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An Unconventional Summer: Ideas for those with Kids

Updated on November 27, 2011

The long anticipated summer is here and school is finally out! Woooohooo! The children are so excited - and you are too! Finally, you get to go out to enjoy some sunshine and warm air! Indeed, Summer can be full of fun and the sun, but it can also start to feel a little long drawn.... especially when the usual structure of typical school days is now removed.


How can you entertain the kids in a fun, engaging and stimulating way? In this hub, I offer some ideas - how about making a quirky or creative version of a singing telegram?

Singing telegrams might sound like a distant possibility to many, but it is much more manageable than what many might envision. If you have a Mac, you would have the Garageband program on it. Garageband is a very user friendly and versatile program that you can use to record voices and instruments - anything in fact! If you are a windows user, you can also use Audacity (also available for free to mac users) to record sounds.

Here are some ideas I thought might appeal to children - old enough to talk and focus on a project.

  • Sending a song / hello telegram to the grandparents, relatives, friends, or anyone!

Summer is one of the times that many families travel to visit grandparents, friends in other states. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible for some families for financial, transportation or other reasons.

Sending a fun recording to the grandparents or someone special will be a precious gift that Grandparents will love. You could learn an oldie, sing it and send it over, send some love and well-wishes, or just say hi!

A Video of Garageband's Podcast/Telegram Function

Not only will the grandparents be able to brag about their grandchildren's talent, they will be able to listen to it over and over again (I suggest sending to them via email so they can play it on loop). It does make a sweet gift!

More telegram ideas include

  • Sending a thank you message
  • Sending an invitation for a playdate or birthday party
  • Announcing the birth of a baby cousin, sibling...
  • Introducing a new pet
  • Welcoming Dad home after a hard day's work

the list is endless and the creative possibilities are boundless!

Many of these programs like Garageband allow you to edit your recording. For example, you can cut out and delete the parts that you don't fancy, or copy and multiply certain parts of your recording (eg. if you want to turn it into a rap). It is almost like working on Microsoft Word, just that you are playing around with sound.

In fact, there are special effects and loops that you can play around with - which the kids will find absolutely hilarious. For example, Garageband lets you change the pitch of your voice, so you can sound like a chipmunk, or Darth Vader or something in between. There are special effects that you can add to make you sound like you are in a cave, or like you are on helium. It is terribly funny, but it can also be a great opportunity to inject science nuggets about acoustics, resonance, pitch....or perhaps history facts about the gramophone, the radio...

Besides effects on the voices, you can add a groove or drumbeat to your telegram, just for fun. I know some people like to add the sound of nature into their recordings - which is achievable by recording noises outdoors, or by adding in some of the loops and sound clips on Garageband. The beauty of these programs is that they let you add in multiple tracks - so you can have a few tracks for each kid, a track for sound effects, another for an instrument perhaps - it's all up to you!

If you are into videos, and making video logs, you can spice up your video using imovie, and even Garageband - adding voiceovers and special effects. In fact, you could even add a video to accompany your original singing telegram - it's very versatile, and it is quite likely that the kids might even figure out the programs even faster than you!

I hope this gives you some ideas and inspiration about an unconventional summer activity that might make your kids happy.

Please leave a comment if you have some more unconventional ideas!


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    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hi Jennifer!

      That is so cool! I hope that you and your kids will have lots of fun!

    • profile image

      Jennifer Knight 6 years ago

      Very original idea. I'm going to suggest it to my kids!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hi Denise!

      I so appreciate you taking the time to comment on my hubs. You always encourage me and I am so grateful!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hi Simone,

      Thank you for coming by! Indeed GarageBand has given me so many hours of amusement and enabled me to create a lot of music too. It is so easy to use and kids will just figure it out so fast.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      What a great idea-sounds fun!

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      These are awesome tips for tech-savvy kids - I wish I had these resources when I was younger!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Hey PracticalMommy!

      Indeed Garageband is a really cool program, and it is so easy to learn! Thanks for your comment, and for dropping by!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Garageband sounds like an awesome program! I have never heard of it before, but I'd really like to try using it. Voted up!

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 6 years ago

      Oh prairieprincess, thank you so much for your encouraging comment, I was afraid that my idea would be a little too quirky!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 6 years ago from Canada

      Fantastic idea! This sounds like a lot of fun, and would make such a personalized activity, and gift. Voted up awesome and useful!