DIY Projects for Kids & Parents to Do Together

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Biodegradable Ice Cream Cone Seed Planters

This is a project that’s perfect for the little ones – even the smallest of hands can help! To begin, fill an ice cream cone with potting soil, sunflower seeds, and water. The cone is the perfect home to watch your seedlings sprout! Then, have your kids help transplant the cone into the backyard. The cone will eventually disintegrate leaving the end result – Bright, growing sunflowers that are fun, easy, and eco-friendly!

Cookie Cutter Bird Feeder

Turn your backyard into a bird-watching paradise! Simply mix unflavored gelatin (yes, it is bird-friendly!), water and loose bird seed over the stove in a sauce pan. Then, have the kiddos press the warm mixture into their favorite shaped and oiled cookie cutter on a lined baking tray. Make sure to insert a straw at the top to create a small hole for hanging. Put the tray into the fridge for an hour to allow the feeders to set. Remove the cutter and the straw, tie with string, and pick the perfect branch to hang the new feeder. Sit back and watch the birds fly in for an afternoon treat.

Inflatable Tubes Turned Obstacle Course

Test the neighborhood kids’ fitness with your very own obstacle course. Use an air pump to quickly fill inflatable tubes. Forget throwing them in the pool – lay them on the grass. Use duct tape to tape the tubes together to create a a kid-friendly tire agility drill, and race to see who can complete the drill the quickest. Next, move the group over to tube alley. Separate into two teams. Lay eight tubes in a row, and have each kid step into the tub, shimmy it overhead, and drop it behind them as they continue forward. Whichever team is able to move their entire team through and finish fastest wins.

Tropical Sand Dough

Take a trip to the beach without ever leaving the backyard! Forget packing into the car and, instead, head to the kitchen! Have your kids mix sand, corn flour, and melted coconut oil together. This makes a yummy-scented dough that they can press, play with, squish, and create. Their imaginations will run wild with the endless amount of sand castles they can build. This dough is perfectly moldable and is a great sensory activity for the kids.

Outdoor Teepee

Call in Dad to help the kids with this one. You need a few power tools to create the cross shape junction of wood planks. Drill large holes into the wood to use to connect the four pieces of wood to the ridge pole, and two braces into the bottom for additional support. This is the frame for your teepee. Once this is done, you have a strong structure to spend long, hot days and many starry nights under. Drape an old sheet over the top to create the shady canopy. Want a teepee that can withstand the elements? Trade the sheet for a waterproof canvas tarp. This way, a little afternoon sprinkle won’t stop the fun. A bonus — the canopy will protect the children from prolonged sun exposure. Lay a soft blanket underneath, gather your kids’ favorite books, and sip a refreshing drink. Share giggles and stories in the comfort of your very own backyard teepee.

In need of a few more DIY or kids’ craft ideas? Visit Big R’s Pinterest board for great ways to keep them busy this summer!

About Big R

Bill and Pat Crabtree originated the Illinois Big R Stores in 1964. The first store opened in Watseka, Illinois. To date 18 stores have been opened in central Illinois and northern Indiana.

We have 11 stores in Illinois including Watseka, Gibson City, Danville, Tilton, Pontiac, Morris, Washington, Rochelle, Pekin, Homer Glen and McHenry. Our 7 Indiana stores include Warsaw, Wabash, Crawfordsville, Michigan City, Elkhart, Marion and Rochester. We recently expanded to Northwest Ohio, adding stores in Lima and Findlay (Coming Soon).

The offices and warehouses for Big R remain in Watseka, IL. Joining the company in 1973, Jerry Gibbs now provides family leadership for the company. New generations of the Crabtree family continue to participate in the business.

Farm and Ranch store owners in the western states started the Big R brand name; they chose the name “Big R” to convey the “Ranch” identity. The Big R group is now comprised of 12 independent owners with a growing 75 + stores throughout the U.S. They all are members of Mid-States Distributing Company of St. Paul, MN. The Mid-States Coop has over 600 stores throughout the United States and Canada.