Summer is here! How are you keeping your kid’s busy (and out of your hair)?
Remember back when you were a child and summer rolled around? What memories! How did your parents keep you busy? Or were you left to your own devices and to figure out how to fill the long lazy days of summer? What summer ideas filled your days?
It varied for me. Some summers I was in gymnastics camp. And some summers I was industrious and had a small business going. One year I had a cupcake, punch booth where I was making a nice amount of money for a kid with my best friend (the joggers were our best customers). That was fun!
But in today’s world things are a little different. Structured activities whether on the home-front or at the local activity club can help to keep your child safe, you at peace and may add the bonus of a bit of learning (unbeknownst to them).
Here are a few ideas keep your kids busy during those hot summer months.
Crafts are a winner all the way around. From paper crafts to items made with clay. Maybe learning to knit or sew. The ideas for crafts are truly endless and if you need a bit of inspiration pick up a catalog from the Oriental Trading Company, Inc.. The Hands on Fun! catalog has hundreds of crafts projects and ideas, jumbo summer games like and endless stickers (my toddler’s favorite) to keep your kids busy year round.
You don’t have to stop there. Getting creative in the kitchen is a wonderful way to teach your children some great skills and kid’s always love helping to cook. Baking bread is a wonderful activity to introduce your children to cooking. A cookbook like Passport on a Plate is a fun way to introduce them to the flavors of other countries. This cookbook made for kids includes easy to follow recipes from 12 countries, a little bit about the country and difficulty level noted for each recipe.
Water play for the toddlers is great when it’s hot outside. Even makes a great indoors activity but that’s another article. Let your little one cool down while learning how to fill and pour. Get out all the spare containers and a blow up pool. Water play is great no matter what the age. You may decided to invest in a few water toys but really a sprinkler on a hot summer days and some popsicles for afterwards make for a great day!
Help your children to start a garden. Yes it’s a bit late in the season to start from seed for the die hards but just go to your local nursery and pick up a few starts. Read a little about gardening together before hand. Don’t make too much of it. Make it low key and easy. Just the growing process is a great activity for children. Pick a small space in your backyard or just do a bit of container gardening on the porch. Your child will learn a bit about responsibility with the weeding and watering of their plants and you can enjoy the summer bounty in a few months. Make plans to have a bigger garden next year.
Enroll your child in your library’s summer reading program. This is a great way to keep children reading during the summer months. I will tell you that as a child my mother kept my sister and I well supplied with books. There was no summer reading program X years ago so my mom made her own. We love, love, love books to this day and it greatly improved our reading level.
Visit the zoo. Although the animals are more active during cooler days sometimes summer offers the only free time for the whole family to make a day of it. Go on a free day if funds are tight. Take pictures. Get exercise (the walking part). I love the zoo.
Help your child earn some funds this year. If you children are underage there are still plenty of ways to earn a few dollars during the summer months. The days of the lemonade stand may be gone but pick up some free kids' business tips at Kids Business Guide.
Here are a few links to summer activities for the kids.