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Summer is right around the corner, and for many families, that means two things - popsicles, and lots of time on your hands. Luckily, these can easily be combined into a simple solution - popsicle stick crafts! Whether you're looking for a quick activity or something more time-consuming, these fun, easy crafts for adults and kids could become your next homemade gifts, innovative teaching games, or cute decorations. And the best part is, they can be completed with very few supplies.

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Bookmarks for every interest

One of the simplest things you can do with a popsicle stick is to turn it into a bookmark. They can be made using only popsicle sticks and markers, as well as anything else you have on hand, encourage creativity and imagination. Simply grab a popsicle stick, decorate, and voilà! As a bonus, it might even encourage kids to read more.

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Make your own flower garden

You don't need to have a green thumb to bring these adorable flowers to life! To make green stems, you can use paint, food coloring, or markers, or even buy colored popsicle sticks from a craft store. Cut out some flowers from brightly colored paper, stick them on, and you have a garden full of flowers that won't wilt in the sun. Level up your craft by filling a clay pot with soil, pebbles, or dry black beans for a homemade craft you won't mind displaying proudly.

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Label garden plants and herbs

If you're lucky enough to have a thriving garden at home, popsicle sticks are a fun and easy way to label your plants — and maybe learn a little bit about gardening at the same time. Simply decorate the popsicle stick in any way you like, write the name of the plant, and stick it somewhere in the pot or nearby. You can use this one as a teaching tool, too. Do a little research into any trees or plants you can see, and glue on a small information card like you'd see in a botanical garden.

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Playing cards

There's an infinite number of ways to keep occupied with a simple deck of cards, but did you know you could easily make your own? All you need for this are 52 plain popsicle sticks and a sharpie, and you're in business. Try using red and black markers to mimic the real card colors, and don't forget to draw little hearts, diamonds, spades or clubs.

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Boredom busters

If you or your kids have even more time on your hands, try these summer boredom busters to give you endless ideas at your fingertips. First, you'll want to brainstorm ideas - these might include other crafts or projects you'd like to tackle, solo activities, or even new foods to try or places to visit. Once you've got your list, simply write on the sticks, decorate with markers or washi tape, and store them in a jar. Then, any time you're stuck for inspiration, just pull one out at random, and enjoy!

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Create a puzzle

Another activity that'll provide even more fun is to create your own puzzle. Start by lining up a bunch of popsicle sticks into a square or rectangle shape, then draw, paint, or color a picture or design of your choosing. Then separate the popsicle sticks, mix them up, and you have a simple puzzle for young kids to enjoy putting back together. If you have kids of different ages, this could be a great activity for the older ones to create and the younger ones to solve.

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Marble run

For a similar idea that's a little more complicated, how about designing your own marble run? This one's a fantastic STEM challenge, as well as a fun game. You'll need a cardboard box, some marbles, and a hot glue gun, so this one's best as a supervised task. Glue the sticks to the back of the box in whatever pattern you can design, then see if you can get a marble from the top to the bottom like a DIY pinball game.

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Yarn crafts

This one couldn't be easier, and it's also guaranteed to keep kids busy for a while. Simply glue two possible sticks together and use them as a frame to make your own God's Eyes - starting from the center of the frame, wrap some colored yarn under and over each stick in turn until you have a finished pattern. This is a fun activity that can also be used as a cute homemade gift.

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Treasure boxes

Kids will love making and using this one. Stack the popsicle sticks on top of one another to create the box and glue them side by side for the base and lid. These can be decorated any way you like and used to store all kinds of treasures kids might want to keep safe.

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Bird feeders

This simple bird feeder uses the same design as a treasure box, only without the need for a lid. Create a box shape using popsicle sticks, decorate and fill it with birdseed, and hang it in your garden. If it works, you might find that birdwatching becomes your next hobby!

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