Remember Fimo? If you have girls who love detail oriented and colorful tiny works of art, so a few blocks of Fimo and possibly an instructional book could really get them excited, and keep them busy for a good chunk of summer vacation time! There are endless possibilities, and my almost 7 year old daughter has really been enjoying her 1hour/week Fimo class after school. Last week she came home with this pendant, which has found a temporary place decorating one of my Shabbos candles. It is so sweet.
Fimo costs around $2 (10 shekels in Israel) for a small block, so it's really only appropriate for children who could actually make something worth keeping— girls from about age 6-7 and boys a little bit older, depending on their individual skills.
Fimo is actually a brand name of polymer clay, its main U.S. competitor is the American brand Sculpey. The material comes in many different colors, there are many finishes to choose from, and even a softener to use with it because it can be hard to work with. Once sculpted, Fimo is baked in a standard or toaster oven for about 30 minutes at 110°C to harden it. After baking, it can be further modified by cutting, drilling, painting, and sanding. Some crafters thinly slice baked Fimo and pasta makers are used to make thin even sheets of Fimo (I wish I had one of those hanging around!), and of course many other tools from the kitchen (like a garlic press for making hair) can be really helpful.
So if you're looking for a creative project for your kids or even yourself, think about a small investment in polymer clay. It just might be a hit this summer!