DIY Summer Camp: Learning Adventures!

Editor’s Note: Summer is in full swing! We have some fun activities to keep your kids engaged and learning throughout the summer months, courtesy of’s Do-It-Yourself Summer Camp!’s DIY Summer Camp contains 14 weeks of themed activities, both on and offline. Themes like Under the Sea, Animal Adventures, and Summer Superheroes provide kids with free resources on all subject areas including math, reading, and science. There is at least one free activity from each theme of the DIY Summer Camp, and the Basic membership has tons of free games, printables, and worksheets. (There is also the Plus membership that is $3.99 per month, or can be billed annually. This membership option gives individuals unlimited access to all of’s resources.) Below are some of the activities available to start your Summer Learning Adventures. Visit for more!

Under the Sea

Go under the sea with these fun ocean-themed activities and crafts! Kids will make octopus mobiles, underwater viewers, whale friends, and even an entire ocean in a bottle. Spend the summer at sea with these ocean-themed activities!

Under the Sea Checklist

Under the Sea Activity 1 Education Chelsea Foundation

Activity: Octopus Mobile

By Ellen Dean

Create a giant octopus from cardboard that holds onto a sea of creatures from its giant tentacles!

What You Need

  • 3 Sheets of cardboard or cereal boxes (11” x 17”)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Tempera paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Thread
  • Clear tape
  • Markers

What You Do

  1. On one sheet of cardboard, draw an octopus as large as you can with four legs. Cut it out of the cardboard with scissors.
  2. On another piece of cardboard, trace around the cut-out octopus with a pencil, and cut out the next octopus shape.
  3. Lay the octopus shapes with one head on top of the other. (The legs should be facing opposite ways so it looks like a spider). Hold the bodies together in this position, and use scissors to cut a straight line, or slit, from the middle of one set of legs, just over halfway through the head. Do not cut all the way through the head.
  4. Paint both the octopus body’s front and back. Allow them to dry.
  5. Dip a paintbrush in paint and flick the bristles with your fingers to make the paint spray onto the octopus bodies.
  6. Draw lots of different types of fish onto the third piece of cardboard. Cut out all of the fish shapes you draw.
  7. Cut out eight different lengths of thread. Tape the fish onto the thread. You can paint more than one fish on each thread.
  8. Paint both sides of the fish with bright colors and let them dry. Think about patterns you’ve seen on fish. Do they have stripes? Dots? And don’t forget scales! Make sure to paint over the tape. Then use markers to add in facial features to the fish.
  9. Tape one thread on each leg of the octopus tentacles.
  10. Paint blue rings at the bottom edge of the octopus tentacles to create suckers.
  11. After the paint is dry, slide one octopus shape into the other octopus shape. Draw a face on the octopus with markers.
  12. Add a string to the octopus body and your underwater mural is ready to be hung!

Ellen Dean has worked as an art educator in Thailand since 2005, working with both children and adults. She has also been a professional artist working in painting, sculpture, and photography since 1996.

Animal Adventures

Have an animal adventure this summer with games, activities, and crafts that make your child want to roar! Help your child get in touch with animals as he makes furry friends out of clothespins, leaves, and even his own body.

Animal Adventures Checklist

Animal Adventures Activity 1 Education Chelsea Foundation

Activity: Word Search Animals

Word Search Animal House Activity Education Chelsea Foundation_Page_1

It’s like a zoo in here! There are 17 hidden animal words in this jumble of letters. How many can your kid find? Don’t worry if he gets stumped, that’s why there’s an answer sheet. Check it!

Summer Superheroes

This week’s activities bring out the superhero in your super kid! Explore a world of imagination and funny costumers with these exciting activities. Kids will learn to dream big with activities that get them constructing capes, shooting lightning bolts, and even exerting super strength.

Summer Superheroes Checklist

Summer Superheroes Activity 1 Education Chelsea Foundation

Activity: Name That Hero! Two-Digit Addition

Name That Hero Worksheet Education Chelsea Foundation

Don’t let two-digit addition troubles get your child down! This fun worksheet—and the rest of the set—is all you need to get her addition abilities up to par. And it’s got an extra special super hero theme, so it’ll keep her interest piqued, too. Solving this page full of double-digit addition problems answers the mystery question—what is this super hero’s code name?

Check out the rest of this series for even more two-digit addition practice!

Photos and worksheets: Courtesy of


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