Keeping the kids busy during the summer months can be a delicate balance between negotiating screen time and paying for expensive camps. How can you get your kids to expand their minds over summer vacation without shrinking your wallet? We have a few suggestions.
Cooking and baking – Once a week, plan a cooking or baking day. Involve the kids in the process from the beginning. Let them chose from a selection of recipes that you have ingredients for. If the child can read, get them to read from the recipe book. Step by step, help them to work through the instructions.
Go camping – Build a tent indoors or outdoors with blankets and sheets.
Go on picnics – to the nearby parks, beaches and backyard. Arrange a picnic basket with fruits and sandwich, blankets, toys and few cushions. You’d be amazed how busy your little one will be for several hours.
Painting & sketching – Giving lots of paper and paint is one of the nicest ways to express your creativity. Get large sheets of paper and lots of paint for your kids. Sketching whatever catches their eyes gives new wings to their imagination.
Jewelry making – Go to a bead shop and stock up on beads, wire and clasps, and get busy making your own bracelets, earrings. There are jewelry making kits available in all major stores.
Build a garden patch – Planting a garden is something you can do together with either flowers or vegetables. Periodic watering and weeding reinforces responsibility.
Visit the library – Use your local library regularly. In most libraries, you can get more than books; you can get movies and music. Give your children a love of books — it is one of the best gifts you can give them. Visit the local library and help your child put together a summer reading list. Celebrate each time he or she finishes a book, this will encourage them to complete the list by the time the summer ends.
Host a play date – Why not host a play date in your home once a week? You could also do a themed playdate such as water or food fun. Meet up with other moms and plan to rotate houses during the summer. Your kids will love the playtime with friends and you can have some adult time with the parents.
Plan a sale – Get the kids to clear out their rooms and have a garage sale. You could sell some baked goods and lemonade. Pool all the money together and use it to pay for a picnic.
Sports – Organized sports like baseball teach good sportsmanship and offer the kids tons of opportunities to make new friends. Local communities offer teams over some of the summer months.
Start a rock collection – while going on a trail. Collecting Rocks, a Web site by the U. S. Geological Survey, offers advice to help the novice collector gather, identify, and store neat rock specimens. Help the child collect shells and stones on the beach and use them for crafts decoration.
Organizing some activity in local community – Quiz contests, jamming sessions, treasure hunts, racing events, or drama and stage shows for the kids in residential apartments will not only build leaders but teach the kids the art of team work.
Explore a National Park, Museum or Historic Site – Parks, museums and historic sites provide opportunities to brings life learning for children. Almost all of the parks have activities for children.
Hiking – Kids love to explore, and what better way to do that than on a nature hike? Make sure to put on your bug spray, bring lots of water and bring your camera for photos along the way. Check with your local park system to see if they have any guided hikes during the summer. Make sure you stay on the trails and stay safe!
Go to a Cultural Festival – many communities host cultural festivals during the summer months, which are great occasions for children to learn about different cultures. Sample authentic food and drink, listen to storytellers, watch traditional dances and enjoy the artwork created by local artists from that culture.
Water fun – Go swimming when possible. The water has a calming effect on children and the amount of energy used in the water means that they won’t be quite as active when they get home.
Scrapbooking – Summer activities abound, and recording them in a scrapbook is a great way to capture those memories. As an added bonus, encouraging your kids to write about daily events in their diary helps boost their vocabulary and practice their handwriting as well as their grammar, spelling and creative writing skills.
Lastly, let them have fun!
You might also like to read: Scree-Free Activities for Kids
Author: Priyanka Mohanty
Motherhood has been an amazing journey so far; each day, an adventure of sorts. After a stint in marketing and marketing communications, I am currently a stay at home mom, blogger, traveller and chef. Never thought I would be happy to call myself a SAHM! Right now, my 24/7 job is being a mom. I am here to share my thoughts and experiences on parenting, life and ways we could improve our lives. When I’m not reorganizing the drawers or handling tantrums, I can be found writing about health, nutrition, beauty and wellness. Also, I am an endangered bookworm who loves nothing more than finding the perfect solution to life’s little conundrums in books and nature.