Tuesday, April 15, 2014

71 FUN Things To Do At Home This Summer

Last summer consisted of the sprinkler and little pools every afternoon with lots of summertime activities in between. With all of the kids another year older, I'm able to plan some (hopefully) super fun activities that they can all enjoy. Here's some ideas of what we'll be doing throughout the summer:

1.) Kool Aid painting: We will be trying this several different ways because it just smells soooo wonderful and the kids love painting with it!

2.) Bubbles: Any kind of bubbles are simply amazing to a kid. I really like the Crayola bubbles, although those seem to be extra sticky. Other parents have complained of those bubbles staining decks, patios, fingers, and clothes, but we have not had that issue.

3.) Sprinkler: We have several different sprinklers (one being the giant Little Tikes ball sprinkler). I switch them every day to give the kids something different to run through. On super hot days, I turn them on while they run around the backyard to keep them from getting too hot.

4.) Little pools: We have several different sizes and shapes so there's plenty of room for all. One of their favorite things last summer was having the sprinkler on while they played in the pools.

5.) Slip n' slide: I'll be purchasing a triple slip n' slide so the kids can have races.

6.) Field Day: Remember field days from your grade school days?? Something along those lines will happen in our backyard. I'm envisioning a day of races and toss games.

7.) Space Day: I'll be collecting big cardboard boxes and let the kids decorate their "space shuttles" in the yard and an afternoon of playing space.

8.) Making smoothies: We love fresh fruit to help rehydrate during the hot summer days. I plan on having the kids help me make batches of smoothies that can be enjoyed throughout the hot summer days while they run around the yard.

9.) Stomp rockets: The kids are getting one for Easter and also a dueling stomp rocket.

10.) Pop bottle rockets: Ideally, I'd like the older kids to help the younger kids make their own and then we'll test them out.

11.) Fly swatter painting: We did this last year with butterfly and flower shaped fly swatters. They turned out really neat once we figured out the key to making them come out was LOTS of paint.

12.) Squirt gun painting: Our first go at it didn't go too smoothly so we'll be trying it again with super soakers.

13.) Ball pit: See last week's post to see what the kids came up with for the ball pit: http://ashlen-kidspert.blogspot.com/2014/04/week-in-review-march-7-march-11.html

14.) Bug catching: Target Dollar Section has some simple bug catching nets and I found bug collectors at Wal-Mart, all purchased for under $10.

15.) Growing flowers.

16.) Planting veggies.

17.) Kickball.

18.) Hide n' seek: Nothing better than a bigger hiding area like the backyard--and lots of good hiding places too.

19.) Backyard picnic.

20.) Making mud pies.

21.) Mud painting

22.) Weather books: Spring/summer is a great time to read the kids books on the weather. I found this really helps when there's thunder and lightening or when we have to go to the basement (which has happened before).

23.) Sparklers for the 4th of July.

24.) Grow animals: Last year we did grow snakes in the little swimming pool. Not only did the snake grow to be HUGE, but the kids enjoyed it even more when they pretended to swim with the snake.

25.) Outside storytime.

26.) Building blocks outside: I have several sets of large cardboard building boxes that I'll let them take in the backyard for an extra large playing area.

27.) Shaving cream slide.

28.) Painting bird houses.

29.) Bounce house.

30.) Bounce house with the ball pit balls.

31.) Side walk chalk games: think hopscotch and tic tac toe.

32.) Mower Races: using the Little Tikes mowers.

33.) Water table: so many options with this one.

34.) Water table car wash: The kids loved "washing" hot wheels in the water table. See here:

35.) Outside toy wash.

36.) Coloring a white sheet with fabric markers. This will become our official outside picnic blanket (that is if it turns out okay).

37.) Spray bottle painting.

38.) Lemonade stand: I plan on having the kids make a lemonade stand out of cardboard boxes and then "sell" each other lemonade.

39.) Play with the parachute.

40.) Make root beer floats and have a movie day. Perfect for rainy days or too hot for outside days.

41.) Beach themed sensory bin.

42.) Feed the birds: The kids love to throw pieces of bread in our front yard and watch the birds nibble on it throughout the day.

43.) Painting rocks: I have seen a few ideas on Pinterst, such as people warm rocks up in the microwave and then have the kids color on them (the crayons melt as they color), but I think I'll just have the kids paint a rock from our rock bed.

