Woo hoo! School’s out!
That’s what the kids say, but I’m thinking, What in the world am I going to do with them?
If I don’t have a plan, our days usually freefall into chaos and fighting. Last year I wrote a very popular 150 Fun (mostly free) Summer Activities for Kids. I didn’t know if I could follow that up with many new ideas, but once I got started, I couldn’t stop. Every age brings new interests and abilities, so it’s good to take a moment and brainstorm what those could be. For the most part, this summer will be about reading and art for us, but it’s always good to have a few field trips every week. Hope this inspires you. Feel free to share with other moms.
1. Build a balance beam.
2. Limbo contest
3. Banana Split Party
4. Make and wear crazy hats for a Wacky Hat Day.
5. Tournamnet of Board Games (for the rainy season)
6. Bingo Party
7. Create our own puzzles
8. Make a Junk Instrument Band (using shoeboxes and rubber bands, homemade shakers, bucket drums…)
9. Fly kites at the beach
10. Camp out in the backyard
12. Family bike ride
13. Have a rainbow Week (Dress, eat, play, and create art in each color of the rainbow.) Monday = red, Tuesday = orange…
14. Make plaster imprints of kids hands and feet.
15. Bury each other in sand.
16. Kid Cook Day. For one day each kid gets to choose and prepare a meal with minimal adult involvement.
17. Sprinklers and slip and slide
18. Glow in the dark bubbles
19. Create an Artwork Aquarium (Use a large roll of paper. Kids can color, paint, or glue on different sea creatures.)
20. Play in our teepee and learn about totem poles.
21. Compile a Kid Cookbook, using the kids own words for the recipes.
23. Water balloon fight
24. Make birdseed cookies and hang them on our trees.
25. Boogie board on the beach
30. Make a terrarium
31. Tend to an ant or worm farm
32. Plant and grow a garden
33. Go to a beautiful place and paint what we see
34. Write and illustrate a story
35. Set up a 5 and 10 store at home and give kids $2 in coins to buy small prizes.
36. Learn about France for Bastille Day (wear berets, learn a few phrases, eat French food…)
37. Go to Chuck E Cheese (Bleh, but we have coin passes and they love it.)
38. Practice kids yoga together and then draw pictures of our poses.
39. Create mandala artwork (Mandalas are Indian designs, frequently drawn in chalk outside the front door on a daily basis. You can get coloring sheets, draw with chalk, or create something else with these beautiful designs.)
40. Safe archery.
41. Create a puppet show.
42. Make our own puzzles.
43. Go berry picking.
44. Go to the zoo.
45. Visit all the splash pads.
46. Ride on a boat.
47. Plant and harvest microgreens together.
49. Keep a Summer Book (a diary of what we did)
50. Fall head first into a wonderful series of books together.
51. Visit the planetarium.
52. Go on a nature hike.
53. Make natural paints out of mud, berries, anything we can find, then create a masterpiece. We can even use feathers and sticks as paint brushes.
54. Make a wind chime
55. Go bird-watching and keep track of the birds we see in our Summer Books.
56. Do an experiment by seeing how fast an ice cube melts in the shade, in the sun on white concrete, or in the sun on asphalt.
57. Let the kids have a lemonade stand.
58. Give each child a special day where he/she gets to decide what the family does (within a budget)
59. Have passport dinners (Try a cuisine at home or in a restaurant, learn where the country is on the globe and a few cultural facts and phrases.)
60. Get a water pump and let kids create a water feature for the garden or indoors.
61. Put a test tube outside and measure rainfall. Make a chart with the data.
62. Print out a monthly calendar and have children track the weather by drawing rainclouds, sunshine, and lightening bolts.
63. Watch sunrise over the ocean.
64. Go to Key West and watch the sunset in Mallory Square.
65. Be penpals with far away cousins.
66. Drive out to the country at night to star gaze.
67. Use scratch boards to draw fireworks on the Fourth of July.
68. Make a patriotic flag cake for Independence Day. Have the children lay the strawberry stripes and blueberry stars. Sing Happy Birthday to America and light sparklers on it.
70. Convince all facebook friends to send postcards to kids from where they live or where they go this summer. Put pushpins on a world (or country) map to show where they are.
71. Swim lessons.
72. Cowboy Day. Dress up and head out to a ranch for a horse ride.
73. Beg Dad to build a tree house.
74. Learn magic tricks and put on a show for friends or family.
75. Eat lunch at a restaurant near an airport and watch the planes take of and land.
76. Meditate together. (Not for long, but kids like the candles, incense, and chakra chimes. They are intrigued by the respectful silence and like to join in for a few breaths.)
77. Have wild dance parties after dinner.
78. Skip bath once a week and run through sprinklers naked in the backyard instead. (Requires a high privacy fence.)
79. Make snow cones at home.
80. Make homemade ice-cream and let the kids concoct their own flavors.
81. Jump in a trampoline.
82. Have a Mary Poppins Day. Watch the movie, feed the birds, draw chalk pictures, try to laugh so hard you float.
83. Ride a merry-go-round.
84. Visit new parks.
85. Make cheese.
87. Visit a Japanese garden and then eat sushi.
89. Print and cut out various eyes, noses and mouths and make a Picasso-inspired collage.
90. Learn about rainbows. Make them with a hose, paint them and read The Rainbow Goblins.
91. Look at some crazy Dali artwork. Fashion mustaches with a black pipe cleaner.
92. Make the tallest lego building we can.
93. Build a Lego city scape.
94. Have play dates with school friends.
95. Visit a llama or goat farm.
96. Fill a box with recyclables, various kinds of paper, and collage scraps. Invite kids to make a masterpiece.
97. Type on an old-fashioned typewriter.
98. Draw detailed plans for a spaceship.
99. Make a model solar system to scale including Pluto (hey, it still exists!).
100. Have kids make their own constellations on a black piece of paper using glue and glitter.
101. Read fables from another country.
102. Climb a tree.
103. Crack open geodes and examine the crystals with a magnifying glass.