Deep breath, parents. Summer is here.
For many parents, this means significantly more face-time with our offspring. While many of us welcome this sacred time of togetherness and slower schedules, it comes with its challenges as well, namely that our kids are up in our faces 24/7 for close to three months.
Combine increased downtime with the high temperatures we often experience in Texas, and you have a recipe for the “I’m bored” comments to begin almost immediately. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Below are ten ideas for fun and creative things to do with your kids this summer that won’t break the bank, but will break the boredom.
Try a few of these out and let us know how they go in the comments.
Make Cloud Dough
Also referred to as Moon Sand, Cloud Dough is easy to make and will provide hours of fun for your kids. Cloud Dough is moldable and clumps together for easy cleanup, but it still tends to get a little messy once little hands are involved, so I like to either take it outside or put it in a deep, rectangular container for indoor play.
Do you have an aspiring American Ninja Warrior or Mission: Impossible fan in the house? Put up a String Laser Obstacle Course for them to work their way through! This activity works best in a hallway, or even up/down the stairs if your kids are old enough to handle the incline and increased difficulty.
Ok, this one makes me cringe a little. But kids love making slime! So every once in a while, I give in and we make it. There are tons of different types of slimes to make, from traditional to fluffy, unicorn, and beyond. Search for a recipe that’s just right for you and let’s get messy!
Making homemade ice cream or popsicles will take you down memory lane to high school chemistry, and I guarantee your kids will think that you are an actual magician when you’re done. Grab the ingredients, set aside five minutes, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Open a Lemonade & Book Stand
Mix up some Crystal Light (or fresh-squeezed lemonade if you’re feeling adventurous) and head out to a shady spot to set up a Lemonade & Book Stand. A good friend of mine recently held a kids’ book sale at the end of her driveway and it was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
Her kids went through their book collections and set aside any books they had grown out of, had duplicates of, or were just done with, and sold them for $1 each. Then they bought new books with their earnings. Adding lemonade to the stand just makes it sweeter for everyone.
For some reason, my kids love washing rocks. Once they’re done washing and drying, why not decorate them with paint or Sharpies? Decorated rocks will add some colorful flair to your garden or flower bed, or check out Frisco Texas ROCKS for a fun and creative way to spread encouragement and joy in our community by leaving painted rocks around town.
Make a Homemade Bird Feeder
Our kids love identifying all the “customers” we get on a daily basis at our backyard bird feeder, including the squirrel we have affectionally named Fatty and BunBun the rabbit. Your kids can make their own feeders out of almost anything, so you’ll be identifying your own customers in no time!
Go Backyard Camping
Or if you’re like me, go backyard stargazing until 9:30 then head inside for a good night’s sleep. Either way, whether you camp out in a tent all night or just spend some time outside in the quiet as a family, your kids will cherish memories of these family “camping” trips. Be sure to roast up some s’mores while you’re at it, and don’t forget the bug spray!
Go see a Movie
Several local movie theaters offer a Summer Movie Clubhouse where each ticket is only $1. And you don’t have to worry about your kids being loud or fidgety- they all are and all the moms understand because they’re going through the same thing. Bring on the popcorn and air conditioning!
Practice spelling words with a Sand/Salt/Flour Tray
To banish summer brain drain, spread a layer of sand, salt, or flour on a rimmed baking sheet and let your little reader practice spelling words with their finger or a dry paintbrush. For an added pop, put colored construction paper under whatever medium you’re using so the words show through brightly. This strategy can also be used with simple math problems, single letters, or just for play with younger kids.
Summer is a great time for us to get to spend a little extra time with these little humans Jesus has entrusted to us and who just keep growing too fast. Hopefully, some of these ideas will help your summer togetherness be a little more fun and harmonious.
Amy Kryzak is a wife and stay-at-home mom to two young kids. She and her family have been Hope members for five years; they truly love their church and its people. When she’s not chasing after small humans, Amy enjoys exploring delicious restaurants with her husband.
Amy is a volunteer contributor.