Everyone loves summer - the warm nights, the patriotic celebrations, the excuse to eat ice cream anytime - but parents know that it can be difficult to keep kids engaged during the months that they're not in school. At your next backyard barbecue, let the kids entertain themselves with these printable paper crafts. Use plain white cardstock with your Canon PIXMA printer to ensure the printed items remain durable enough to last all day.
Soccer Player Finger Puppets
Print sets of soccer player finger puppets on cardstock using the male and female templates. Allow school-age kids to cut the players out and decorate them with their favorite team colors. Younger children may need help making the "leg" holes for fingers. To play two-player finger-puppet soccer, each "player" inserts an index finger and ring finger through the leg holes in their respective finger puppet. Make a ball from a wad of paper, then "kick" the ball across a table. Score by knocking the ball off the table, past the player on the opposing team.
Tiny tots may appreciate insect finger puppets, worn like rings. Print the templates, allow kids to decorate their insects, and cut out the designs, taping each cardstock band into a loop to make a ring shape that fits over two little fingers.
Patriotic Printed Glasses
Celebrate a summer holiday event with these homemade patriotic printed eyeglasses. Print the star eyeglass template on cardstock, or allow children to pick another eyeglass shape, such as flowers or a round design. Color the frames with stars and stripes to celebrate the holiday. Glue sticks and glitter add a sparkly touch to the finished frames. To add colored lenses to the eyeglasses, cut out discs of colored cellophane (you may already have the type used for wrapping gift baskets in your closet). Tape the discs to the inside of the glasses so the lenses look as though they're installed in the frames, with no tape visible from the outside.
3D Ice Cream and Faux Fruit
This paper craft is ideal for older kids - even teens and young adults - as it involves a bit of creative folding, much like origami. Use your Canon PIXMA printer to print a series of paper ice cream balls, cones and frozen treats using pre-colored templates. With the color already intact, these paper versions of tasty treats look quite impressive when assembled. Once finished making triple-scoop ice cream cones, the kids may want to make a few sets of paper play fruit, which look equally amazing (and rather Minecraft-esque, for fans of the game).