School’s Out for the Summer
Summer time and the living is easy…for your kids. For you, life might have just gotten a whole lot busier, but also a whole lot more fun!
You know it’s going to happen, the dreaded, “I’m booooooored. What should I do? Do you have any ideas?” If you’re lucky you can get a whole week into summer without hearing this, but realistically, it will probably be approximately 48 hours before your children are bored to tears by the thought of spending the summer at home. Well, break out your thinking cap; it’s time to get to business. With a little bit of preparation, you can be armed and ready for this moment ahead of time.
A great idea is to create an “I’m bored” summer jar. You are welcome to call it something more fun if you’d like… perhaps, “Super Exciting Jar of Awesome Ideas Created by The BEST MOM EVER”, for example. The basic idea of the jar is that you fill it with all sorts of fun ideas that you already have the supplies and means to do at home. This way, when your kids come running to you with that desperately dull stare, you need look no further than your summer jar. What should you put in the jar you ask? Well, let’s talk about fun summer activities!
Kid Friendly Recipes
-Juice Popsicles, in fun shapes and flavors!
-Kick the can ice cream . Find easy directions here. This is a great way to make a tasty snack and get some exercise in.
-Lemonade stand anyone? What a delicious way to teach your kids some business skills.
-Build a rocket. Depending on your child’s age and skill level a variety of rocket experiments can be bought online or made from things around the house. Research the type of rocket you’d like to build together and make it a great learning experience.
-Paper airplane contest. Be careful, this one is addicting and fun at EVERY age level. I know this for a fact because I just wasted several hours of my evening glued to this website like a nerdy teenage boy – http://www.paperaeroplanes.com/. Caution, this could lead to extreme interest in origami of all sorts.
-Magic tricks and a magic show. Magic is great for expanding kids creativity, critical thinking and imagination. A great activity for the whole family.
-Friendship bracelets. If you are looking for a cheap activity that can entertain your kids for hours, look no further than the embroidery floss aisle at your local craft store. Embroidery floss is dirt cheap ($1 a package for the fancy stuff) and with the magic of the internet thousands of patterns and tutorials can be found online for free. These projects are fun and endless.
-Invisible Ink . Make up your own secret code while you’re at it.
-Know someone who would love a nice hello in his or her mailbox? Grandma? Aunt? Neighbor? Teacher? Letter writing teaches kids about communication, bonding, friendship and kindness while also bringing joy to someone else’s heart. If you aren’t sure who to write a letter to, write a letter to a soldier and brighten his or her day.
-Obstacle Course. Make your own or join in a community event with neighboring families.
-Water balloon fight. What kid doesn’t love a water balloon fight? What adult doesn’t love one for that matter?
– Letterboxing. Alright, if you’ve never heard of letterboxing, hold on to your hat, because your mind is about to be blown. Letterboxing is just about the coolest summer activity that has ever existed. Similar to geocaching, letterboxing combines aspects of both hiking and a scavenger hunt. Go to the website, letterboxing.org, search for a clue in your area, solve the riddle or find the location and you will find a letterbox! Inside the letterbox is a journal and a stamp. In the journal you find, you make a note about your letterboxing experience for future readers to enjoy. In your own journal you print the stamp you found in the box to forever remember the fun you had that day. This is a great activity for the whole family and can be done all over the world.
Good Clean Fun
-Reading. Reading is good for the soul, heart and mind. Get a library card and let the free fun flow. If your kids need some motivation to read consider reading together or joining a program such as the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge.
-Chores. I know what you are thinking, your kids aren’t going to hate you forever for this. Teaching kids responsibility is important and there is no better time to do so than during summer vacation. Try to throw a few fun chores in once in a while like washing the car or bike and your kids will learn responsibility that their future roommates are going to thank you for.
Having the kids home all day every day in the summer can seem intimidating, but with a little bit of planning and creativity you can look forward to summer just as much as they do.