It’s the second month of summer. The novelty of staying up late and sleeping in has worn off. The kids are getting restless which means you’re getting nervous. You consider buying ear plugs. You know what’s coming: Moooooommmmm . . . we’re bored!
Before you throw in that beach towel, consider some fresh ideas on great ways to spend your summer time with kids:
- Grow a garden. There’s nothing more satisfying (and easier to feed your kids) than vegetables you’ve grown as a family.
- Create a memory box. All you need is an old shoe box, paint, and craft supplies. Create a one-of-a-kind box that your child can place all their “special things” from the summer. From the sea glass they found at the beach, to the noodle necklace they made at VBS. It’s a fun way to look back at you summer later.
- Be entrepreneurial. Lemonade stands, bake sales, and dog washing services are great ways for your kids to earn a little money and learn about responsibility. Children long to be in charge, and this is a great way to give them some freedom to stand on their own.
- Get gifty. Ok, moms. We all know what’s quickly around the corner after summer—the holidays! Why not get crafty this summer and make gifts for those you love. From hand soaps to simple candles, jarred cake mixes to a recipe book, your kids will love pouring their hearts into something that will mean so much to the ones they love.
- Explore your city. Yeah, we all take it for granted. There are great things right in our own back yard that we never seem to get around to doing. Make it a point to hit a few highlights in your community this summer.
- Find your inner artist. Buy some cheap canvases and get your kids to paint a picture of their favorite summer activities. You’ll not only get their creativity going, you’ll end up with some meaningful artwork you’ll treasure for years.
- Write away. Have your kids practice their penmanship by writing a letter to someone far away. If no relatives fit the bill, consider writing to a soldier away from home.
- Get picking. Find a local farm (or, possibly your own back yard) where berries are plentiful and spend some time picking berries. When, you get home, why not make them into a simple pie or cobbler (frozen pie crusts do the trick just as well!).
- Go shopping (on the cheap!). Everyone likes to splurge on occasion. Keep it under control by letting your kids spend a few dollars in your local dollar store. You’d be surprised at the fun things they can find.
- Build them up. Have a contest using all the “building” equipment at your kid’s disposal. From legos, to Lincoln logs, to those little plastic thingy’s that connect together. Set a time and challenge them to outdo themselves. Give them a category like “biggest”, “weirdest”, or “longest” and get their creativity flowing.
- Design and build. A fort, that is! Ask your kids to get creative and give them any supplies you are willing to get a little dirty. If you have a wooded area nearby, let them gather things that will help make their fort fun and unique. Everything from sticks to sheets can contribute to a great day of fun.
- Pop in. Create a movie theater in your back yard or against your garage door by hanging a sheet and using a projector. Invite a few friends over (remind them to bring chairs) and offer a variety of popcorn flavors that you’ve put together. (Ranch flavor, white chocolate, extreme butter, and plain with M&Ms are a great place to start.)
- Splash around. Create a fun play space in your own yard by using sprinklers, slip n’ slides, and water balloons. From water balloon tosses, to seeing who can slide the farthest, this day is guaranteed fun.
- Sculpt something. Homemade play dough is a great entertainer for kids. It’s not only inexpensive, but is a great alternative to outside activities on a day that turns into a scorcher.
- Game day. Kids bored? Bring out the game boards, Mama! There’s nothing more fun than a challenging game of chutes a ladders, right? Make sure the whole family gets in on it for the great memories you are sure to make.
- Backwards forwards. Have a day that moves in reverse. Let your kids stay in their pj’s and have breakfast pizza, working towards the end of the day when they must get up and get dressed (ok, into another pair of pjs, but still) and possibly a dinner with breakfast items.
- Volunteer. Find a local group that could use a few little hands and ask if you can volunteer a few hours one day. From playing with animals at a shelter, to helping fold clothes at a donation center. It’s a great time to explore helping others.
- Feed the birds. Find great ideas online for bird feeders, or even bird baths, and make one (or two, or three) for your own yard. Your kids will be thrilled to sit on the porch and watch the birds enjoy their new creations.
- Go golfing. Make your own mini-golf course in your back yard. Let the kids create challenging holes for each other, then enjoy a round on the house.
- Feed the ducks. Save up those ends of bread and leftover buns then hit your local pond. While you’re there, get the kids to pitch in and clean up the area a bit.
The summer’s not endless (even when it feels like it). Spending meaningful moments with your kids will not only grow your relationship, but give them plenty of memories to look back on in life. Enjoy!