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Discussion Starter #1
How do you keep your kids entertained over the summer?

As a sahm I sometimes find it hard to keep these little darlings entertained all the time,esp when dh gets home real late.Here are some things I do,feel free to add cause I need more ideas

trips to the library for story time
play at the park
make kool-aid play-doh
water fights in the back yard
nature hunts
play softball
board games when it rains

I would like to start getting out of the house more and doing fun things,we have a zoo in atlanta but I wouldn't ever go there by myself(not a safe area)there is a miniature golf place that dd loves that occasionaly i will take her,also about every 3 mo or so we go to chucky cheese'sBut other than that we are home bodies.
Need great creative ways to keep these kids entertained
 

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LOL...I was just discussing this with my mother....it seems that the boys and I just PLAY all summer...and yet ....it wears me out!!
My mother reminded me that when SHE was a little girl (and one of 10 children...) they were sent outside and left to their own devices every morning after breakfast...and not allowed back in the house unless someone was bleeding until suppertime!!

me and the boys.....
go to the pool.....
go to the local natural history museum....
go to the park for picnic lunches and playground time...
library for story time.....
the tent is always good to set up in the backyard and let them play in....keeps em occupied for a day or two

and especially for the little'uns...I keep gallons and gallons of bubble mix and a bunch of individual no-spill bubble cups ...we take those things EVERYWHERE!!!!!!
 

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This will be a little more challenging this year with the baby. I usually take older DD's to the library alot. They could spend hours there! Our library has comfy chairs and couches to lounge in and read.

They like to go roller skating, so I try to take them once or twice. DD2 usually gets a free pass from her school, and they take their own rollerblades. I feel okay with dropping them off and picking them up later. The place we go is very strict and they stay together.

My mom's church has its own pool, so that's free, but it's 20 minutes away. We can stay there all day if we want. It's usually not very crowded. Some days we have it all to ourselves.

I go with my SIL to a mall. She has a DD6 and DS3, so we meet with all of our coupons at a local mall and just hang out. We have lunch with our coupons and do some clearance shopping. We try to do a different mall every couple of weeks. The kids just love it!

Philadelphia is just 15 minutes away and full of museums. I would like to try to go to a couple of them this summer. I can use my AAA card to get a discount. My mom usually helps me with the cost by paying half. The Franklin Institute, the Phila Zoo, etc. DD2 said she would like to go to the Art Museum. I know they have free admission on Sundays, so this is something we could do. DH has no interest in this stuff, so we go without him.

AC Moore has kids make and take crafts on Tuesdays and Thursdays and it's free. Amanda, your DD is old enough for this and she would probably love it. My kids do and they are older.

Of course, my older DD's are beginning to have a social life, so they will probably spend some time with their friends over the summer.

This is a great thread. Any other ideas would be great!
 

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Well with a 24 month old it is hard to keep her entertained!!

Well with a 24 month old it is hard to keep her entertained!!
We blow bubbles!!
We read stories!!
We watch movies!!
We take walks !!
We pick flowers!!
We play with Puzzles!!
We play pretend!!
We draw !!
We color!!
We Sing!!
That is pretty much it for us!!
 

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A friend of mine who is a teacher continues the theme weeks that she does at school all year during the summer with her kids. The week before a trip to the shore they spend the week reading stories and watching videos about the beach, shells, lighthouses etc One week is bug week, catching fireflies, checking bug books out of the library, bug themed crafts. One week is fruit and veggie week-they plant a tomatoe and other plants, try new exotic fruits, again a craft to go along with. Another week is farm week-they research farm animals then visit a local farm. She has been really succesful with this.
 

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Jerseygirl that is a great idea.My sister works in a daycare and they do something similar.I think I am going to try this.
 

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rainy day activities for kids?

