10 Ideas to get your Kids off the Couch this Summer
In parts of the country this summer, temperatures are soaring over 100 degrees. Your kids might be complaining, "It's too hot out!" and refuse to budge from the couch, computer, or Playstation. Or even worse, the dreaded... "I'm bored!" How can you get them motivated to get up and get active when it's blistering hot outside? Here are some ideas!
1. Check out summer camps. Elementary schools, YMCAs, museums, and other organizations have summer camps already in full swing. Think they're too expensive? Ask for funding or scholarship assistance. You might be able to find camps for sports, art, drama, or even cooking!
2. Go on a field trip. Search the internet for "free summer activities" in your area. I came up with this great website from Associated Content that lists free activities in different cities.
3. Hit the gym! If you have a Lifestyle Family Fitness in your area, and you have a child who's 12-17 years old, in the past they've been able to work out free all summer!
4. If your kid is absolutely addicted to their Nintendo, perhaps you can purchase the Wii Fit. Check out already-played stores like Game Stop to get a discounted version. With the Wii Fit they can exercise and stay active - in the air conditioning!
5. Build something! Visit your local Home Depot for one of their Saturday kids' clinics or go to Lowe's for a Build and Grow workshop. Check out the website Things to Build - there's a great kids' section!
6. Do you have an artist you want to encourage? Go to your local Michael's Arts and Crafts store and see what free classes they have offered. Or check out the projects they have offered on their website. Don't forget to print the 50% off coupon from the Michael's website! You can also check your phone book or the Internet for a paint-your-own pottery shop in your area.
7. Send your kids and their friends on a scavenger hunt! Kids can work individually or in pairs. This would be fun with a large group of kids. Give them a list of items that they have to find around the neighborhood. You can offer something small as a prize. Depending on what's on the list, this could keep the kids occupied for awhile!
8. Helping out in the yard might seem like a chore, unless you make it fun. Let your kid pick out some plants for the garden, or give them a small corner of the yard and let them make their own garden. Have them start plants from seeds and watch them grow! Get some ideas at KidsGardening!
9. Clean out the garage! Summertime is a great time to do a full-scale cleaning around the house. Encourage everyone in the family to go through clothes, books, games, and toys that they no longer use. Have a garage sale to make a little summertime spending money, save the money towards vacation or an activity, or donate the items to Goodwill.
10. Go to the library or even the bookstore. You'll get out of the house for awhile, and you'll be transported to another world by reading! Encourage your kid to check out a variety of books - fiction, non-fiction, different lengths and styles - so they don't get bored! Some bookstores offer storytime events for the litlte ones. Don't forget to check for your school's recommended reading list. Here's an example of one, with some great suggestions for kids of different ages.
Have a great summer! Stay cool!
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