Summer is an adjustment for families. Kids have an open schedule and parents now have the task of filling that time with activities but what activities? There are so many things that you can do during the summer to occupy your children without it being an obligation. Every summer our family creates a summer bucket list of ideas and activities that we can do. My goal isn’t to schedule the kids with tasks from dawn to dusk. My goal is to break up the monotony of the day so that they can have a chance to incorporate fun and learning into their summer days. We don’t plan something every day because I believe that kids need free time too, but we do our best to have several days a week where we check off an activity on our list.
1. Michaels offers classes for children. If you have a local Michael’s store you can go to their website and enter your zip-code to see what classes they offer and when. There is a small fee to cover the cost of supplies for these classes.
2. Visit your local park.
3. See if your town or city has a local farmer’s market. This is a great way to introduce your children to both where our food comes from and the people that grow our food for us.
4. Go to your local library. Often times the children’s section of your library will have activities for the summer to occupy children. This is also a great way to get the social interaction your children need.
5. Check out your local movie theaters. Some theaters will have matinees for children where they show movies that are pre-released. You can take the kids out for a really low cost and they will have a great time too.
6. Check out your town’s calendar and see if there are any events that will be held that are family friendly. You just never know what could be going on.
7. Go have a sno-cone!
8. Go to your local plant nursery or Lowe’s and purchase a few cheap plants. Show your child how to plant something and enjoy watching it grow.
9. Go on a walk around the neighborhood. You might get to know a few neighbors and your kids will get some exercise with you it’s also a great time to bond.
10. Show them how to make a simple lunch. I have found that my kids are more likely to eat something new if they have a hand in cooking it too.
11. Host an outside scavenger hunt. Make a list of items and have the kids search for them. You could even have a little prize for the winner.
12. Think of things that are easy to do in the yard. Side walk chalk, build a fire in the backyard (with adult supervision) and make some smores, catch some lightning bugs, find shapes in the clouds, pitch a tent in the backyard. Think of something that appeals to you and your kids. Every family is different.
13. Volunteer. There are always nursing homes looking for people to sit with the elderly. Kids can learn a great deal from the older generations. Look for a local food bank and see if you can take the kids to serve the homeless. There is nothing more satisfying than helping others in need. You will teach your children kindness and they can also learn about gratefulness.
14. Visit the zoo.
15. Give the kids a cheap disposable camera and see what hidden photography skills they might have. Show them the “old-fashioned” way of having film developed.
16. Give them some paper and a topic or subject. Let the kids write a story or draw a picture. Foster their imagination.
17. Create your own game. Make a board game or a new way to play hide and seek. See if your kids can create a game and come up with rules on their own. You might just be surprised.
18. Your local church might have church camp or Vacation Bible School for the kids.
19. Visit some family!
20. Get down in the floor and wrestle with the kids. Give them the attention they deserve!
21. Go see a play or ballet.
22. Chase down the ice cream man.
23. Paint some rocks and create an outdoor Tic Tac Toe game.
24. Get the hose out and let the kids play in the water sprinkler. The simple things are often the most fun for them.
25. Ask the kids what they would like to do. Listen to them and let them know that you want them to have a good Summer.
Every family is unique. Every child is unique. Sit down and think about what your family enjoys and try to accomplish one task a week. Don’t feel obligated to occupy them at all times of the day. Let the kids use their imaginations! The most important thing is Have Fun!