Summer is finally here! Your little superheroes are all on break from school, after school activities, clubs, and homework. Although Lily usually finds endless activities to occupy herself, there are times when she looks for new and fun things to do. Her parents help by providing some simple activities to keep her occupied on some of her quieter days.
So, below are some suggestions during those moments when your younger child complains, “I’m bored, what should I do now?” The key is to get them moving their bodies and using their imaginations. (For ideas to keep your older kids occupied and stimulated this summer, check this out!)
1. The Big Red Ball:
Check out your nearest store that sells toys, and if you don’t already have one, buy a giant red rubber ball, like they have on school playgrounds. Your kids will be thrilled that they will have one at home, just like the one at school. It is so basic, yet your kids can spend hours amusing themselves with it. You can help them initiate endless games that get them moving, active, and away from any screens, tablets or other electronics. Below are just two suggestions to get them started:
All players (the more the better), lie on the floor (or grass), with their legs up in the air. Once the ball is introduced into the game, each player tries to throw, catch, or pass the ball to the next player, using only his or her feet. Together, you can make up whatever rules you want to make it competitive, but also fun. If adults are around, having them participate with the kids will just add to the fun and provide an opportunity to spend quality time together. That should keep everyone busy and laughing for a while.
You can recreate rules for this classic game and add fun elements; such as having kids make animals sounds as they head toward any bases. Kids are only limited by their imaginations, and it’s important to encourage them to make up all sorts of games.
2. Master Chef Junior:
We are all more conscious about what we eat these days, and our children are more vocal about their food choices as well. So spending time with them in meal planning, shopping and food preparation involves them in activities that become life-long lessons. Plan an afternoon or evening when the entire family participates and is actually responsible to prep and/or cook part of the meal. This way your child can not only explore his or her creative side in the kitchen and become a Junior Master Chef, but can also learn something about food preparation and nutrition.
At a time when child food allergies are on the rise, and when we are more concerned with eating organic and limiting artificial additives, it is never too early to involve our children in food related issues.
3. Mix and Match:
Take items from your home that come in pairs like a pot with a lid or pillow that goes on the couch and not the bed, etc. and have your kids match them to the right place or, have them come up with alternative ways to mix and match the items. This activity is also only limited to one’s imagination to explore and discover.
4. Children’s American Ninja Warrior:
Take sidewalk chalk and draw an obstacle course or fun path for your little ones to bike, walk, crawl or jump through. The object of course is to not touch the lines! Want to make it more fun? Set up actual obstacles, as well, such as boxes, pillows, or even pots and pans, filled with water.
Your child will love the challenge of completing the course, but even more fun if he or she falls on a pillow or tips over the pot filled with water. The key here is also about concocting simple, creative games to have fun and pass the time.
5. Indoor camping/indoor clubhouse:
This is a classic summertime, or anytime, fun activity. Give your kids blankets, a broomstick, chairs - whatever you have handy and what they need to build a campsite or clubhouse in which they can play during the day and perhaps campout at night. They can sleep under the stars (of a flashlight) indoors, to get an alternative camping experience, without actually being outside. Or, if you’re really adventuresome, pitch a tent in the backyard and actually sleep under the real stars.
These are just a few ideas for parents with young kids. Keeping your child’s body and mind active and encouraging them to think of new and fun things do is a great way to inspire their imagination. They’ll be invigorated and excited by the new adventures they helped create and experience, and be more energized, when it’s time to go back to school after summer vacation.
We know Lily would love some of these activities, and she probably has many of her own ideas as well. Have you tried some of these or others? Let us know! We would love to share some of the fun and exciting things you’ve done.