Come on summer! That’s a common theme around our house!
Boom… then summer comes and it can feel like the kids are either bored, they are fighting or I’m behind on my work projects! I struggle between saying, “find something to do” to “let’s do something.” Below are a few ideas I really like. This process allowed me to put what’s in my head onto paper and the kids can easily know what options we have for the summer in addition to baseball, sports conditioning, walks, trips, hikes, biking and everyday life!
12 ideas for you and your kids this summer! You can all have fun together and also give your kids some independence to ensure that none of you lose your mind during summer break!
1. Beautiful Boredom
Experts say boredom is essential for learning creativity! Let your kids be bored. We are all so scheduled today. We could all use time when we have nothing that must be done and without deadlines. When I have this chance my brain is much more engaged and creative. I see the same thing in my own kids.
2. Visit the Library
I serve on the Laramie County Library Foundation Board, so this one is near and dear to my heart! Some of my fondest memories are at the Library as a child and then later with my own children. For me the Library makes me feel relaxed and peaceful. Take your kids to sign up for the Summer Reading Program that started Memorial Weekend. Your kids set reading goals and are rewarded with fun prizes for meeting those goals.
3. Check out the Parks & Recreation Department
Our Parks and Recreation Department offers activities all year round. Some activities that our family enjoys are swimming, the Greenway and miniature golf at the Ice and Events Center. Depending on your children’s ages you have many options and some where you can even drop them off, like swimming at the Municipal Pool.
Get yourself and your kids out of the house with gardening. Even small kids can help plant flowers or seeds. Bigger kids can help you plan the garden, do the shopping and dig the holes. Have them help with daily watering, weeding, dead heading and harvesting. These gardening skills will be beneficial throughout their lives.
5. Create an Activity List
Make a list of things to do around the house, write them down on a list at the beginning of the summer and then when there is free time visit the list to make a decision on which one you’ll do that day. I’ve heard of other families writing down possible activities on Popsicle sticks, and putting them in a jar. Then, they let the kids choose one activity and do it. Ideas include things like making cookies, making homemade ice cream, building a bicycle ramp in the back yard, building a fort in the living room or outside or cleaning out an area in the house together. Come up with some ideas using materials you have on hand, so kids can be unsupervised.
Visit a park each week! Pack a picnic and plan to invest a few hours of just watching your kids play, playing with them and enjoying nature. Maybe even leave your phone in the car, but then you won’t have a camera to capture a few moments. Tough choice! You decide.
7. Create a Summer Memory Board
I love this idea and maybe we’ll do it this summer! Everyone loves pictures. Take your memory items and photos and place them on one board for the summer. Cork board or poster board, markers, tape or stick pins and you’ll be ready to go. Encourage your kids to journal about an experience and then add it to the board. What a treasure you’ll have at the end of the summer!
8. Google is Your Friend for FREE Activities
You’ll find great information if you search for free activities, especially for families with kids. Many local churches host Vacation Bible Schools (VBS) too.
Are your kids creative? Are you? I’m not, but I’ve always had oodles of craft supplies around our house. Encourage them to search online for easy craft ideas. I’m always hindered by “the mess,” but someday I’m sure I’ll look back and think that was silly. Allow enough time to really get creative juices flowing. If you don’t have any supplies start collecting used printer paper, crayons, toilet paper rolls, and nature items. Keep these, along with basic supplies like craft paper, scissors, and glue on hand. Let kids go to town on their own, or use Pinterest for ideas they can create.
10. Money Matters
Take time to teach your kids money matters like; how to earn, save, and invest money. Share ideas with them on how to earn some money with yard work, babysitting or extra chores. Kids could plan a garage sale, they’ll start with sorting through clothes and toys they no longer need. Older kids can mow lawns or pull weeds for the neighbors, get a summer job or babysit. Help them open a savings account, plan a budget and spend wisely. I have lead several Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University courses and I promise you these values will help them be better adults. Here are some tips from Dave Ramsey on teaching your kids about money.
11. Indoor Games
Occasionally you have to come in out of the rain or get out of the sun. Get your board games out or pick a couple up at garage sales or goodwill. For me nothing beats a good game of cards. You’ll have fun with your kids and teach them quick math facts and strategy too!
12. Chore Chart
Spring is very busy for our family with track traveling and events, RE/MAX R4 Convention, Spring Break and real estate in general. I find myself behind on projects and always plan to tackle them in the summer. This summer we decided to make a list of the house projects we want to accomplish, so we wouldn’t forget anything. The list includes, going through the kid’s winter clothes and everyone’s shoes, reorganizing the pantry, organizing the kid’s school papers and other similar projects. Plus the chart keeps everyone focused on the daily musts teaching them responsibility and consistency. We include daily chores like making beds, feeding the dog, brushing teeth, clearing the table, setting the table, emptying the dishwasher, etc. Step up your chart by adding paid chores or projects. Make a list or chart of chores kids can get paid for and the value. When a chore is checked off the list to your satisfaction, they get paid. This activity should help ease the frustration of, “I didn’t tell me to do that!”
Enjoy your summer! Take time to slow down with your kids and to see the things around Cheyenne and in your own neighborhood. As always at RE/MAX Capitol Properties we are here for your real estate needs. Have a question or ready to start looking to buy a home or sell your home, call us at 307-635-0303 or visit CheyenneHomeStore.com to get started!