Thursday, April 24, 2014

Summer Fun (At Home!) 25 Ways

 It’s here.  It’s finally here.  The day counted down from the very first day of school.  The day that culminates in squealing excitement for students and teachers: summer vacation Cut this list out.  Put it on the ‘fridge and use it as a Summer Bucket List.  And tell your kids they can’t even think about being bored until they finish everything on it.Enjoy!

1.     Make a slip ‘n’ slide out of a big tarp and dish soap

2.     Have a picnic

3.     Make homemade scented play dough: ½ c salt, 1 c flour, 1 tbs. oil, 1 pkg. Koolaid, 1 c boiling water.  Mix together salt, flour and Koolaid.  Add oil and boiling water.  Mix with spoon until cool enough to handle and then knead with hands. 

4.     Perform a Random Act of Kindness for your neighbors:  You can deliver handwritten notes or pictures, make them a cake or give them flowers. 

5.     Make a Bored Jar:  Decorate a jar or paint an old coffee can and fill with activities written on colorful slips of paper for kids to draw out when they feel they have absolutely nothing to do.  A good tip: mix fun things with chores (like ‘play in the sprinkler’ and ‘pull weeds’) so they can decide if it’s worth it or not to have you entertain them!

6.     Have a Dessert War:  Have ingredients available in a central location (for example: graham crackers, whipped cream, fruit, sprinkles or chocolate sauce).  Each child has their own workspace and works against a timer to create a unique dessert.  Have them present it and explain what the process was.  This would also be fun with cupcake or cookie decorating. 

7.     Make a fort (you could have a picnic in your fort if you remove the chairs from a table and simply throw a sheet over the top of it and have the sides draping down for the walls.  Forts make great reading nooks!)

8.     Have a scavenger hunt: print out a list of items and attach it to a bag (you can use pictures for nonreaders).  The list might include: something brown, a feather, an acorn, a flower, etc.

9.     Make a lemonade stand:  Give the money you make to a special cause or charity or use it to spend on a Family Date. 

10.  Have a Water Olympics in your backyard  (sample stations you might have: sponge relay, water balloon toss or bobbing for apples)

11.  Hide and seek egg hunt:  You know all those plastic eggs you don’t use all year? Bring them out and hide them for an indoor or outdoor activity (when it gets too hot to be outside!).  You can even use a special colored egg as a prize for quality time with mom and dad or extra book at bedtime.

12.  Have a water balloon fight (make a contest at the end to see who picks up the most busted balloons.)

13.  Have a cooking lesson for a simple treat.  Be okay with the mess.  Eat your creation. 

14.  Make a surprise party for dad just for coming home from work. 

15.  Make your own books:  Take blank paper, fold in the middle and staple.  Younger children can draw and tell you about the pictures (you could even write in the words for them).  For the older kids, print it out and draw in the pictures or use clip art.  Read it with them at bedtime for a fun surprise.   

16.  Do a family painting:  Have everyone in the family contribute in some way.  Hang it up and enjoy your effort together.  (a tip: it’s best to let the paint from the work of each person dry before passing it to the next)

17.  Make a race track or city out of sidewalk chalk for small cars and trucks or a zoo for animals.  Large and concentrated projects will engage smaller children longer and it is fun for them to work together with you. 

18.  Make Fudgsicles: Mix chocolate pudding according to directions.  Pour into paper cups and insert wooden stick or spoon.  Freeze and enjoy! 

19.  Make bubbles:  Take one cup of water and add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid.  Cut the top third off of a plastic water or soda bottle and you have an instant bubble blower. 

20.  Box Village:  Have old moving boxes? If not, use leftover boxes from big items or a make a trip to the back of Home Depot.  Cut out windows or doors, decorate, and group together.  Let your kids have snacks inside of the boxes and it may be a while before you see them again. 

21.  Grow something

22.  Make new crayons out of old crayons:  Gather up all the small broken pieces of crayons and put them in foil cup liners in a muffin pan about one inch deep.  Heat oven to 250 degrees and let melt (about 15-20 minutes).  After they are cool, pop them out and they are ready!   

23.  Paint outside:  Use butcher paper (super cheap at Sam’s) and make your own paint in muffin tins (flour, water and food coloring to desired consistency and color).  Hose down the mess and you’re good to go!  

24.  Have reading hour in the floor:  Each child can bring their favorite books and each one is read aloud to everyone.  An extra treat? Do the reading in a tent or fort with a flashlight. 

25.  Have a family talent show