Summer is here, and already, the kids are draping about the house, proclaiming their boredom to anyone who cares to listen. The good news is, you're already on top of it! You're ready for summer with a great list of activities that the kids can enjoy all summer long. There's no need to resort to electronics, spending hours in front of the television or attached to a tablet, when there are so many fun things to do all around you!
1. Go exploring. Chances are, there are plenty of fun activities in your local area. Sure, you don't have unlimited time every day to spend with your kids. You can, however, choose one day a week to visit a new location around your city. Go berry picking, visit a few museums, or find a new park. Try being a tourist in your own city. You might be surprised by just how much fun it can offer.
2. Get crafty. Provide your kids with plenty of craft materials and a few sets of instructions, then see what they dream up. They might love making their own foam paint to use on the sidewalk, creating a stress ball, or creating their own bird feeder out of an orange, then observing all the birds who come by to eat.
3. Try reading. Before summer kicks off with a vengeance, take a trip to your local library or to a used bookstore. Encourage your kids to try something they might not read under normal circumstances. They might just find themselves with a new favorite!
4. Play hard. You don't have to supervise every minute to provide your kids with some great summer games. This fantastic trampoline twister game requires very little setup on your part, but can lead to hours of fun. Try designing a few pool noodle games for the back yard, from creating your own lightsabers to designing an obstacle course.
5. Make big plans. Sometimes, all kids need to keep themselves entertained during the day is the knowledge that there's something better coming that evening. A backyard movie night with the kids' favorite movie and plenty of popcorn is a great place to get started.
6. Break out the water play. During the summer, you want your kids to spend plenty of time outside so they can burn off that extra energy and not make you want to climb the walls, but they're complaining that it's too hot to do anything! Try breaking out the water play, from squirt gun races to a little fun in the sprinkler. Don't forget to keep plenty of water balloons on hand for water balloon baseball!
7. Plant a garden. Fast-growing plants like lettuce and herbs are great for beginners! You may also find that planting berry bushes, which will keep producing year after year, is a great way to interest your kids in the process of growing and eating their own food.
8. Play in the dark. Starting to feel like the kids have far too much energy early in the day? Keep them up a little later! Glowing bowling, hide and seek in the dark, and other after-dark activities will have the kids giggling for hours--not to mention exhausted when you finally send them in to bed.
9. Learn a little. Your kids don't have to stop learning just because school's out for the summer! Interest them in some exciting science experiments to keep them on their toes and prepare them for the next school year.
10. Prepare some indoor activities, too. From puppet shows to magic shows, ghost stories to paper airplane races, a few solid indoor activities will give you a reprieve on those endless rainy days or provide the kids with something to do when the heat outside gets too intense. Make sure your inside preparation is every bit as good as what you have planned for outside!
11. Cook together. Everyone, from young children to older tweens and teens, can help in the kitchen. You don't have to fire up the oven during the hottest part of the day to offer your kids plenty of chances to help! They can crack eggs, measure ingredients, and even handle simple recipes on their own, depending on their age, maturity, and focus. You can bake a special treat, make your own ice cream, or have the kids help with the family meal: whatever keeps you all busy!