Summer Food & Crafts

Donna Erickson, Pioneer Press Lifestyle columnist, shared some of her favorite ideas to help your kids stay involved in the summer fun.

Hooded Towels

Materials: 1 fingertip towel with or without fringe, about 11 by 18 inches 1 bath towel in similar or contrasting color, about 25 by 48 inches straight pins thread +large button or a 2-inch strip of hook and loop fastener, such as velcro brand (optional) Steps: 1. fold the fingertip towel in half widthwise with right sides facing. pin one of the short sides together with straight pins. 2. sew along the pinned side, allowing for a 1/2-inch seam. turn right-side out. you have now made the hood portion. 3. measure, and mark with tailor’s chalk or a pin, the center point on one of the long edges of the bath towel. now, mark the center point on the unsewn length of the fingertip towel. match the points of the towels and pin them together, right sides facing. 4. stitch the towels together from one end of the pinned fingertip towel to the other. 5. fit the hooded towel on your child. for a front closure, stitch strips of velcro to the bath towel, or make a buttonhole and sew on a button (optional). Banana Boats Ingredientes: 6 firm, ripe bananas chocolate candy bars, broken into pieces, or chocolate chip morsels marshmallows, miniature or regular aluminum foil steps: 1. Slice each banana just through the skin, lengthwise without removing the peel. use a teaspoon to scoop out a small amount of the banana the length of the slice, to create a little cavity. tuck the chocolate bits and pieces and the marshmallows into the cavity of the sliced banana. 2. Wrap each entire banana in foil, and place directly in the coals of a campfire or on a grill. cook until chocolate and marshmallows are melted, about 8-10 minutes. remove with tongs. unwrap and eat with a spoon. Cook’s note: +add nuts, granola, dried fruit or other toppings, if you wish. Sand and Clay Frames

Put 1-cup clean sand, ½ cup cornstarch, 1-½ teaspoons powdered alum (in the spice section of your market) and ½ cup water in an old cooking pot. Stir with hands or a spoon. An adult should then place the pot on the stove, turn heat to medium and continue stirring with a spoon.

As it becomes warm, it will begin to liquefy. Continue to stir for 2-3 minutes until clay thickens. Remove from heat and spoon mixture out onto an old cutting board. Let cool.

Enjoy playing with the clay as you would any regular play clay. Roll it into balls and make snakes, bowls or cars. There are probably as many doable ideas as there are grains of sand between you and your kids’ hands. When exposed to air, it will eventually harden.

Make a sand picture frame for a summer photo:

Remove glass from a wooden frame with a 1-inch or larger edge. Dip a paintbrush in undiluted household glue and spread it on the frame, one section at a time. Stick a small clump of soft sand clay on the frame, pressing firmly.

If you haveshells from a summer vacation, brush more glue on the frame and then, brushing more glue on the surrounding area, apply a little more sand clay. Let dry for a day or two. Brush off any loose sand. Place a photo or drawing in the frame behind clean glass for a special summer souvenir.

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