School’s out for summer! While most of us adults no longer get a summer break, we do have long, sunny weekend days to spend with the little ones, whether they’re ours or ours by proxy. If you’re a parent, a grandparent, a babysitter, a friend, or any of the above, these five summer DIY projects for kids will keep you entertained while you make them together—and for hours and hours after.
Just about every kid goes through a lemonade stand phase, whether it just sounds fun or they’re saving up for something special and could use a little extra cash. Whatever the reason, a lemonade stand is a good opportunity to learn the value of work and pay, gain some experience, and, in our case, build a DIY wood project from scratch. This lemonade stand uses green cedar for a natural look that holds up well in our Pacific Northwest weather. Want to have a bit of fun and paint it? Swap out your cedar for white wood—it’s more cost effective, and a smoother finish for easier painting.
I didn’t grow up with a slip and slide (sadly), though one summer my brother and I did try to make a makeshift one that ended up being less of a slip and more of a rough journey down a woven heavy-duty tarp. To give other kids the gift of a slip and slide, I created one from wood, PVC pipes, polyethylene, and pool noodles that’ll keep everyone occupied all summer long. It’s completely customizable and even has a tiny splash pool at the bottom—how fun is that?
Cornhole, bean bag toss—whatever you call it, there’s no denying this lawn game is a hallmark of summer. It also happens to be a pretty easy project you can knock out in just a few hours with decking products from TimberTech (you may also know it as Azek), deck screws, and bean bags. We opted for composite decking materials for this project because it doesn’t require a finish (easy!) and it can stay outside all season long without being damaged by the sun or rain.
Bring the beach to your backyard with a DIY sandbox. The best part about making one on your own is that you can make it as big (or as little) as you want. Plus, Dunn Lumber offers $60 local delivery, which means you can get all the heavy sand and cedar lattice delivered straight to your door. We stained our cedar lattice with Penofin Verde—it’s one of our go-tos thanks to its high quality and the fact that it comes in a small container, which means minimal waste. Another perk of this sandbox? It was designed with a lid, which keeps the sand from getting soaked or filled with leaves and bugs.
This one takes a bit more time and energy, but it’s worth it for an adorable wooden airplane-inspired swing that hangs from a swingset or even a tree with a nylon rope. (And it’s a great way to get some woodworking projects under your belt.) For this project, we use white wood as our main material and finished it with a primer, paint, stain, and varnish. Read the full tutorial carefully before you get started, then get to work—and get to flying.
These DIY crafts for kids remind me so much of my childhood and long summer days spent playing outside. I hope the process of building and enjoying these DIY projects bring you happy memories, too.