School’s out and summer is here! There is much jubilation! Which lasts about three days…and then moms begin to hear, “I’m bored. What can I do?” approximately a jillion times a day.
So before your kids drive you crazy, or you drive yourself there, check out this list:
10 At-Home Activities for Summer Fun (That Won’t Break the Bank)
- Sensory Activities– Throw some pinto beans or flour into an empty water table and hand your littles some funnels and measuring cups, or give them a can of shaving cream on the back porch and watch them sculpt. Add food coloring if you dare.
- Water Balloon Fight – Note: it generally takes longer to fill and tie the balloons than the water balloon fight actually lasts, but it’s a definite hit with kids of all ages. Once the balloons are gone, turn on the sprinklers or hand out water guns for added water play.
- Crazy Hair – Either give them a crazy hairdo yourself, or have them act as stylist for each other and create a crazy look on their sibling. Add some funky outfits to the mix and have your young fashionistas present a style show in the living room.
- Game Day – Pull out all the board and card games and go from game to game to game until you’re all played out.
- Creation Station– What materials from your house can be used together to help spark creativity? Set them up on a table, announce that it’s their personal “Creation Station” and let the imaginations fly. Maybe they’ll make futuristic shoes out of aluminum foil and tape or a car out of an empty oatmeal box and some old data CD’s. Perhaps you present them with their own notebook to keep a personal journal, write stories in, or use as a sketchbook and give them “journal time” each day.
- Music Makers – Have your children help you find things around the house that you can make into instruments, like rice in an empty water bottle or pulling rubber bands across a piece of cardboard. (Shape the cardboard like a guitar if you’re feeling it.) Turn on the music and have a jam session.
- Grandparent Mail – Tell your children to draw a picture or write a letter to their grandparents, then teach them how to address the envelope and put it in the mailbox or take them to the post office for send-off.
- Cooking Lesson – Find out what kind of food or treat they would be interested in helping you make. Your older children can help create the list of ingredients off a recipe to see if you’ve got everything you need. If not, take a trip to the store with them helping you find the needed supplies. Then spend time with your crew in the kitchen, allowing them to dump in the 1/4 cup brown sugar, breaking the eggs into the batter, learning to use a mixer, etc. If you’ve got aprons, let everyone choose one to wear for this cooking lesson and then of course, let them eat their culinary delight once it’s done.
- Media Madness– Give them the assignment to create their own commercial. It could be a radio commercial, showing off different voices they come up with, or a live-action commercial, complete with costumes and props. Write them a fake check for the product they are selling. Ask them if it comes with a warranty.
- Critter Hunt– Round up binoculars, nets, brown bags, shoe boxes and the like and then send your anklebiters into the backyard on a critter hunt. See what they can find when they are on the look-out for some of God’s smallest creatures. Of course, if you’re like me anything they find stays outside, obviously. If you’re braver then me, help set up a habitat inside the house, so they can watch for movement, growth, and other habits of their newfound friend.
You’ve probably got your own ideas of what to do and what might work for your family. So, whatever you decide to do to keep young minds active during the summer months, for goodness sake, share it with the rest of us!