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10 Activities to do With Your Child this Summer
Make these days count!
If you have children you know that they love to explore, see and touch new things. They also crave your attention and your companionship more than any toy or video game. Summer is the perfect time to get out there and spend some quality time with your children. The weather is nice and school is out, so unplug and take some time to experience life with your children!
10 Activities to do With Your Child This Summer:
1. Plant a garden. This is a simple activity and you don't have to have a yard to do this. Pick easy to grow seeds- like squash, pumpkins or herbs. Pick up some tomato or pepper plants at the store or start them at home. Plant root vegetables like carrots or radishes. Dig up a section of your yard or fill a couple pots with soil. Let you child plant, water and help to care for them. And of course let them pick their produce when it is ready. You get to spend quality time together outdoors learning where your food comes from and you might be surprised at how many more vegetables your child will eat when they grow and pick it them self.
2. Catch bugs! This can be as simple as finding ladybugs or pill bugs under a rock or capturing lightning bugs in a jar. You can also search for caterpillars on plants- such as milkweed, parsley or passionflower- and bring the caterpillars inside with some of their host plant and watch them eat and grow until they transform into a butterfly. Bugs are amazing creatures and kids love to watch them. Have jars, nets and cages available for them and help them to catch quick grasshoppers, butterflies or praying mantis.
3. Go berry picking! In the summer there is an amazing amount of fresh produce available. Check your local area for u-pick farms where you can go pick your own fruit. Strawberries in May and June, Blueberries in June and July. Peaches, Apples, etc. Then bring them home and make jam together!
4. Play in the Mud! I know- it's messy, wet, and dirty. You will have to give baths and wash clothes afterwards. But it's only mud and it is so fun to jump around and squish your hands and feet into. You're only young once, so let them be little and grab your camera and watch them laugh and play.
5. Go Puddle jumping! Summer is usually pretty dry, but when those late afternoon thunderstorms pop up and pour water down on you, take advantage. When the storms roll out and sunny skies remain- get your boots or bikes or bare feet and go splashing! There is nothing quite like jumping into a puddle of water to see who can make the biggest splash or zooming through on a bike and seeing how far the spray reaches. Be warned your kids will probably make it a goal to splash you too!
6. Take them Fishing! There is nothing quite as exciting as feeling that tug on the end of your pole. Fishing is a quiet activity that allows time for talking and bonding. You can get to know your child better, while helping them gain patience and a survival skill. You can use a variety of baits- from worms to canned corn to hotdogs- and catch different fish with each type. Your child's smile will melt your heart each time they pull up a fish and their pride and confidence in themself will show.
7. Take a hike! The forest is the ultimate playground with a plethora of trees, creeks and animals to explore. Live near mountains? Take a hike to see a waterfall, identify wildflowers, and enjoy the amazing views. No mountains? Look for nature trails at historical park or head to your city's local greenway. Nature is all around you, give your child a chance to find it and explore without hurrying them and they will have more fun than any video game could provide.
8. Build a fort! Let's face it, forts are cool. Reading, eating and playing are so much more fun when you are hidden beneath a pile of blankets or tucked behind a wall of blocks. So grab what you have- chairs and a large blanket, cardboard boxes, plastic cups, a string, clips and sheets and make something fun. Eat snack in it, read books in it, pretend you are dinosaurs. Your kids will love it and it will become a permanent good memory that they will carry with them forever.
9. Find water! Summers are hot and the best way to beat the heat is with water. Look past the local swimming pool and search for new place to get cooled off. Many cities have sprinkler parks, or maybe your downtown area has a riverfront walk with fountains? Is there a lake or beach nearby? If you live out in the country hook up the hose and sprinkler in your own yard or get a . Fill buckets and bowls with cool water and let them get wet! slip n' slide
10. Take a field trip. Look around your community and plan a trip to one of the area attractions. Go to the zoo, a children's museum or aquarium. Find historical parks and go explore some living history. Go to a nature center or animal rehabilitation center.