Ten ways to use your creativity for good

It seems like summer brings a big sigh of relaxation and a feeling of extra time to do, make, create and enjoy. Everyone seems to be creating bucket lists and planning out all the fun things they want to do as a family.

But we can do even more than come up with fun ways to fill our summer days. We can use our creative minds purposefully to focus on using less resources and blessing others. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with projects (Pinterest-overload, anyone?) so here are just ten easy ideas and activities for using our creativity for good this summer.

For the kids… and the environment

Photo by Mrs.Bennettar

Craft stores can be overwhelming with their brightly-colored kits and gazillion ideas for kids’ crafts, but with what we have at home, our kids (and us) can create beautifully in a less-impact sort of way… Thinking outside the box this summer when it comes to kid activities can mean less impact on the environment and the wallet.

  • Don’t throw away those broken bits of crayons! Save them to make sun-upcycled crayons, by melting them into new crayons. You can also make these in the oven, but chances are you won’t want to turn that on in the summer if you don’t have to.
  • Paper bowl jellyfish: Have a paper bowl or two leftover from an event? With a little paint and some embellishments, you can make this summery craft– I’d rather have these pretties than run into a jellyfish at the beach!
  • Paint rocks. This is one of my older daughter’s favorite pastimes. If you want to get really fancy (yet totally easy), you can even modge podge your rocks with scraps of fabric or paper.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could expend a little bit of creative energy on blessing others this summer? In her book Nurturing Creativity, Renee Tougas talks about her way of life as simply “creative living, not defined by any one craft or activity but an overall approach to life.”  I love this because it reminds us that “creativity” goes beyond crafts (although those are indeed a fun part of it).

For friends, family and neighbors

Photo by Megan Tietz

Sometimes creative living means planning an event and welcoming others into your home, or your cul-de-sac, or sometimes it means thinking up ways to deliver happiness to those you care about.

  • Organize a block party, and get to know your neighbors. Use your creativity to plan a simple potluck and some fun games and enjoy the company of those in your community.
  • Deliver goodies to friends and neighbors. A homemade treat after dinner (cookies, popsicles, brownies, etc!) would be happily received, especially with a cute stay cool tag. Have a bumper crop in your garden? Share some of that zucchini with a neighbor; you could even deliver it with your favorite zucchini bread recipe.

For those outside our immediate circle

Photo by Mrs.Bennettar

All of the following ideas are great for small groups of friends (or even families with older kids) to work on together. It’s fun to come together and create something that will bless those in need.

  • Sew some ConKerr pillowcases. This a super simple project, creating colorful pillowcases for children with cancer. They can be donated to local hospital chapters.
  • Fight maternal and infant mortality, by putting together some simple yet lifesaving birth kits.
  • For more ways to use your creative skills for good, be sure to check out Craft Hope. They are currently collecting handmade aprons for women in Haiti.

Have you tried any of these ideas? If you have them, I’d love to hear more ways to use creativity for good this summer in the comments!


Nicole lives near the beach in Southern California with her husband and three young kiddos. She writes a a lifestyle blog about creativity, family life, community, and all sorts of other fun stuff, and also keeps a homeschool journal called The Bennettar Academy. Her most recent (free!) ebook is about why and how to make more time for reading.

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  1. I love these AND we are getting bored around here. Thanks for a cure or two!!

  2. Great list. Every category has something I can actually pull off, unlike some of my Pinterest finds. A casual ice cream social sounds like a good plan for this weekend.

    • I tried to be practical, because honestly, we’ve all got a lot of those lofty ideas that we don’t actually get around to. 🙂
      I’d love to hear if you host an ice cream party!

  3. I love the ice cream social! We have done build your own ice cream sundaes before but it has been awhile. Must do one before the end of summer! Also, modpodge fabric on rocks? Great idea!

    • By all means, have an ice cream party! They are so fun.
      I’m itching to try the mod podge on rocks idea too. 🙂

  4. Painting rocks is a great idea. And I love ice cream socials because it’s a get together without the trouble of a full meal.

  5. These are terrific ideas. I’m checking out gobs of links you posted here. Thanks!

  6. Emily @ Random Recycling says:

    Love these ideas Nicole. Especially the ice cream social. I am looking for an ice cream maker and had not thought about the mixer attachment.

    • Emily, I can’t say enough good things about the ice cream maker attachment. It’s so simple and effective. Happy ice cream making!

  7. I did the sewing group and loved it…actually got my first quilt made because of it! Such great memories.

    • That’s so great! It’s so fun to sew friends, especially when you end up with such a special piece.

  8. I really like the sewing ideas! I have some crafty friends and these would be really fun to do together.

    • Sewing with friends is so fun. Really any kind of crafting actually. 🙂 Beware: time flies when you are crafting with friends!

  9. Thanks for the link to the birth kits, I followed it through and have made a donation, what a fabulous cause

  10. I love your photo’s, you have a beautiful family. These are great ideas! I hope you guys had a great weekend.

    If your interested in doing a target gift card giveaway if your interested 🙂

  11. Fun ideas! You have the wheels in my head turning…

  12. This is so cool! I was just thinking of doing an ice cream social for our neighbors. I realized last week after the traumatic death of our goat (she was attacked by a dog) that 4 different households of our neighbors came together to help us that day. They were wonderful and it was much appreciated.

    I also want to check out the pillowcase idea. I am always loooking for an excuse to buy pretty fabric and do something with it. :o)

    God bless! Fi

    • Sorry to hear about your goat! I love seeing the community come together like that though. Throwing an ice cream social for your neighbors would such a fun way to thank them. 🙂

  13. We are planning our neighborhood block party. Our city has a neighborhood night out where blocks all over the town have their own party on the same night. The community police and firefighters stop by as many parties as possible. It is a great way to get to know your neighbors a little better.

    • How fun! We just had a block party on the 4th of July and it was a really fun way to get to know more neighbors and have a good time.

  14. Jessica says:

    What a wonderful post. Thank you so much for these ideas! Reading about the birth kits made my heart leap. Thank you again!

  15. Nicole, Thank you so much for mentioning my e-book. I love the heart and ideas in this post. You speaka’ my language and encourage me to look outward in my creativity.

  16. I love the birth kit idea, especially since I’m a postpartum nurse and I have a big heart for mamas and babies.

    And thanks for the reminder about a neighborhood ice cream social; I’ve though of doing that since we re-landscaped our front yard this summer. I want to invite folks to share our new space!

  17. Sarah S says:

    Thank you!! We were just looking for an idea for our MOPS (moms of preschoolers) to do as a service type craft this year. I LOVE the birth kits. Perfect!!

  18. Thanks so much for linking to Bloggers for Birth Kits Nicole. We’ve had such an amazing response this year – thousands and thousands of kits! I just came back from overseas to BOXES more that had arrived while we were away. Totally amazing. Every single one makes a difference!

    Love your other ideas too – especially the pillowcases for children.

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