List One: 10 Free Activities to Keep your Children Entertained this Summer

Mom, I'm bored!

 School's out and summer is officially here.  The kids are excited.  Mom is esctatic! It is that time of the year to stay up late, sleep in till noon, no schedules to follow, lounging by the pool, playing in the sand.....it is a great time of the year.

Unfortunately, this easy-going, laid back lifestyle usually only lasts the first two weeks or so of summer vacation.   Then all I hear is "Mom, I'm bored" or "This is boring" or "All my toys are stupid and boring."

After about the millionth time of hearing this, I start getting a little annoyed.  So, I try to get creative and find things that are free and fun for my kids to do.  Below are ten things that you can do with your kids---they are all absolutely FREE and FUN!!

1. Build a Blanket Fort

 Grab your blankets, pillows, and chairs and build a fort.  This is very simple to do and will provide hours of enjoyment for you children.  My kids will sit in their fort and color, eat lunch, take a nap (Yah!), play house, and numerous other things.  The best part of this is that they will build a fort, play in it for awhile then tear it down and rebuild it bigger or just make it different.

2. Visit a Public Library

 Many people forget about their public library but there are so many activities that libraries offer during the summer that are free!  For example, my local library offers different classes that teach about birds, animals, how to write your own story, and even speaking different languages.  Take the kids to the library for story hour or take them to check out some books that they can read in their blanket fort.  Not only does this provide free entertainment for them but is also keeps them on top of the reading skills they learned during school.

3. Take a Walk

 This is something so simple that many parents don't think of it as an activity.  I try to take my kids on a walk every day.  Try walking to different places each day--it provides variety and new scenery.  This is a great way to get your daily exercise while getting in touch with nature.  It is amazing to watch kids explore their environment.  Something as simple as seeing a bird or frog while taking a walk can be very exciting for a child. When you get home, have them draw a picture or write a story about the walk and what they saw.  This too can be done from the comfort of their blanket fort!

4. Play in the Garden Hose

 No pool?  No problem!  Pick a day when it will be warm and sunny and let your kids play outside in the garden hose.  This doesn't cost a thing and is a great way to cool down.  Make up games to play with the hose.  For example, we play "Get the hose" at my house.  One of us--usually me--holds the garden hose while spraying everyone and the first person to get it out of my hand gets to have a turn holding it.  Again, this is a good way to get your daily exercise.  Don't forget the sunblock and sunglasses!

5. Make a Paper Zoo

This is one activity that my kids absolutely love!  I let them make different zoo animals from construction paper and/or paper plates then we place them throughout the house.  I pretend I am a zoo tour guide and we walk through the zoo looking at the animals.  They ask questions and we all learn something new.  As an added benefit we use the digital camera and take pictures of the kids with the animals.

6. Hide "Treasure" and Play Pirates

Take some of your kids favorite toys and hide them throughout the house and maybe even outside.  Dress up like pirates and go treasure hunting. If you hide the toys good enough, this could last for hours.   As an added bonus, offer an extra "treasure" or treat for the child that finds the most treasure.

7. Have a Sleep Over

Invite a few of your children's friends over and let them have a sleep over.  Or if you have enough of your own kids (like I do) let them have their own sleep over together.  Dig out the sleeping bags, put on a good movie, and pop some popcorn. 

8. Put on a Play

Pick your favorite fairytale or story and make it into a play.  Have each child take a different role, dress up and put on a play.  To make it extra special, practice it a few times then invite dad, or grandma & grandpa to watch it.

9. Go to the Playground

This is such a simple activity that my kids love!  I take my kids to a different playground each week.  It's like an adventure for them to explore and play on a new playground.  Some playgrounds even have a sprinkler system that they can play in--which is a great feature!

10. Have a Picnic

As a mom, you have to prepare lunch for your kids every day no matter what.  So, choose a day and make it a picnic.  Let them eat lunch outside on the grass or at the playground or in their blanket fort.  I find that my kids tend to eat better when they are having a picnic  : )

Stay Tuned....

 I hope you enjoyed the first list in my series and I hope all you parents out there have found these ideas useful.  Let me know how they work for you or if you have any other ideas that are not on my list.

As for tomorrow's list....The 10 funniest Comedians!

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