It’s summer vacation, and you’re not going on one — a vacation that is! School’s out, the kids are at home and you’re stressing over what everyone is going to do. Keeping your children busy during the summer non-school months is a full-time job. That said, with some careful planning and a bit of creativity you can keep the kids busy and even sneak in some educational entertainment.
What activities can you do at (or near) home this summer?
Why spend the sunny summer inside when the weather is actually working with you? Bring the art-making outside and try:
- Nature collage. Gather together sticks, twigs, small stones, fallen leaves, flower petals and other natural materials. Bring out a piece of cardboard, some school glue and collage them together.
- Easel art. Set up an easel (ala Monet) and have your little artist paint what she sees in the backyard!
- Spray bottle paint. Fill spray bottles with a mix of powdered tempera and water. Hang a plain white sheet up on the fence or put a large piece of butcher paper on the ground and spray away.
- Water chalk. Dip regular colorful sidewalk chalk into saltwater before drawing on the driveway or walkway. Why? The water makes it brighter.
The rain is putting a wrench in your outdoor play plans. Now what? Take the pillows off the couch and make an obstacle course on the floor. You can also use other items such as pool noodles, blankets or toys to make tracks for racing or road blocks to go around.
The crafts are cute and the games are good, but the kids are clamoring to go ‘somewhere’. You don’t need to book a flight or take a long drive to go on what seems like a vacation. Day trips offer your family the chance to do something that’s not your norm – without having to book a hotel.
The specific trip you take depends on where you live and what’s near. Easy ideas include:
- Museums: Art, science, natural history or any other option that’s also nearby.
- Water areas: Swim, boat or splash around at a local beach, lake or pond. Even a creek or stream offers the opportunity to go fishing, catch crayfish or wade into the water. If you don’t have a natural area near try a water park, wave pool or spray park.
- Amusement parks: Obvious, but so much fun.
- Historical sites: Battle fields, homes with history and other places from the past add educational value to your summer day trips.
- Bike trek: Ride to a park or other nature-filed area for a picnic lunch.
Are you proud of the amazing outdoor art your child created this summer? Show us, so that we can inspire others with your child’s creativity! Submit your photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for us to share.