Homespun Fun

By Elizabeth Copeland, Red Apple Parent and Assistant Teacher

Some summer days are better spent at home. When the thermometer reaches 100 degrees, I find myself not wanting to venture out into the world unless we are heading straight to the swimming pool. I thought I’d share some of our favorite things to do around the house. I like to keep this list handy so I don’t fall into the trap of letting the kids hang out in front of the TV all day.

Around the House

– Playdates with Friends
– Water Balloon Fights
– Run through the sprinklers
– Work in the vegetable garden
– Fly a kite
– Create an obstacle course in the backyard
– Go on a bug/lizard hunt
– “Ninjas” in the hallway – tape crepe paper from wall to wall in the hallway and pretend they are lasers – the kids try to get to the end of the hallway without touching the lasers (see Pinterest)
– Make homemade ice cream
– Take an easel outside and paint
– Sidewalk chalk/chalk paint
– Wash the car
– Breakfast in bed
– Science experiments – Pinterest has some great ideas
– Visit Michaels and let the kids pick out a craft project/model car to make
– Draw a “road” out of chalk on the driveway and let the kids ride their bikes/bigwheels on the “road”
– Draw a chalk “town” with streets on the driveway and play with Hot Wheels
– Glow in the dark chalk at night – made by Crayola – really neat!
– Take a walk around the neighborhood with neighbor friends
– Find a construction site and stop to watch the machines work
– Make Popsicles
– Practice soccer/baseball in the yard
– Cook together
– Make cards for family members who live far away and mail them
– Street party with the neighbors
– Camp in the backyard (before it gets too hot) This can be a lot of work, but boy do the kids have fun!
– Ball Pit – fill a kiddie pool with plastic balls
– Dance Party – turn on music and dance in the living room
– Cuddle up in bed and read books
– Put a sheet over the kitchen table and eat lunch underneath it
– Put up a small tent in the living room and read together

Service Projects

Last year, we incorporated some service projects into our summer and the kids really enjoyed it. Our family is fortunate to have a Children’s Director at our church who took this idea and ran with it. Here are some of our ideas:

– Make neighbor gifts and distribute
– Take cookies and cards to the local fire and police department (we opted to take store bought instead of homemade since we weren’t sure if they would eat something from an unknown source)
– Distribute cards/gifts at a nursing home
– Help someone who may need assistance with work around the house
– Make cards for our pastor to take along during hospital visits
– Make care packages for soldiers

Focusing on Independence

This is something I’m hoping to incorporate this summer that I haven’t in the past. We’ll see how it works. During the school year, I find myself doing more for the kids than I probably should just to get us out the door. Tying shoes, making lunches, brushing their teeth… Since we have more time in the summer, I would like to make it a point to give them the extra time to do a few important things on their own. Here’s what I’m focusing on with my kids:

– 5-year-old tying his shoes by himself every time
– Making their own sandwiches when packing lunches
– Brushing their teeth in the mornings by themselves without prompting
– Making their beds

If you have other ideas, please leave them in the comments section. I think we can all benefit from hearing what other families are doing over the summer. Have a great time making memories with you kids!

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