Name some rainy day activities to do with the children.
We're almost at a good age/stage to do baking now. :D

Sara
 

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Here are a couple of ideas:

Bake cupcakes or cookies
Have an indoor treasure hunt
Play "tent" with a sheet and some chairs
Make sock puppets and put on a show
Play board games like CandyLand or Chutes & Ladders
 

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Our granddaughters love to have tea parties when it rains. We use a real teapot from my collection and we try different herbal teas. I buy fancy cups, when I see them at the thrift shop or at yard sales. No problems if someone drops a cup!:coffee:
 

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We like to dig for treasure. I hide small objects (a pretty stone, costume jewelry, tiny toys) in a pile of homemade playdough and let the kids play archeologist with forks and spoons and dig them out.

We also like shaving cream baths. I strip the kids and put them in the dry tub with lots of shaving cream to play in. (Careful though it can get slippery) When they are done I just run water and wash them off. Of course then they smell like daddy from the shaving cream fragrance. They really love doing this.

This isn't a rainy day activity, but when it is too cold to play outside during winter I put a bucketful of snow in the kitchen sink and let them stand on a chair and play in it with their toys.

What a great thread! You can never have too many rainy day ideas. :smball:
 

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i really like the shaving cream idea. i used to work at a daycare a long time ago and the kids always loved playing in shaving cream. i think i'm gonna try it with our kids in the tub too. (and shaving cream is pretty inexpensive) just think they can write or draw pictures on the shower walls! how fun!!:D
 

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7 Family Cooking Activities

Have fun teaming up in the kitchen with your kids!


Spending time in the kitchen with your children can be creative and delicious! Cooking with parents allows children to learn valuable culinary skills that will last them a lifetime, develop good nutritional habits, channel their creative energies, improve coordination and dexterity through chopping and stirring, and gain a well-earned sense of pride (just watch them beam when they say, "I made it myself!").

Bear in mind that dinner will take longer to prepare with your kids' help. Indeed, the first few cooking sessions together, especially with young children, may involve more effort (and more mess!), so you'll need to add an extra dash of patience and a splash of humor to your cooking experience. Here are some activities to try with your kids as you set off on your great culinary adventure:

1. Post a pyramid. Post a copy of the Food Guide Pyramid on your refrigerator, and invite kids to help plan family meals that include the recommended servings from each of the food groups. This way they'll learn how to make sound nutritional choices and eat a balanced diet.

2. Encourage kids to participate. Every recipe has some type of valuable task a child can do, even if it's simply rinsing lettuce or cracking an egg. Let children do real work like scraping carrots, measuring ingredients, or whatever jobs they can perform safely at their age. Giving children a task shows them that food preparation is important. In addition, those who may be reluctant to eat vegetables or other foods might be less squeamish if they've had a hand in preparing them.

3. Have a cultural food night. Together with your kids, plan and make a meal from another country, such as Mexico, Italy, or Japan. Bring out a globe or look at a picture of the country and its people, and discuss how the geography and climate determine the types of food people eat and the ingredients they use.

4. Talk and read! Toddlers can learn simply by watching and listening. Give them measuring spoons or some plastic utensils to play with while you talk to them about what you're doing. Ask school-age kids to read a simple recipe out loud. This way, everyone knows what the recipe requires, and kids can practice their reading skills. After your child reads through the recipe, decide which tasks each child (and adult) will perform.

5. Divide or double recipes. When you cut a recipe in half or double it, you use essential math skills, such as division and multiplication. Pick simple recipes that are easy to halve or double, like soups and sauces. (Avoid baked goods like cookies and cakes, since they often don't turn out well when ingredients are altered.)

6. Shop with kids. Instead of simply dragging children along to the market, involve them in the shopping process. Ask children to weigh produce, so they can learn about weights and measures. Let kids practice math skills by counting out the money at the register. When kids help pick out foods to cook, they tend to eat them more readily. Let them choose a new healthy food to try each week, such as a fruit, vegetable, cheese, or bread (not a new cookie or candy!).

