Make your kids’ summer vacation count with these fun craft projects! Whether you design snazzy décor to deter birds from flying into your windows or make toys for the neighborhood pets, we’d love to see what you create. Share your photos with us!

Projects for pets

Keep pets of all stripes entertained and mentally stimulated with these easy-to-make toys.

Stocking stuffer

  1. Fill the toe of a child-sized sock with crumpled paper or polyester fiberfill.
  2. Sprinkle in a little catnip, tie a knot in the ankle and share with a kitty.
dog with rope toy mouth in front of a fence
Erin Drallos

Fun with fleece

  1. Cut non-fraying fleece fabric into three 3-inch wide strips of any length.
  2. Knot the strips together at one end.
  3. Braid the strips until you have enough left to make a knot. Tie the knot and start playing tug with Fido.

Ping-pong party*

  1. Put a treat or a few pieces of dry food in the bottom of a shallow plastic container.
  2. Add ping-pong balls, leaving enough room for your cat to move them around as she tries to find the treat.
gerbil in front of a maze made out of a cereal box

Tunnel time

  1. Cut holes in empty cardboard cereal or snack boxes to make tunnels.
  2. Hide treats in the box, then let mice, rats, gerbils or hamsters explore.

Pyramid play*

  1. Glue toilet paper rolls together to create a pyramid or wall shape. (Bonus: Cover them with non-toxic paint, paper or fabric first.)
  2. Stuff tissue paper in some of the tubes to close them.
  3. Put some treats or toys in a few of the tubes and let your cat fish them out. (Make it more challenging by adding paper after you put the treats inside!)

Outdoor explorations

Enjoy the world around you—and protect wildlife—with these ideas.

homemade crafts made of strips of cloth and pinecones hanging next to a window.
Stephen Cork

Bird safety solution

  1. Cut a piece of string long enough to hang two-thirds of the way down a window. Cut multiple 8-12” strips of shiny foil or wrapping paper.
  2. Tie the string around a pinecone (or other lightweight object that won’t damage the glass on a windy day).
  3. Tie strips of foil at intervals along the string.
  4. Using duct tape, a cup hook or a thumbtack, hang the string outside the window. For wide windows, make a few strings and hang them a few feet apart.

Underwater viewer

  1. Cut the top and bottom off a cardboard juice carton.
  2. Stretch plastic wrap tightly over one end and secure it with an elastic band, making sure it’s watertight.
  3. When visiting a pond, lake or other body of water, put the plastic-wrapped end underwater and look through the other end to see what’s beneath the surface.

Toad abode

  1. Choose a spot that’s cool and shady with a sunny area nearby. Loosen the soil.
  2. Tip a 10–12” flowerpot on its side and bury it halfway in the soil.
  3. Fill the buried half with soft soil, adding a layer of moss, leaves or small twigs on top.
  4. Place a small saucer of water just outside the pot and remember to refill it!

*These crafts come from Denise Seidl’s book, Fun and Games for Cats.

From our magazine

This story originally appeared in our award-winning magazine for members, All Animals. Get informative and inspiring content like this delivered right to your door.

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Cover of All Animals Magazine with a photo of India the tiger lying in the grass.