The kids are out of school. Yet, there's still a lot of summer left. You may be wondering what to do to fill those days. Here are 10 suggestions.
1. Give them opportunities to work before they play
Don't just assign a chore - make it fun. Put the timer on and see how quickly they can finish the job. Then have a reward like a Popsicle or a trip to the snow cone shack. Snow cones are always a hit on a hot summer day.
2. Visit a local museum
Surprisingly, people can live in an area and never visit their hometown museum. Do a little research on what the museum is all about. Prepare the kids so they will anticipate the visit. If it features a local hero, assign the kids to go on the Internet and search for some info about him or her. Have them create a little curiosity by saying "Did you know ...," then they tell something quirky or unusual about this person. If it features the local culture, do the same. Throw out a few teasers to pique the kids' interest. End the excursion by having the kids tell one thing they liked best at the museum. Warn them ahead of time to be looking for that one thing.
3. Have a water fight
Dollar stores usually stock water guns during the summer. Take the kids to the store and give each one dollar and let them pick their own water weapon. Go home and let the battle begin. Be sure to have a few rules, like no squirting directly in the eyes, give the younger kids a chance to get you back, or no squirting while someone is reloading. You join in the fun and get ready to enjoy the screaming and laughing. Nothing like having dad or mom hiding around the corner with the hose.
4. Let the sprinklers cool them off
It's cheap and fun. Deck them out in their swimsuits and turn on the sprinklers. If you have a trampoline, aim the sprinkler at it while the kids take turns jumping into the spray.
5. Have a water balloon toss
Invite a few neighbor kids to make it even more fun. Fill the balloons with water (small balloons are best). Then line up in a row opposite each other and start tossing. Everyone does their best to gently toss and catch balloons so they won't break and splash on them. The last one to catch an intact balloon wins. Give a prize, like a big candy bar, to the winner and a smaller candy treat to the others.
6. Take the kids, along with their piggy banks, to the local bank and open a savings account. Getting kids excited about saving for something they really want can be fun for them. They may even start looking for jobs so they can earn and add to it. Some families set up a couple of different savings accounts for kids to deposit their meager earnings such as one for things they want, and one for a longer goal like college. Help them find a picture that shows what they're saving for and post it in their rooms as an incentive.
7. Go to the library and let them pick out three or four favorite books
Set a reading time when everyone curls up in their own spot and quietly reads. Have a family reading time when you and the kids read a book aloud together. Chapter books are fun for kids, especially when they are read with some animation.
8. Help the kids make a treat and deliver it to a friend or someone who is lonely
You can Google recipes for no-bake treats if you want to keep the kitchen cool. They'll enjoy the goodies themselves and learn how to serve and bring joy to others.
9. At night, spread out a quilt on the grass and do some stargazing
To make it even more fun and educational, read about the constellations and see if they can pick them out when gazing up at the star studded sky. See if they can spot a falling star, and make a wish on it or any other bright star.
10. When they run through the house chasing each other and causing havoc, grab them one by one and say, "I love you. I'm so lucky to be your mom." It will make their day, and yours, too.
Make this summer a joyful time for your family. Create some memories and don't forget to capture them on camera. Looking back will fill everyone's heart with happiness.