Written by Nicole Bennett of Gidget Goes Home.
It seems like summer brings a big sigh of relaxation and a feeling of extra time to do, make, create and enjoy. Everyone seems to be creating bucket lists and planning out all the fun things they want to do as a family.
But we can do even more than come up with fun ways to fill our summer days. We can use our creative minds purposefully to focus on using less resources and blessing others. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with projects (Pinterest-overload, anyone?) so here are just ten easy ideas and activities for using our creativity for good this summer.
For the kids… and the environment
Photo by Mrs.Bennettar
Craft stores can be overwhelming with their brightly-colored kits and gazillion ideas for kids’ crafts, but with what we have at home, our kids (and us) can create beautifully in a less-impact sort of way… Thinking outside the box this summer when it comes to kid activities can mean less impact on the environment and the wallet.
- Don’t throw away those broken bits of crayons! Save them to make sun-upcycled crayons, by melting them into new crayons. You can also make these in the oven, but chances are you won’t want to turn that on in the summer if you don’t have to.
- Paper bowl jellyfish: Have a paper bowl or two leftover from an event? With a little paint and some embellishments, you can make this summery craft– I’d rather have these pretties than run into a jellyfish at the beach!
- Paint rocks. This is one of my older daughter’s favorite pastimes. If you want to get really fancy (yet totally easy), you can even modge podge your rocks with scraps of fabric or paper.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could expend a little bit of creative energy on blessing others this summer? In her book Nurturing Creativity, Renee Tougas talks about her way of life as simply “creative living, not defined by any one craft or activity but an overall approach to life.” I love this because it reminds us that “creativity” goes beyond crafts (although those are indeed a fun part of it).
For friends, family and neighbors
Photo by Megan Tietz
Sometimes creative living means planning an event and welcoming others into your home, or your cul-de-sac, or sometimes it means thinking up ways to deliver happiness to those you care about.
- Have a casual ice cream social, complete with homemade ice cream! I recommend the KitchenAid ice cream maker bowl attachment if you have a stand mixer. I also love to give homemade ice cream as gifts.
- Organize a block party, and get to know your neighbors. Use your creativity to plan a simple potluck and some fun games and enjoy the company of those in your community.
- Deliver goodies to friends and neighbors. A homemade treat after dinner (cookies, popsicles, brownies, etc!) would be happily received, especially with a cute stay cool tag. Have a bumper crop in your garden? Share some of that zucchini with a neighbor; you could even deliver it with your favorite zucchini bread recipe.
For those outside our immediate circle
Photo by Mrs.Bennettar
All of the following ideas are great for small groups of friends (or even families with older kids) to work on together. It’s fun to come together and create something that will bless those in need.
- Sew some ConKerr pillowcases. This a super simple project, creating colorful pillowcases for children with cancer. They can be donated to local hospital chapters.
- Fight maternal and infant mortality, by putting together some simple yet lifesaving birth kits.
- Write letters and send artwork to your sponsored child, if you have one.
- For more ways to use your creative skills for good, be sure to check out Craft Hope. They are currently collecting handmade aprons for women in Haiti.
Have you tried any of these ideas? If you have them, I’d love to hear more ways to use creativity for good this summer in the comments!