stay white. Use squeezy bottles to dispense the dye in the areas of the t-shirt you want covered – for a really funky look you can use many colours in the same design! Depending on the dye, you will need to then place the t-shirt (still wrapped in the elastic bands!) in a warm, dry place for the dye to set and dry, which could take up to 24 hours in some cases. Then remove the elastic bands and watch the children as they enjoy wearing the results!

3.  DIY Bowling Pins

Turn empty plastic bottles into a game for all the family! Weigh the bottles down slightly with something such as sand or water, so that they don't blow away in the wind, and then use a light ball to try and knock them down from a distance. Kids can even have fun decorating their bowling pins with their favourite TV and film characters, films, patterns – whatever they want!

4. Bird Feeder

An empty plastic bottle makes a great homemade bird feeder that kids will enjoy making and using.

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All you need some string and scissors. Take a plastic bottle of any size and cut some holes in the sides, which are big enough for a bird’s beak to get into. Make a hole in the top, thread some string through it and fill the bottle with bird feed.

Hang from a tree in your garden then watch and wait as the birds come flocking! A great way for children to get in touch with nature.

5. Mini Volcanoes

A science class favourite… You can create a chemical reaction simply using everyday kitchen ingredients.

What you’ll need: baking soda, vinegar, a plastic container and paper towels or a cloth to clean up!

All you need to do is pour some bicarbonate of soda in the bottom of your container and pour the vinegar over the top. The mixture of these two ingredients creates carbonic acid, which creates a fizzing (the eruption!) as it escapes your container. Make this activity last a little longer by getting children to decorate their own volcanoes using paper mache so the ‘eruption’ can look more realistic!

6. Plastic Piggy Bank

Teach children how to save for a rainy day with a fun DIY Piggy Bank, made using plastic bottles. If they’ve made it themselves, they may be more likely to save up their pocket money!

Find the full instructions of how to make the Piggy Bank at We Made That.

7. Mug Painting

Most towns will have a ceramic painting shop nearby that offer children's painting classes. Why not save yourself some cash and just hold your own session with the kids at home?

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All you need is some paint and plain mugs, then let the kids go crazy - they'll love having their own personalised cup at home to use! This activity would also work well at a children's birthday party and they can take their mug home as a party favour along with a slice of cake.

8. Homemade Thermometer

Another science based DIY activity to try that is educational as well as fun! It's a unique way to show children the effects of hot and cold temperatures on expansion and teach them how a real thermometer works.

What you’ll need: modelling clay, red food colouring, water, a clear straw, rubbing alcohol and a narrow neck plastic bottle.

Find full details on how to make the thermometer at Education.com.

9. DIY Fireman’s Costume

This DIY costume made from plastic bottles and cardboard is a head turner and sure to impress at any fancy dress party! We advise that this activity is supervised heavily by an adult, as it involves the use of scissors and hot glue at many stages. Rather than put together the costume, we suggest letting them decorate it any way they wish.

Find the full tutorial at Crayon Box Chronicles.

10. Button Bracelet 

Every household seems to have a drawer or tin that is full of odd bits & bobs like buttons and pins, so why not let the kids use them to make their own jewellery? Just take some string, thread your buttons together, tie up the ends and you've got yourself a lovely new bracelet! 

 

Need to source materials to use in these activities?

Here at Ideon, we've got a range of plastic bottles that you can buy in any quantity you wish, so you can make as many DIY Fireman's Costumes, Plastic Piggy Banks or Bird Feeders as you want! Shop online today or give us a call on 0161 367 1411 for more information on our great products.

Bring on those rainy days!