Summer days are the perfect opportunity to kick back and enjoy being with your kids. Children love it when parents join in their playtime. If you have a toddler, preschooler, young elementary student, or all of the above, check out these ideas to help add some creativity and joy to your summer.
- Dress-up. Clean out your closet and let your kids play with the giveaways.
- Make up stories about a favorite animal.
- Draw pictures to go along with their stories.
- Act out a scene from a favorite book.
- Create a picture journal. Have your child draw what he/she did that day.
- Make a photo journal. Let your child take photos with a disposable camera.
- Make a magnetic fishing rod.
- Make sock puppets. Use buttons for eyes, yarn for hair, and draw faces with magic markers.
- Play beauty shop. All it takes is a comb, a brush, and hair ties. Let your kids experiment…on you.
- Provide scrap paper for kids to create their own shopping lists.
- Create forms for kids to fill out or scribble on and “do paperwork” like Mom and Dad.
- Let the kids finger paint and use the artwork as “Thank you” cards.
- Play a card game.
- Do a puzzle.
- Play Simon Says.
- Play Freeze Tag.
- Play Hide-n-seek.
- Do a Bean Bag Toss. If you don’t have bean bags, substitute stuffed animals. Place a pillow on the floor and see who can get their animal closest to it.
- Play Memory. If you don’t have the game, use a deck of cards.
- Play Hopscotch. Give the kids sidewalk chalk, so they can draw their own boxes.
- Play I Spy.
- Play on the playground. Don’t just push your child on the swing. Hop on yourself.
- Dig in the sand. Make roads and cities for Matchbox cars.
- Make mud pies. Use old butter containers and plastic spoons to whip up a dirt sundae.
- Go stargazing. Bring towels to a field or backyard and lie down together. Look for the dippers.
- Plant a garden or a few seeds in a pot and measure growth daily.
- Make a fort out of branches. Pull weeds to make a green roof.
- Have a picnic. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Lunch is more fun in the backyard.
- Go on a nature walk.
- Have a scavenger hunt.
- Make leaf boats. If you don’t have a creek or stream, fill up the kitchen sink.
- Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk.
- Search for rocks. Make pictures out of rocks and guess what they are.
- Collect leaves.
- Go on a color hunt (you can do this inside too).
- Create an indoor obstacle course (you can use pillows, a broom stick, stacks of books…anything that’s around)
- Paint rocks. Use them for paperweights.
- Make pipe cleaner animals.
- Have a tea party. Invite the stuffed animals.
- Make a blanket fort. Spend some time inside it with your child.
- Throw a party. Turn up the music and dance!
- Have an indoor picnic.
- Hide a treat for your child and draw a treasure map for him/her to follow.
No matter what you end up doing, remember that these days will not be around forever. Have fun with your children while they’re young. You might just make memories that will last forever.