It is summertime! If the kids aren’t out of school yet, they will hopefully be soon and the thought of keeping them entertained all summer might be wearing you out already! We have compiled a list of some of our favorite summer activities! Many of the activities are free or inexpensive.
Have a happy summer!
At the House
Send a hug to a friend o family member. Trace your child’s hands and attach them with some yarn or ribbon. Send the hands to give a “hug” to someone special.
Write a letter to your favorite Disney character (and they will write one back to you!).
Organize a progressive dinner in your neighborhood. Three houses participate – one hosts the appetizer/cocktails, one dinner, and one dessert. Everyone walks through the neighborhood together from house to house. Spice it up a little with a theme. One year we did a progressive dinner and each house had a country: Italy, Spain, and Germany.
Make hand print paint art. Turn a foot print into a monkey or a hand print into a giraffe. Even better, use the artwork as cards to send to family members.
Send a care package to a military member serving overseas. Have friends and family write “thank you for your service” cards and send them to an installation overseas. Here is a TERRIFIC list of ways you can Support Your Troops serving abroad.
Decorate your bikes and scooters and have a bike parade. Get the neighbors involved. Martha Stewart has free printables to help you decorate.
Stay in your pjs all day and make an extravagant breakfast for dinner.
Wash and detail the car and the bikes.
Write and act out a play.
Make a movie. Use a free program like Windows Movie Maker to edit your masterpiece together.
Have a dance party in the living room.
Make your own puppets and put on a puppet show.
Out in Town
Go to a U-Pick farm and pick whatever is in season in your area. Use a recipe to can or freeze the items you picked so you can enjoy them year round.
Does your community have a mascot-turned-statue-collection? Pensacola, FL has Pelicans. Norfolk, VA has Mermaids. If your community has one, go on a mascot hunt or tour! Use a map if available, like Norfolk’s, or create your own as you go!
Visit a state or national park.
Find a list of the local parks in your town and visit a new to you park. Search for Parks and Recreation with your city’s name. Keep the list handy and try to visit as many new parks as you can.
Go to the Farmer’s Market and pick out a fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before. Go home and have a taste testing. Extend the activity by writing a descriptive poem about your new fruit or veggie.
Pick up some local postcards and send them to people you love.
Visit the fire station. Most fire stations welcome visitors daily but be sure to call your local fire station first to find out what their policy is.
See if any of your local breweries brew their own root beer. Stop by for a tasting one afternoon.
Spend the day in the kitchen baking all of your favorite treats. If you don’t want to keep them around the house, package them up to share with the neighbors.
Head to the craft store and shop the dollar bins. Create your own masterpiece when you get home.
In the Backyard
Plant something! A butterfly garden, herbs, pots, in the ground, in boxes. Anything. Chronicle the plants’ growth in a growing journal. Take pictures and make notes, including weather…the more often the better.
Go camping at home.
Make your own “water table.” Forget those $60 toys from the store! I used two wide, shallow buckets. I placed them side by side and filled them both with a couple inches of water. Tossed in a few cups and pool toys and it kept my two year old busy for almost an hour. Plastic storage containers also make great “buckets.” Be sure you are supervising your child at all times when they are playing in water.
Conduct an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt. Look for something that starts with each letter in the alphabet and write down what you find.
Tie Dye or decorate t-shirts. Get some fabric markers, puffy paint, etc. and create a one of a kind shirt.
Make a fairy garden.
At the Library
Family book report. Choose a book to read out loud together each night before bed. Our family reads for 30 minutes each night. At the end of the book, each family member completes their own report using a template similar to this one.
Research something you are interested. My son learned A LOT checking books out about robots last year that he would not have checked out on his own.
The Dewey Decimal System is the category system used to organize books in the nonfiction section. Use this chart and choose a book from a new section of nonfiction each time you go.
Find a book that teaches you how to do something. Look for a book about doing origami or folding paper airplanes. Read up and try your hand at the activity.
At the Park
Complete an obstacle course! This is great for the kids who may feel “too old” to play at the park. My husband tells the kids a course around the play area (our kids are great about steering clear of the little ones playing) and then we time them as they complete the course one at a time. They want one course after another after another.
Pack a picnic lunch filled with all of your favorite things and a few special treats.
-Marissa and Jen