Thursday, May 23, 2013

Keeping Kiddos Busy

The rainy and hot days are among us, finally! But, that can sometimes mean the kiddos are bored from being inside all the time. Or, perhaps everyone in the house is ready to get out and enjoy the sun! So, I went on a search for things to keep the kiddos occupied and/or active over the Summer months. Here's what I found:


Create a movie theatre -
     Close all of the curtains and turn off all the lights, then
     pretend you are at the movies. Get out the flashlights so
     that you can see where you are going and maybe pop
     some popcorn. You could even pretend you are at the
     drive-in movies by transforming boxes into cool
     cars from:
     Not Just a House Wife

Have a livingroom picnic - 
     Pack a basket lunch, spread out a blanket on the floor,
     and eat your lunch right there.

Have beach day inside -
     Spread out some towels, grab a pail and shovel,
     some sunglasses, a book, etc. and play "beach".
     My oldest still asks to do this on occasion!

Play Hide and Seek -
     This is one of my kiddos favorites things to do!
     And, it's good for indoor or outdoor! Plus, it
     helps them learn to count if they haven't already
     learned how ;)

Make a fort - 
     Use blankets, pillows, couch cushions, tables, chairs, tall
     toys, etc. to build the fort. I use extra pillows to keep
     the blankets from sliding.

Home Bowling -
     Set up styrofoam and/or plastic cups and have the
     kiddos knock them down with a toy ball.

Arts & Crafts -
     Spread out some newspaper and paint. Once the artwork is finished, you can hold an art show by:
          Pinning up a string from one end of the room to the other. Then, hang the artwork with clothes pins.
          Use tape (which will not damage your walls) to create a collage on a wall.
          Decorate the child's room with the artwork. Even frame some if you'd like :)

     Spread out a huge piece of paper (bulletin board paper rolls work great for this) and trace each others
     bodies, then decorate them.

     Clear the table and play with play dough. You can even make your own! Check out these ideas from:
          Instructables - How to Make Play Dough
          I like visuals, so here is a Video from NickosBabyFood
          Kiddin Around - 3 Easy Recipes for Making Homemade Play Dough

Board Games -
     Chutes and Ladders, Candyland, Dominoes, Monopoly,
     matching games, Twister, etc.

Indoor Treasure Hunt - 
     Katrena has several printable scavenger hunts posted on 
     her blog Wild Flower Bouquets

     Or, just make your own with these simple instructions:
          Hide toys, books and/or snacks all around the house.
          Give the child a clue and/or map that leads to the

Play Dress Up -
     You don't have to have fancy dress up clothes for this!
     Just allow your children to dress up in your
     clothes...they will LOVE it! But, if you do have kid's
     dress up clothes, they will get a kick out of you
     dressing up in them

Outdoor Shade Party -
     If it's too hot to be out in the sun, you could set up some
     type of awning in the front yard or find a shady
     area. Then, fill up a small swimming pool with water and
     set it under the awning or in the shady area.
     Let the kiddos play with water squirters and/or just
     lounge in the pool.

     You could even prepare a little picnic basket lunch for
     everyone. Or, simply sit in the shade and read a book to them and/or have them bring their own book(s).

Invite Kid Friends Over to Play - 
     Make ice cream sundaes, have a tea party, or do any of
     the things listed above.

Kitchen Time -
     Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag:
          Click here to check out a recipe from Spoonful.
          Here's a silly video from Howcast on Youtube.

     Homemade Popsicles:
          Pour a liquid (kool-aid, juice, etc.) or pureed food
          (fruits, yogurt, etc.) into an ice cube tray, cover
          the tray with plastic wrap, then insert one toothpick
          through the plastic wrap and into each tray hole.
          Click here to check out some recipes at Tipnut.

     Fruit Smoothies:
          Find several recipes at All Recipes


Go Roller Skating - 
     Check out Kids Skate Free to see if there is a skating rink in your area that has FREE skating.

Go Bowling -
     Check out Kids Bowl Free to see if there is a bowling alley in your area that has FREE bowling.

Visit an Indoor Play Area -
     Chuck E Cheese -
          When it's not "sick season", we love to grab a Chuck E Cheese coupon (sign up online to get emails),
          get a whole bunch of golden coins, and visit them periodically all summer long!

     YMCA -
          If you are a member of the YMCA in your area, they often have events, classes, and/or swimming
          pools for kids.

     Recreation Centers -
          Most cities and/or towns have a recreation center where kids can sign up for sports, use gyms, etc.;
          and, sometimes it's even free if you are inside city limits.

Visit a Pet Store -
     Even at age two, my son still expects his Nannie and Papaw to take him to the local pet store to see the
     puppies, fish, etc. every time they visit. Just be prepared to say "no" to bringing a pet home, unless
     you want

Visit a Park -
     Pack a picnic basket lunch, some books, and enjoy the shade and/or a playground at the local park.

Go to the Library -
     It's easy to forget about the importance of reading and learning over the Summer months, when the
     kiddos are out of school. We homeschool year round, so it's not an issue, but we still try to make it a
     point to keep the library as a part of our normal "out and about" routine. And, LOTS of libraries,
     bookstores, etc. actually hold Summer reading programs where each child gets a little reading packet
     and/or even earns a surprise at the end of the Summer.
     Check out Free Homeschool Deals for a list of Summer Reading Programs. And, don't forget to check
     out your local library!

There are soooo many things out there to do! I hope that some of these things will help you and your kiddos stay occupied this summer. If you have more ideas, please feel free to share by commenting below.

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