May 7, 2010
200+ Ideas For Summertime -- Or Anytime -- Fun!
Icon200+ Ideas For Summertime -- Or Anytime -- Fun! Copyright Deborah Taylor-Hough Used with permission. All rights reserved. Since we don't use the phrase "I'm bored!" in our home,we never hear our kids complaining about being boredduring those long days at home during the summermonths. But ... I have to admit that we're still anincredibly normal family. Even without the "b-word" in their vocabulary, there arestill those times when my three children (ages 16, 12and 8) just seem to be at a total loss for something constructive to do. On one of those "I-can't-think-of-anything-to-do" days,I had my children sit down and make a list of everythingthey could do completely on their own without parentalhelp. After they brainstormed about it for over an hour(which was a good anti-boredom activity itself), thekids had a list of about fifty activities. Surprisingly,they even included a few household chores like dustingand weeding! I decided to ask for input from some othermoms, and now my children have a list of over twohundred ideas to beat summertime boredom, and thelist just seems to keep growing. Thanks to the suggestion of one mom, we've put eachitem on this list onto individual pieces of paper, placedthe papers into a container, and when the children need inspiration for an activity, they draw two or three papers and then decide which idea they want to do, either as a group or individually. The mom who suggested pulling ideas out of a container told me she found this method more helpful than giving the kids a huge list of possibilities. By narrowing the choices down to just two or three, it was easier for the kids to pick out the one that sounded the best to them. 200+ IDEAS FOR SUMMERTIME ACTIVITIES In no particular order, here's our current (but continuallygrowing!) list of activities: ride bikes roller blade basketball play board games make a tent out of blankets squirt with hoses run through the sprinkler jump rope read books blow bubbles make homemade play dough play with play dough press flowers do crafts with pressed flowers write a letter to a relative, friend or pen pal clean bedroom vacuum livingroom clean bathroom make a craft draw color paint pull weeds watch a movie write stories use binoculars use magnifying glass use microscope bird watching write a play act out a play invent circus acts perform a circus play card games make art on the front walkway with sidewalk chalk play catch play baseball collect rocks collect leaves collect feathers play Frisbee make Frisbee's out of old plastic lids, decorate with markers dust the house brush the pet write letters read a magazine play dress-up play Cowboys pick vegetables play outside with the pet build a fort in your rooms build a fort in the backyard do a jigsaw puzzle play on the Geosafari play on the computer listen to a story or book on tape do extra schoolwork to get ahead do brain teasers (ie: crosswords, word searches,hidden pictures, mazes, etc.) cook prepare lunch surprise a neighbor with a good deed play store prepare a "restaurant" lunch with menus hold a tea party have a Teddy bear picnic play with toy cars play dolls play house chase butterflies collect caterpillars and bugs plant a garden or a pot collect seeds hunt for four-leaf clovers learn magic tricks put on a magic show plant a container garden sprout seeds or beans make sock puppets put on a puppet show make Christmas presents make homemade wrapping paper make homemade gift cards make picture frames from twigs glued onto sturdycardboard crochet or knit make doll clothes sew buttons in designs on old shirts run relay races make bookmarks take a quiet rest time take a shower or bath bathe a pet feed the birds or squirrels watch the clouds organize a dresser drawer clean under the bed empty dishwasher vacuum under the couch cushions and keep anychange found write these ideas on pieces of paper and pick outone or two to do whittle whittle bars of soap practice musical instruments perform a family concert teach yourself to play musical instrument (recorder, harmonica, guitar) fold laundry sweep kitchen or bathroom floors sweep front walkway sweep or spray back patio sweep or spray driveway wash car vacuum car vacuum or dust window blinds clean bathroom mirrors clean sliding glass doors clean inside of car windows wash bicycles clean garage play in the sandbox build a sandcastle work with clay copy your favorite book illustration design your own game build with blocks or Legos create a design box (copper wire, string, odds-and-ends of things destined for the garbage, pom-poms, thread, yarn, etc.) plan a neighborhood or family Olympics have a marble tournament paint a picture with lemon juice on white paper andhang it in a sunny window and see what happens in afew days finger paint with pudding make dessert make dinner give your pet a party paint the sidewalk with water start a journal of summer fun start a nature diary have a read-a-thon with a friend or sibling have a neighborhood bike wash play flashlight tag play Kick the Can check out a science book and try some experiments make up a story arrange photo albums find bugs and start a collection do some stargazing decorate bikes or wagons and have a neighborhoodparade catch butterflies and then let them go play hide-and-seek create a symphony with bottles and pans and rubberbands listen to the birds sing try to imitate bird calls read a story to a younger child find shapes in the clouds string dry noodles or O-shaped cereals into a necklace glue noodles into a design on paper play hopscotch play jacks make up a song make a teepee out of blankets write in your journal find an ant colony and spill some food and watchwhat happens play charades make up a story by drawing pictures draw a cartoon strip make a map of your bedroom, house or neighborhood call a friend cut pictures from old magazines and write a story make a collage using pictures cut from old magazines do a secret service for a neighbor plan a treasure hunt make a treasure map make up a "Bored List" of things to do plan a special activity for your family search your house for items made in other countriesand then learn about those countries from the encyclopediaor online plan an imaginary trip to the moon plan an imaginary trip around the world, where wouldyou want to go write a science-fiction story find a new pen pal make up a play using old clothes as costumes make up a game for practicing math facts have a Spelling Bee make up a game for practicing spelling surprise an elderly neighbor or relative by weeding his/her garden fingerpaint with shaving cream collect sticks and mud and build a bird's nest write newspaper articles for a pretend newspaper put together a family newsletter write reviews of movies or plays or tv shows orconcerts you see during the summer bake a cake bake a batch of cookies decorate a shoe box to hold your summer treasures make a hideout or clubhouse make paper airplanes have paper airplane races learn origami make an obstacle course in your backyard make friendship bracelets for your friends make a wind chime out of things headed for thegarbage paint your face braid hair play tag make a sundial make food sculptures (from pretzels, gumdrops,string licorice, raisins, cream cheese, peanuts, peanutbutter, etc.) and then eat it make a terrarium start a club take a nap outside on your lawn produce a talent show memorize a poem recite a memorized poem for your family Have a wonderful summer! (And for all you people inthe Southern Hemisphere, feel free to save this articlefor December reading!) ABOUT THE AUTHOR: --Deborah Taylor-Hough (wife and mother of three) is a free-lance writer, editor of the Simple Times ezine, author of the bestselling book " Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month " and the newly released "Frugal Living For Dummies(r)" (Wiley, 2003). Visit Debi online and subscribe to her free e-newsletter at: . Permission granted for use on

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