Monday, June 27, 2011

102 Fun (and Low Cost) Summer Activities Week 4

Yay!  It is week four and time for more fun summer activities!  I hope you enjoy them and that they inspire fun and creativity for you and your kids this summer.  If you missed last week's ideas look for the link at the top of my blog that says "102 Summer Activities" or Click Here!  I will add each week to the existing ideas and compile a complete list that you can print and save :)  Enjoy!
41.  Shadow tracing.  This can be done indoors or outdoors, but in the summer it is more fun to get outside.  Wait for a sunny day and have the kids stand outside on the pavement and trace their shadows with sidewalk.  If you prefer to do this inside make sure you have some big pieces of paper.  Have them stand in funny positions to make this extra fun.  Once you trace their bodies the kids can then use the chalk to decorate and color in their bodies.  Take pictures with the digital camera and hang on the fridge so they are not too disappointed when the rain washes their bodies away!

42.  Build a marshmallow structure.  This is a rainy day favorite here in our house.  All you need are marshmallows (we prefer miniature), toothpicks, and a dash of creativity.  You could also use spaghetti noodles if you are worried about the kids using toothpicks. Set the kids free and let them build a structure.  Big or small, simple or complex marshmallow structures are a blast to build (and eat when you are done)!

43.  Learn about a foreign country and host a theme day.  It can be any country that your child chooses.  Spend the day learning about your country’s culture and customs, key phrases in your country’s language, watch a movie that takes place in your country, read a story that takes place in your country, and plan dinner based on that country’s cuisine.  For example if your child chooses France, you could spend the day learning French, researching facts about France on the internet, reading a couple of the Madeline Books, watching Ratatouille, and then eating quiche for dinner.  If you have a couple of kids and they are all interested in different countries consider hosting a “World Expo.”  Let each child set up a little booth with food, language, pictures, etc. specific to their country and family can take turns visiting each country.

44. Straw painting is a fun and easy way to paint that kids will just love.  I prefer to do this outside as it could get a little messy with younger kids, but if you have older kids who are more careful I am sure you could pull it off inside.  Grab a piece of paper and drip a couple of colors of watercolor paint on the paper in different spots.  Next give the kids a straw and let them go to town blowing on the paint to create different designs.

45.  Catch lightening bugs.  This is a fun and completely free activity with no explanation needed.  Although, feel free to click the link below to learn tons of information about lightening bugs before you go on the hunt.

46.  Have a spa day.  This works really well if you have girls…sorry, if you have boys you may want to skip ahead.  Plan a day to pamper yourselves.  Set up different stations that include nail/toe painting, facemasks, hairstyling, and maybe a relaxing bath.  Make it authentic by playing relaxing music and getting in your robes and cute flip flops, you can also plan a healthy spa-like lunch.  Click the link below to find some cheap and easy DIY spa recipes.

47.  So you had a spa day to pamper yourself and the kids…now what about your pets?  I bet your dog, cat, guinea pig, or lizard would love a day of pampering as well.  Of course, how much you can do will obviously be limited by your type of pet.  But for example, your dog would probably love a bath with some scented shampoo (I like to use kids shampoo because it is gentle but still has great scents).  Follow up the bath by some brushing and styling of the fur along with a scented spray.  If your pet is agreeable, toenails could be painted and bows or other fancy adornments could be added to their collars, fur, etc.  If you do not have any pets or your pet would never stand for this type of posh treatment, I bet your kids would like to set up a day spa for their stuffed pets.  This may require a little imagination, but they will have a blast!

48.  Make a scavenger hunt.  Kids love to hunt…especially if there is a prize at the end.  It does not even have to be an expensive prize just as long as it is something fun.  Check out the dollar store from some cheap prizes such as water guns, jump ropes, or other outdoor toys.  You can click the link below for ideas on creating an outdoor scavenger hunt.  It would be even more fun to invite some of the neighborhood kids to join in on the hunt.

49.  Have a DIY greeting card session.  Make a list of your relative’s birthdays and spend the day making personalized homemade cards for each person.  Store them all together in envelopes by date and pull them out as needed.  Family and friends will love getting homemade cards from your kids!

50.  Publish a family or neighborhood newspaper.  Kids will love to hunt for news, interview friends and family, and write up stories.  If they are computer savvy they can use the Microsoft Publisher program to print up a newsletter, but writing it out on paper and making copies will work just as well.  If they write a family newspaper they can mail it to faraway family members to keep them updated on family news or if they are writing a neighborhood paper they can distribute it to your local neighbors.  Either way it is a fun project that can keep your kids busy for hours.

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