- Family and Parenting
Summer fun activities for Families with kids
Fun inexpensive summer activites for children
The garden hose is the single most important fun summer activity for children if you have don‘t have a pool. Children can keep cool and have a blast for the price of a few thousand gallons of water. Just give the child a target and away they go. Here they hose off hot cars, clean up sidewalk chalk and give anyone who gets in their way a good soaking. Sometimes getting them to share is a problem, but not so much once they understand that it is harder to stay wet when they don’t share. They also water the plants and grass as a by product
What children enjoy most
A wading pool with supervision is another good summer activity to keep children occupied. The children here love to get wet, if they had their way they would be in and out of a wading pool from sun up to sun down. Quite often they have the most fun when mom or dad are in the wading pool with them, especially the younger ones. A good day for them is when they have access to the wading pool for at least eight hours. For the past two summers the carpeting in the living room floor has rarely been dry.
Sidewalk chalk is a great way for children to play and for those old enough for school to improve their writing, drawing, and math skills. If there is someone to give ideas and suggestions this often works better and can be used to improve attention spans and skills. If you can imagine it the children here have probably made some rendition of it. Even the littlest get in on the fun. More than once they have had every square inch of the sidewalk filled with some kind of chalk drawing. The most fun part here always seems to be hosing the sidewalk off so they can start over.
Fireworks are a fun inexpensive summer activity for children. Local firework displays locally start in June and continue well into July. For the children its a real treat as they get to stay up late to watch them. A good piece of advice to parents, naps are important on firework display nights.The children are resting now as there will be a fireworks display at the local fair tonight. They all love the county fair. As far as expensive goes its usually around sixty dollars a night for the county fair for the group. This year there are only four children going.
Simple games like red rover and red light green light can take up a few hours of any day. They work better with more than one child, you can however have one parent compete against the child if two are available. If you have really young children and older children also you can have the older ones help the younger ones play. If it’s really hot bring the hose into play with these games too. We often reward a child with a good soaking when they win. We play these games both inside and outside. Red light green light is the only time running in the house gets waived. Luckily we have about twenty five feet of area they can run a straight in. With the older children we play I spy, I spy something with my little eye, tic tac toe, and hangman. Their favorite time to play is when the littler ones are sleeping so they can do it outside with sidewalk chalk.
Petal toys keep children occupied especially if their is more than one child. Children love to imitate what they see their parents doing and often pretend the petal toy is a car. The children here use the two passenger petal toy to go shopping, take another child to the doctor or hospital, and visit their favorite fast food outlet. Through the seven years the children who live here have been alive the petal toy collection has grown enough to cover the children who live here and any short term visitors. The biggest problem we have is sharing, they all seem to want the same one although there are more than enough for eleven children and still a few to spare. We also have one electric powered riding toy and two children the right age to use it.
Picnics at home and at the local park
Picnic’s in the back yard, at a local park, or tailgated in the country are a good way to keep children occupied also. The children here love going anywhere. They would rather eat at the picnic table than in the house all year long. They love playing at the park it gives them a chance to interact with other children, often classmates from their school but they seem to make friends even if no one they know is there. Two of the local parks have rivers running through them which gives the children who love to fish anther outlet for their energy. In our small town we have a bike trail which runs through three parks but we have never used it to go to more than two parks in a day. The shortest bike trail between parks is about a mile.
Fun activities can often be created
My belief is life is best lived as series of games. It has taken a while for the parents to catch on to how to use this to their advantage. The children here don’t see things as chores or work. They see the daily cleaning routine as a game. It takes a while for the children who come in older to grasp the concept but they always seem to. Adult interaction really helps in this area. When an adult plays the game it helps children accept whatever is going on as a game. What others might consider a chore the children here consider a fun game.
For young children a simple thing like letting them help with dishes or cleaning can be a fun activity if they believe it is a game. Let them help or pretend to help. They are playing grown up and it keeps them occupied. The four year old boy here runs the vacuum more than anyone else. He is pretending to vacuum up monsters. He used to find monsters everywhere but now only finds them on the carpet. Use games to fight their fears and phobias.
Have a ball
There are always two three year old's at the sink helping with the dishes. This is their choice, after hearing the story of Cinderella they decided doing dishes was the chore they were finishing before getting cleaned up by fairy Godmother so they could go to the ball. This is always good for a laugh as one of the three year olds is a boy. One of the parents always clean them up and let them play dress up, then dance with them at the ball. All of the children end up involved with this, they all love make believe. The older ones love reading and the younger ones love being read to. Fairy tales are favorites and on rare occasions the older children will put on a play based on a fairy tale.
Two seven year old's and the nine year old do all the dusting. They are playing house and pretending to erase messages written in the dust. For the older ones interaction from the adults helps a lot. The adults actually write messages even if they can‘t be seen. This keep the children interested enough to finish dusting. It also turns what could be a chore into something fun the children now enjoy doing. Get into the spirit too, life can be a game for adults too if you to remember take time to stop and smell the roses.
Fun on the local bike trail
A local bike trail is another good summer activity. The local bike trail is enjoyed by even the three month old. If there are no bicycles taking a walk down the trail works. Walks or rides in the evening tire children out and make them ready for a good nights sleep. If your inventive enough even a walk or ride can be turned into an enjoyable game for children. From a child's point of view any time a parent is involved in a game with them life is fun and they care much more about quality time with their parents than anything money can buy. What children are most likely to remember later in life is mom kissing a boo boo, or playing catch with them in the yard. Dad take the time to teach them to ride that bike sitting in the garage collecting dust. This is a cheap way to have fun and make a happy memory that will last your child a lifetime.