44.) Scavenger hunt: I'll make an easy enough "find this" list that hopefully all of the kids will be able to do. Otherwise, the older kids can help out the younger kids.

45.) Ice fossils: Freeze small figurines in water in ice tube trays. Once frozen and taken out of the ice cube trays, give the kids tools (we used the toys tools last year and it worked great) to chip away at the ice as it melts to free the frozen toy.

46.) Bubble wrap painting.

47.) Experiment day. I bought a few science kits that we'll give a try. We got our oldest a Kitchen Science kit for Christmas and we're happy with it. A big bonus: most of the kits are friendly enough for all ages.

48.) Bird watching: The kids are making their own binoculars (made from toilet paper rolls taped together). I also have this book on order from Amazon so they can identify the birds they see:

49.) Bubble painting: We've used Crayola bubbles and regular bubbles (with food coloring added) and both work great. We've tried painting with paint brushes and blowing them and letting them pop on paper. Both ways have turned out pretty neat.

50.) Going for walks around the neighborhood: The biggest benefit to this time of year is that there's always construction going on somewhere in our neighborhood. Nothing delights toddlers more than seeing the construction in action.

51.) Nature collage: On one of our walks or in the yard, collecting leaves, sticks, grass, rocks, etc. and make a collage using contact paper (easy sticking for all ages of kids). Have kids compare our summer nature collage to our fall collage.

52.) Decorate t-shirts using Fabric markers.

53.) Daycare memory book: I take TONS of pictures daily. Towards the end of summer, I'll print pictures out and the kids can make their own summer memory book to take home. I'll also make a large daycare memory book to keep on the side table so the kids can look at them throughout the years.

54.) Water balloon painting: Not sure how it will work out, but it's a must try.

55.) Backyard Farmer's Market: Set up a pretend farmer's market for the kids. Complete the pretend play fun with a fresh veggies and fruits sensory snack.

56.) Swimming pool fishing: Using something like this: http://www.amazon.com/ALEX%C2%AE-Toys-Bathtime-Fun-Fishing/dp/B0009S5U2G/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1397582835&sr=8-4&keywords=bathtub+fishing+pole, have the kids take turns "fishing."

57.) Play in the rain: Hopefully we'll get a simple rain (minus the thunder and lightening) that allows the kids to throw on swimming suits and dance in the rain.

58.) Make your own popsicles: I did this last year using fresh fruit and juice.

59.) Make your own bubbles: I found a few different recipes we'll give a try throughout the summer.

60.) Patio mural: Let the kids go crazy painting the patio, probably numerous times over the summer. Use Kool Aid paint so it smells delicious.

61.) Ice Painting: Freeze paint in ice cube trays. The kids paint with them as they melt.

62.) Shaving cream body paint: The wonderful thing about summer is that when the kids get dirty, you can just hose them off before they come inside.

63.) Math games for all ages. I purchased this toy from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FZMDAL4/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1Y4GWDLS1THE8 I see so many possibilities with this--learning numbers, adding and subtracting games, putting numbers together, etc.

64.) Camping Day: Set up a tent, sleeping bags, etc. in the backyard and let the kids pretend to go camping for a day.

65.) Sea life pool day: All of the sea life figurines will be making an appearance in the little pools and the kids will get to "swim" with the sea life.

66.) Jump ropes and hula hoops: So simple but I can think of a few kids who will have a blast mastering these two this summer.......I can also see the jump rope being used as a weapon.

67.) Build a box fort: Inside or outside, kids love this activity. Also, let them decorate the boxes for an added bonus.

68.) Face painting.

69.) Make candy necklaces.

70.) Silly string:I think the backyard would be a much better place than my living room to experience the greatness of silly string.

71.) Alphabet dig in the sandbox: Use foam letters and bury them in the sand. Have the kids dig them up and then put them in order. For older kids, have them make words with the letters they find.

Now for one things we will NOT be doing this summer: Shaving Cream Painting. Last summer I had the kids paint with "Freezy Paints" (halfway frozen shaving cream). Total blast to paint with, but what the Pinterest post failed to mention is that shaving cream stains cement. For real. Never doing this activity again.

Hopefully this list will come in handy for those days when the word "bored" begins to find it's way into your children's summertime vocabulary.