23 Ways to Have Fun at Home This Summer

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The newness of summer is still upon us, but already the kids seem antsy. Try some of these unique ideas to keep boredom at bay!

  1. Construct a house of cards. Pull out the playing cards and see who can build the tallest card condo. Or, two or more children can work on the same house, each taking turns adding the next card.
  2. Dish up a delicious drink. Make a refreshing smoothie by blending together one-half cup of milk, one-half cup of your favorite yogurt, one-half cup of your favorite fruit and five ice cubes. Blend until smooth.
  3. Befriend the birds. Spread peanut butter over the outside of an empty toilet paper tube and roll in bird seed. Use a piece of string to hang it from a tree as a yummy treat for feathered friends.
  4. Encourage your young entrepreneurs. What can they do to earn money this summer? A lemonade stand? Help a neighbor with yardwork? Have a yard sale?
  5. Formulate a field trip. Call ahead to make arrangements, then get together with other families for a tour of a Mayfield or Purity Dairy, a TV station or a veterinary clinic.
  6. See a sunrise. Get the day going right by rising early with the kids to watch the sun rise together. Have a breakfast picnic with easy take-along foods like bagels and fruit.
  7. Hang pictures in your “Hall of Fame.” Designate one hallway in your home as the Family Hall of Fame. With your kids, go through those bins and drawers of photos and select the ones you want to hang. This makes for a treasured activity.
  8. Ignite imaginations. Plan activities that will stimulate creative thinking. Visit The Frist, Cheekwood, Adventure Science Center or Discovery Center at Murfree Spring. Journal or draw about what you saw.
  9. Joviality just because. Help your kids host a “just because” party for neighborhood friends. Let your kids decide who to invite, what foods to serve and which games to play.
  10. Go green together. Adopt a small area in your neighborhood to keep clean by keeping it nice together. Recycle together and build on the idea with your kids by exploring the world online.
  11. Love the library. Visit your local branch and get the kids going with the Summer Reading Program (SRP). Prizes and incentives help make reading fun.
  12. Master memorization. Challenge your kids to memorize poems, nursery rhymes or Bible verses. Give homemade certificates and small prizes for accomplishments.
  13. Navigate through nature. Give each child his own bag to pick up small items as you take a nature walk. Use an encyclopedia to help identify the items when you get home. Visit local parks.
  14. Organize ongoing activities. Sticking with a routine will keep everyone on track. Make Monday library day, Tuesday play with friends day, Wednesday picnic day and so forth.
  15. Piddle with play dough. Mix one cup flour, one-half cup salt, one-half tablespoon cooking oil, two tablespoons cream of tartar, one cup water and food coloring (if desired). Cook over medium heat for two-to-three minutes. When cool enough to handle, knead until smooth. Store in an airtight container.
  16. Quiet down. Be sure to incorporate “downtime” into each day. Make a rule that for at least 30 minutes everyone must lie down for a nap or curl up with a book – but let that be wherever kids want.
  17. Study science around you. Check out a book on children’s experiments from the library. Do a few with your kids. After each experiment, talk about what happened and why.
  18. Water works wonders. There are so many great items for water play at home! Let kids loose on a hot summer day with lots of friends in the yard – that maximizes the use of water.
  19. Tinker in a tent. Throw a large blanket over a table and let kids play underneath or pitch a real tent in your backyard. There’s nothing like “camping” outside.
  20. Videography fun. Kids can create their own commercials, music videos or skits to perform as you or an older child records. Start with a blank tape and add to it throughout the summer. Be sure to label.
  21. Worldwide letter writing. Check the Internet for information on children’s pen-pal clubs. What could be more exciting than getting mail from someone in another country?
  22. Explore exercise. Rent o check out children’s exercise videos. Form your own aerobics class by getting the kids involved.
  23. Zip to the zoo. Call first to ask about “free” times and discount days, then invite friends along for a day of fun.

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