Posts tagged summer activities for kids

25 More Ideas for Summer Fun

“25 More Ideas for Summer Fun” builds on last year’s list, so now you have 50 ideas and no excuses not to have fun this summer!

1. Have a lemonade stand. (If you want to go all out, use this template from This Old House to build your own)

2. Make your own popsicle (try these “paletas” recipes from Sweet Paul)

Sweet Paul paletas recipes

Courtesy Sweet Paul Magazine, Summer 2012

3. Dip berries into Greek yogurt and freeze them

4. Make mini s’mores – no campfire necessary!

5. Build a fort

6. Draw a postcard from a place you’d like to visit and mail it to a friend

Retro play stamps and letters by Giddy Giddy

Courtesy Giddy Giddy

7. Make paper bag puppets (follow the link for more homemade toys and games from Martha)

8. Make a heart-shaped DIY bird feeder to bring birds to your yard

Homemade-Heart-Birdfeeder by Alphamom

Courtesy Cindy Hopper for alphamom

9. Scour your home and neighborhood for found objects and make a collage on a big piece of paper

10. Make sun prints (DIY with construction paper, or use some Sun Print paper) – see some amazing examples here

11. A bunch of new, cool and tricky science projects!

12. How to make invisible ink

How to make invisible ink

Courtesy Yumi Sakugawa

13. About the constellations and see if you can spot them in the night sky

14. How to make friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets by the Purl Bee

Courtesy The Purl Bee/Purl SoHo

15. Organize a family game night! Board games, card games, charades, bingo!

16. Draw a hopscotch board and play. (Don’t remember how? Refresh your memory here.)

Hopscotch by Outside Alice

Courtesy Josie Bauman/Outside Alice

17. Build a house of cards (in 6 easy steps!)

18. Design an obstacle course – who can go through it the fastest?

19. Host a water balloon toss (or egg toss, if you dare…)

20. The library!

Courtesy Zetson

21. A state park or a nearby park to explore

22. A totally new place that you’ve never been to before

23. At the animal shelter

(My dog Laverne, a rescued dog)

24. To pick up trash in your neighborhood or town

25. To bring your neighbor some homemade cookies (and use these free printable tags)

Made with Love gift tag by eighteen25

Courtesy eighteen25

Want to add to the list? Please leave your ideas in the comments section below!

And, it’s worth saying again that you will find a treasure trove of creative ideas, games, book recommendations and projects over at Classic Play! It’s a must-see website for parents.

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Pondering What’s Important But Not Urgent

Like all parents of school-aged children this time of year, I got a little teary-eyed yesterday when Elena and Rosa finished up school. Elena will be in 4th grade and Rosa in 1st grade this fall. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the time goes by.

To start the summer off right, I gave the girls a little graduation gift: a beach bag filled with summer activities (sidewalk chalk, bubbles, water balloons, craft supplies, etc.),

as well as some special coupons that I made to ensure that we spend time together doing fun things (taking hikes, having picnics, going for ice cream, doing crafts, etc.).

What I have learned – from my mentor at work – is that too often we make time for the things that are urgent, but are not necessarily important. And, worse, we do not make time for things that are important but are usually not urgent.* He has taught me that the way to do the important things is to protect the time to do them.

So, if I want to make sure that my family takes advantage of the time we have this summer – when we’re not obligated to do homework and practice cello and go to bed at a reasonable hour – I schedule fun activities on the calendar, and I stick to the schedule.

The summer fun list I featured last week is one way we schedule (or at least constantly remind ourselves of) the things we want to do that are important to us. The coupons I made for the girls are another. In these ways, I can feel good about giving the girls an interesting, creative and hopefully adventurous summer.

How about you? How do you make time for special activities? And do you struggle with finding the time too?

*This is actually the work of Stephen Covey (of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” fame) about understanding the obstacle of time in our work and in our personal lives. Here is a short but (I think) very useful explanation of it from a workshop that my mentor gives (yes, this is where I work). You can ignore the rest of the online workshop, which is designed for people working in nonprofits, but I think the explanation about how we prioritize our time (the four quadrants that Covey talks about) will resonate with just about everyone.

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Summer Fun List, 2010 Edition

Image: miserena

The girls still have a week left of school, but I’ve been thinking about what we might do this summer, besides going to the pool. A couple of years ago, we made a big “Summer Fun” list together, which included everyone’s choices for fun activities. We kept it on our fridge, and checked them off as we did them.

So here is the start of this year’s version.

  • Go to orchard to pick berries, apples, peaches, etc.
  • Find a place to go horseback riding
  • Hiking in the Delaware Water Gap
  • Picnics
  • A weekend trip to Washington D.C.
  • Museums in New York City
  • Science experiments
  • See some movies at the theater
  • Bowling
  • Go to the beach
  • Use our ice cream maker
  • Go to a carnival/county fair

What summer plans do you have?

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Crafty Monday: Make Your Own Sidewalk Chalk

I had a great birthday yesterday! We picked blackberries and zinnias at an orchard and spent a few hours poking around the shops in downtown Princeton, including a trip to the new Paper Source. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Can’t wait to go back there. I also had chocolate from the local chocolate shop and a cupcake too, and we made a stop at the best toy store too. All my favorite things to do!

But, that was yesterday and today is today. Time for crafts!

Pieces of Chalk

As tempting as it is to just buy a tub for two bucks, wouldn’t it be fun to make your own chalk, in whatever colors you want? (Instead of that horrible drab reddish-brown color?) Or better yet, how about glow-in-the-dark chalk?

Here’s an easy How-To, courtesy of Mad Maggie Design

Chalk in tubes

And if you’re feeling extra crafty, you can also make your own moon sand (pssst: sand + cornstarch + water); here’s the How-To for that from Skip to My Lou, with some very cute pics.

Happy Monday! Lots of fun and pretty stuff planned for this week!

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