7. Be inventive. Think of creative ways to use your kitchen as a classroom. For instance, play the spice cabinet ABCs (A is for allspice, B is for basil, C is for curry, etc.). Explain how to set the table using a clock drawn on a paper plate (glasses go at the 2:00 position, forks are placed at 9:00, and so on). In one family I know, parents pick the main course and offer their kids a menu of side dishes (usually leftovers). The kids order from the menu and pay for the meal with play money. Not only do the kids think this is oodles of fun, but they also eagerly eat their meal while their parents find a welcome audience for leftovers!
 
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Great ideas!
 

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Thanks for the ideas...... Cooking with the kids is fun.......
 

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I love cooking and baking with my kids. Thanks for the ideas :)
 

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101 ways to keep kids busy over the summer

http://www.theantidrug.com/news/news_101ways.html

101 Ways To Keep Kids Busy This Summer

Sports/Games/Activities

Encourage them to play on a baseball or softball team
Make one day a week "Adventure Day" and explore someplace you haven't been
Have them join a soccer team
Register them for a scuba class
Arrange for a game of "Capture the Flag"
Organize a water balloon fight
Enroll them in a street hockey league Coordinate a scavenger hunt
Take them to the driving range to hit golf balls and improve their swing
Install a basketball hoop in your driveway, and then play with them
Participate in nature walks together
Have them join the swim team
Urge them to take lifeguard training
Take them horseback riding
Hold a monthly swimming and pizza day
Visit state parks and take guided hikes
Get season passes to the local minor league baseball team
Take them camping, even if it is only in the backyard
Establish an annual family mini-golf tournament
Get a season pass to a nearby amusement park
Help them build a soap-box car and then hold a derby
Sign them up to be officials in kiddie sports leagues
Organize a neighborhood Olympics
Play flashlight tag on a warm night
Build a skateboard park for kids
Teach your kids to fish
Take them bowling
Schedule family game night
Send them to cheerleading camp
Help them set up an obstacle course
Take them canoeing down a nearby river


Volunteerism

Enroll them in Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts
Clean up the neighborhood
Urge them to help an older neighbor by taking out trash, grocery shopping, etc.
Urge them to set-up or reorganize the library at your local place of worship
Volunteer with them at a soup kitchen
Encourage them to volunteer at a hospital
Encourage them to read to patients at a local nursing home
Help them to set up a recycling program in your neighborhood
Help them coordinate a "School Clean-Up"
Sign up the family to build houses with Habitat for Humanity
Have them care for animals at the local SPCA
Encourage them to write a letter to their Member of Congress
Paint old school buildings together
Organize a toy drive for your local children's hospital


Entrepreneurship

Have them volunteer their babysitting services to friends and relatives
Encourage them to become the neighborhood dog walker
Employ them around the house - give them fix-it or clean up projects
Help them start a neighborhood newspaper reporting on the latest!
Give them weekly errands like shopping or getting the mail Encourage them to hold a "fun fair" for younger kids
Give them a list of daily chores
Hold a multi-family garage sale
If possible, bring them to your office a few days a week to help out
Help them start a pet sitting service while people are on vacation
Have them research a major family purchase
Help them start a business teaching older people how to use the computer


Education/Classes

Teach them astronomy and star gaze together
Give them space for a garden and teach them how to grow flowers
Send them to church sponsored activities
Help them start a global email club
Enroll them in fun classes (lego-building, etc.) at the local university
Urge them to conduct a family history search on the Internet or at the library
Enroll them in a CPR training class
Start a book club with your kids
Take them to zoos and museums
Take a cooking class together
Tell them to do a land survey of the 10-square blocks around your house
Give them the camcorder, and let them make their own home movie
Conduct science experiments
Help them create their own web site
Encourage them to "play" the stock market and monitor their investments Help them start a collection (shells, coins, stamps, etc.)
Inspire them to design their dream house
Help them find a pen pal
Learn a foreign language together
Try a new food dish every week
Help them produce a neighborhood play
Help them start a band and let them practice in your garage


