Crafting can get messy, but at least you won't have to wash the chlorine smell out of your hair.

Summer Construction Paper Crafts for Toddlers

by Piaf Azul

Summer months bring to mind lots of fun in the sun, but after a few days of swimming and hiking with your toddler, you might be looking for a cooler way to keep your child busy. So stock up on construction paper and art supplies and plan for some crafts in the air conditioning. Remember that toddlers are still developing their fine motor skills, though, so don't sweat it if your son's project looks a little different than you imagined. The process of crafting is more important than the end result.

1. Sun Crafts

Keep things sunny without applying yet another layer of sunscreen to your squirming toddler with some crafts. Making a sun can be as simple as gluing yellow strips of construction paper onto a paper plate or as elaborate as covering a beach ball in little squares of yellow construction paper and hanging it from the ceiling. This can also be a good time to practice writing the letters S-U-N with crayons, markers or paint.

2. Fun With the Hole-Punch

Show your child how to use a hole-punch to make little circles out of colored construction paper. These can then be used as confetti or glued onto paper butterflies, rainbows and flowers for a splash of color. If you have scrapbooking punches in different shapes, such as hearts, birds and stars, your toddler can glue these shapes onto a wooden craft stick or a postcard. Make sure the glue is washable in case your tot glues a star onto your purse or her baby brother.

3. Fourth of July Crafts

If you want to squeeze in some patriotic crafting between naptime and the fireworks display, break out the red, white and blue construction paper. Stars and stripes can be taped together to make a crown to wear to the Independence Day parade. Use red, white and blue strips of paper to make a patriotic chain to decorate the house. If you dare to break out the glitter -- have the vacuum cleaner handy -- you and your child can make a picture of fireworks lighting up the night sky with glue and glitter on black construction paper.

4. Crafting On Vacation

As any mom knows, just because you're on vacation doesn't mean that you get a break from chasing after your active toddler. Keep your child entertained -- and, most importantly, sitting down -- at the airport or at Grandma's house with a construction paper passport and some stamps or stickers. Or give your little one photos and postcards to glue onto pages that can be stapled into a book. Help him fold a page into a paper airplane if you think you can keep him from throwing it at the business travelers across the aisle!

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