Thursday, June 4, 2009

Summer Fun for Kids- Linky Party

Tomorrow is our last day of school for this year.
We have almost 3 full months of summer vacation this year. While the summer is meant to be much more carefree than the school year, I still need some sort of schedule and plan. I came up with a list of activities for us to do. If the day is going well and the kids are having fun, than we don't have to go anywhere. But if we have cabin fever and need a break, I want options! Here are the top 10 things I came up with that most cities in the U.S have available:
  1. Library Activities: My library has activities all summer long and I've marked the really cool ones down in my summer calendar. Along with regular story time, they've got summer crafts, representatives coming from the zoo with some unique animals, and story time with Ronald McDonald, just to name a few. I am an avid reader and a weekly trip to the library is great for all of us in the summer.
  2. Free Movies: The local movie theatre has free movies two days a week in the summer. They are all rated G or PG, and are fairly recent. Next week they are playing Space Chimp and Madagascar 2. Pop some popcorn at home, throw a couple of juice boxes and some M & M's in your purse, and it's a great outing!
  3. Local Parks: Unfortunately in Florida it is often way too hot to go play at the playground. But we are lucky enough to have two local parks near us that have little water parks in them. We usually do this pretty early in the morning, after breakfast, because it just gets so hot! But if you live in a climate where heatstroke is not an issue, parks and playgrounds are a great way to get out some excessive energy. We also have an indoor playground at the mall that we keep on rotation.
  4. Art Projects: My kids actually color almost every day, but summer is a great time to start some more involved projects. You can do some long term ones like paper-mache, mosaics, or tie-dye. I have it scheduled for us to do at least one "involved" art project a week. I have some painting ideas here. There are some great blogs like Crafty Crow that are FULL of wonderful arts and crafts projects for kids. You could also experiment with science and social studies projects too.
  5. Quiet Time: This seems like a no-brainer but I think it's really important for kids to have some down-time in the summer. Quiet Time at our house means very quiet play in your own room, or everyone in the living room for special movie. During Quiet Time sometimes they actually sleep, but more often than not they engage in their own special imaginative play.
  6. "Helping Mommy Clean": You may think this one is crazy, but my middle two (ages 3 and 4) love to "help" me clean. I fill up two water bottles with vinegar and water, and give them a rag. I also let them switch using the dustpan and small broom. It makes them feel like are my helpers and keeps them occupied while I am making dinner or cleaning up.
  7. Local Museums: Depending on where you live, your local museums may have designated times during the year that are free for kids, or at least discounted. We will be going to The Orlando Science Center next week because they are having a buy one kid, get one kid in free special. I will pack lunches and plan to spend a few hours there. Take some time to get on the computer and research what your city offers.
  8. Rotating Play Dates: This is an idea we are starting this summer with some kids from Ashton's pre-school. Every Friday we will take turns hosting a play-date at a different person's house. You could also do this with just one or two friends. It gives Mom a chance to have a few hours free and the kids love going to other people's homes and playing with new toys.
  9. Water Games: We are lucky enough to have a pool at our house. We take full advantage of it and spend a lot of time in it in the summer. We also like to get out the sprinkler, fill the baby pool with toys, and pull out the slip-n-slide. Throw in some popsicles and you've got hours of free entertainment.
  10. Educational Play: My soon to be fourth grader came home with a notebook for the summer. It's awesome! It's got enough worksheets in it to do a few a week for the whole summer, with review on things like mulitiplication, division, and reading comprehension. While he does that a few times a week, I will work with my soon to be Kindergarten boy on writing letters and reviewing his phone number, address, etc. Even though we don't homeschool anymore, I think 3 months is too long not to be doing some sort of structured practice. I'm not talking every day, just 3 or 4 times a week. My 3 year old can color, work on puzzles, or practice her shapes while I am with the older boys.

Okay, that's what I came up. I printed up a calendar for the summer and after doing my research on the computer, I filled in all the different opportunities available. We'll have it to plan out our week.Now I want some other new ideas! Please link up what your plans are. Do you have any favorite summer activities that you would like to try out? Any cool new art projects? Share with us please.

Remember to link up to the actual post you've written, not just your blog, and please leave a comment after you've linked. Remember also to link back to this post, so everyone else can come and read other's great ideas. Thanks so much for playing. I can't wait to be inspired!


Sharon said...

I just did a whole list of things we'll be doing. We've chosen a lot of the same things---which is no surprise because our kids are so close in ages! Have a WONDERFUL summer!!!

ch said...

I'm looking forward to getting some great ideas! Have a great summer!

ch said...

oops I pasted the wrong link the first time. Sorry, I hope you can delete it.

Jill said...

This is totally not related to your post...but, I LOVE your "new" blog look! FABULOUS!!!! :)
Have a great weekend!
Many Blessings!

Unknown said...

I love your new blog layout. Like LOVE. I even said it outloud when I got here, and my husband said "What?!" haha :)

the undomesticated wife said...

LOL @ "helping mommy clean"

I don't know about your area, but here in DFW, several of the suburbs have an outdoor concert series that is family friendly and lots of fun!