Summer Activities For Kids
Schools out for the summer...
Now the endless days of freedom from books, schedules and homework stretch out leading to the question of how to fill them with fun things to do!
The thrill of summer vacation passes quickly and weeks of endless days with no planned activities can drive even the most well behaved kids into fits of boredom.
Here are some great tips for places to go and things to do - along with additional ideas for summer fun for kids and teens - to fill those long summer days with happy times.
Camps & Day Camps: Summer
camps are a good way to fill the summer with activities that
can't be done at home. Camping out around a campfire, dorming with
other kids and other special camp experiences are a safe way to
separate from Mom & Dad for a week or more. Many churches offer
VBS where Bible study is combined with outdoor fun for a week during
the summer at very low cost. Adventure or skill building private
camps usually have higher fees, but more options for activities.
A camp specializing in a sport or academic field has been a springboard
to a career for many kids.
2. Summer School Programs: Many schools and colleges offer summer programs to enrich the regular school year's course work. Some of these programs require a child to be "gifted" but many accept regular students who have an interest in the subjects they offer. In college programs you can often find a combination of academic and sports activities during the summer. Check with your local school district and colleges in the area to see if there's a summer program available. There is usually some sort of fee involved, but many offer scholarships if there is financial hardship.
If you live close to an area with a museums, you may find that
there is a summer program for kids to learn about subjects they
display. Art museums
may offer opportunities for hands on art work while natural history
museums can lead kids to discover the world they live in and the
cultures of other people. Local historical museums and societies
may offer exploration of the history of your town or state through
summer programs. Museums do normally charge a fee that covers materials
and other costs.
Library: Your local public library may offer a summer program...and
most are not just about reading. Many libraries do offer summer
reading classes or story hours, but you'll also find guest speakers
of interest to many different age groups. If your town doesn't have
a library, check your closest mall for a bookstore. The large chain
stores and many small mom & pop book stores allow kids to spend
time reading and even organize activities to introduce them to the
wonderful world of books...
5. Zoo: Your local zoo can be a lifesaver during the dog days of summer. Besides providing hours of exploring and visiting exotic animals, most zoos are part of an umbrella "Zoological Society" that is involved with protecting endangered animals and conservation of the areas where they live. Many zoos offer classes and activities for kids to help them learn more about animals and the environment. The fees may include donations or membership fees to the zoo in addition to the cost of supplies, but the hours of fun with a purpose are well worth the cost.
Memories Diary: One of the biggest complaints from teachers
is that children tend to lose academic skills during the summer.
A great tool to keep reading and writing skills in good shape during
summer vacation is a diary. It's fun to put together and easy enough
for any age child to enjoy doing. The base can be a regular school
notebook or a scrapbook-photo
album. Start each day with an entry of the plans for the day's
events. When your adventurers return home, they can add pictures
and notes on the best parts of the day. The pictures can be crayon
drawings or prints from a digital camera or anything in between.
7. Pool Party Time: Whether you have a backyard pool or use a local pool for cooling off, you can have an informal pool party for a few kids with little fuss. Bar-b-cue or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a few bags of chips and thermos jugs with cool drinks provide quick party food and the pool provides the entertainment. Keep the guest list down to just a few kids to make supervising easy. If you need to invite more friends, have a series of get togethers to make everyone happy and still stay in control.
8. Take a Trip: If you have vacation time to spend with the family a planned trip is always fun. Check gas prices to make sure that your budget can stand a long car trip this summer. Don't forget that short day trips can be just as much fun as a long drive. Play tourist in your own area. Visit the sights that others enjoy when they come to your town. Check out local pick your own farms, petting zoos, parks and other area attractions. Get out of the kitchen with a visit to a new restaurant, call your local police department and see if they provide tours of the police station for local kids. Firehouses are also a hit with kids and the firefighters love the attention. Bring a plate of cookies as a thank you for their time.
Summer is a wonderful time to take on crafting
projects. If your little princess has been asking for a backyard
playhouse, building one together is a fantastic experience. You
don't have to be a professional. There are plenty of easy to follow,
inexpensive kits available. Do you have any crafting skills you'd
like to pass on to your kids? Learning to sew, knit or crochet is
fun for boys and girls...so is woodworking and pottery! Simple projects
are fun even for the youngest crafters. Hand painting tee shirts
can keep toddlers busy for hours. Be prepared for a mess. That's
half of the fun!
If you have a yard or some space on a sunny windowsill, you have
the perfect setting for a kids
garden. Take some watermelon seeds and watch them sprout and
grow. Whether you get watermelons or not is irrelevant...the fun
is in watching the vines spread out and grow. Older kids may want
vegetables, herbs or flowers
in a real garden plot. Check out info on container gardens if your
space is limited or you think weeding will be an issue for your