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Thursday, 19 June 2014

Great Ways to Keep Kids Busy this Summer

We have less than two weeks left of school, and with my weight loss challenge taking up alot of my time, I want to make sure my kids have a good summer filled with lots of memories.

I have already spoken about our Summer Bucket list, but I needed more ideas to fill our time, inexpensively.  I have come up with some ideas of things we plan to do with our kids this summer, some of them that we've done in the past.

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great ideas to keep kids busy this summer, ways to make it a memorable summer

1.  Go camping.  Some of our best summer memories are of camping. If you are not the camping kind, how about setting up a tent in your backyard or living room and serving "camping food". Angie from Echoes of Laughter has some great camping recipes.

2.  Go to library and check out some new books, games, and movies for rainy days.  They are FREE!!

3.  Find a splash pad and let them run around.  I always keep my eyes open for Splash parks around town and we often try out different ones to keep things interesting. Sometimes it's as easy as keeping a pair swim shorts and towel in a bag in the car for an impromptu splashpad run around after an afternoon of running errands with mom.


4.  Make your own play dough and create.  Playdough is so much fun and so easy to make at home.  Here is a recipe.

5.  Make crafts. It's amazing the things you can find in your recycling bin to use up. Courtney at Crafts by Courtney has a huge list of ideas!

6.  Dance in the Rain. Now I'm not talking thunderstorm and lightning, or hail type of rain, but if it's a light sprinkle (with no chance of lightning) have them put on swim trunks or raincoat and go splashing in puddles. A fun umbrella always helps too! Anthony often talks about going out in rain and splashing around with his duck umbrella.

7. Play board games, if the weather is not good to go outside.  Here is a list of our favourite board games.  Make your own tic-tac-toe game. I made one early this year, it doesn't have to be fancy, a paper and pen will your just fine.

8. Catch a rainbow. Often after a rain storm there is a rainbow, you just have to look.  Take a picture every time you see a rainbow. Keep track of how many rainbows you see this summer. Bonus points for double rainbows.

9. Climb a tree. Obviously make sure there are adults nearby to supervise, but kids love to climb trees.

10.  Take a ball to a nearby park and just run around.  Soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis (you will need a racket too), will burn energy and calories (if you join in on the fun).

11. Go to the Zoo.  When we lived in another city near Toronto Zoo and the my girls were little, we used to go 2-3 times a week to the zoo. We purchased a family pass and went often. Time to do that again, it's been awhile.

12.  Visit a Farm. There are many U-pick farms that have a petting area. Just google it, you will be surprised.

13.  Plan a photo shoot with a pretty back ground. Maybe it's just my kids, but they often ask me to do a photo shoot with them (especially the girls).  Have them plan what they wear (leftover Halloween superhero costumes, fancy dresses, crazy hair, etc) You don't need a fancy camera, just go somewhere and start snapping. You will capture some fun memories.

14.  Take a hike and leave a geocache. Last summer we drove to a place that was special to hubby and I came across a special treasure.  We plan on doing it again this summer and hiding our own Geocache box.

15. Go fishing. If you don't have fishing gear, borrow someone's or make your own and go fishing. You don't have to eat what you catch, you can always throw it back.

16.  Pack a picnic head to a local park. Here are some tips for Planning the Perfect Picnic.

17.  Look up Free Family events for your town/city and add it to your calendar. I have filled up my own calendar with free movie events, Free community BBQ and church events by doing this.

18.  Make Large Bubbles. Come Together Kids has an easy tutorial for how to make them and a recipe for bubble solution too.

19. Go golfing. Golfing can be expensive, but there are often deals on going after hours or even going to a mini-put. It doesn't have to be fancy. (Below is often how you will find our kids after about an hour. We don't take it too seriously.)

20.  Go to the beach. Pack a lunch and make a day of it.

21.  While you are at the beach dig for a treasure. My kids (and dog) like digging in the sand to see how far down they can go.  You can also search for shells to make a wind chime.

22.  Fly a kite. You can make your own or buy one. I've never attempted to make one, but here is a tutorial on how to make one.

23.  Go on a scavenger hunt - Go to Pinterest (yes, that's my link ;) ) and search "Nature scavenger Hunt" and you will find tons of links to printables and ideas of things to find at the park.

24.  Make a Wind Catcher.   I love this tutorial.  It doesn't have to cost you a penny, if you use items from your scavenger hunt.

25.  Watch the sunset. Put on pyjamas, pack a blanket and go to the beach or a park and watch the sunset.

26.  Visit a Museum, or a children's Museum. (in my town, there is one that let's kids in for free after certain time on Fridays)

27.  Go to a U-pick farm and pick berries or veggies.

28.  Get baking.  Gather the ingredients and get in the kitchen and start baking.  Bonus you can freeze extras to take on picnics or for school (if they last that long). Here is a recipe to one of our favourite cookies.

Recipe here

29.  Lemonade Stand. Here is a recipe from The NY Melrose Family. Sell some of the cookies you made in the kitchen

30.  Go garage saleing. Using some of the money made from Lemonade Stand take the kids to find a new toy at a garage Sale.  Give them a dollar or two and they will come home with a few new-to-them toys.

31.  Have a Garage Sale. Before school starts, go through kids toys and clothing and host a garage sale. It doesn't have to be fancy. My kids love doing this to make their "own money". (If you follow Somerset Lane on Instagram, you will see Haley having a garage sale to make some spending money for her end of grade 8 three day School trip to Ottawa.)

32. Go to drive-in movies. pack up the car with blankets and pillow, put your pyjamas one and go check out a show.

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What are your plans for this summer?  How do you make memories?

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