Crafts

Start a neighborhood art group
Encourage them to paint a mural
Teach them to do bark rubbings
Build, and maintain, a birdfeeder
Give them the supplies to create their own personalized stationery
Have them take pictures of their favorite summer moments and make a scrap book
Teach them to knit
Set up a craft room for tye-dying tee shirts
Show them how to create their own postcards
Encourage them to write a song, and then let them record it
Build a treehouse together
Have them decorate pots and planting seedlings as gifts for the elderly


Other Ideas

Send them to their grandparents for a change of scenery
Take them strawberry picking at a local farm and then feast on the fruit
Make homemade ice cream together
Organize a pet show
Coordinate a weekly Family Film Festival
Organize a neighborhood block party
Create, and tend to, an ant farm together
Create an "award" for summer achievements
Arrange a behind the scenes tour of a fire station/pizza parlor/donut shop
Organize a chili cook-off party
 
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here are 200 ;)
Since we don't use the phrase "I'm bored!" in our home, we don't hear our kids complaining about being bored during those long days at home during the summer months. But ... I have to admit that we're still an incredibly normal family. Even without the "b-word" in their vocabulary, there are still those times when my three children (ages 14, 10 and 6) 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 everything they could do completely on their own without parental help. After they brain-stormed about it for over an hour (which was a good anti-boredom activity itself!), the kids had a list of about fifty activities. Surprisingly, they even included a few household chores like dusting and weeding. I asked for input from some other moms, and now my children have a list of over two hundred ideas to beat summertime boredom. And the list just seems to keep growing!

Thanks to the suggestion of one mom, we've put each item on this list onto individual pieces of paper, placed the papers into a container, and when the children need inspiration for an activity, they choose 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 (or anytime!) ACTIVITIES
In no particular order, here's our current (but continually growing!) list of activities:

1) ride bikes
2) roller skate
3) play basketball / shoot baskets
4) play board games
5) make a tent out of blankets
6) squirt with hoses
7) run through the sprinkler
8) jump rope
9) read books
10) blow bubbles
11) make homemade play dough
12) play with play dough
13) press flowers
14) do crafts with pressed flowers
15) write a letter to a relative, friend or pen pal
16) clean bedroom
17) vacuum livingroom
18) clean bathroom
19) make a craft
20) draw
21) color
22) paint
23) pull weeds
24) watch a movie
25) write stories
26) use binoculars
27) use magnifying glass
28) use microscope
29) bird watching
30) write a play
31) act out a play
32) invent circus acts
33) perform a circus
34) play card games
35) make art on the front walkway with sidewalk chalk
36) play catch
37) play baseball
38) collect rocks
39) collect leaves
40) collect feathers
41) play Frisbee
42) make Frisbee's out of old plastic lids; decorate with markers
43) dust the house
44) brush the pet
45) write "thank you" cards
46) read a magazine
47) play dress-up
48) play Cowboys
49) pick vegetables
50) play outside with the pet
51) build a fort in your rooms
52) build a fort in the backyard
53) do a jigsaw puzzle
54) play on the Geosafari
55) play on the computer
56) listen to a story or book on tape
57) do extra schoolwork to get ahead
58) do brain teasers (ie: crosswords, word searches, hidden pictures, mazes, etc.)
59) cook
60) prepare lunch
61) surprise a neighbor with a good deed
62) play store
63) prepare a "restaurant" lunch with menus
64) hold a tea party
65) have a Teddy bear picnic
66) play with toy cars
67) play dolls
68) play house
69) chase butterflies
70) collect caterpillars and bugs
71) plant a garden patch or a pot of flowers
72) collect seeds
73) hunt for four-leaf clovers
74) learn magic tricks
75) put on a magic show
76) plant a container garden
77) sprout seeds or beans
78) make sock puppets
79) put on a puppet show
80) make Christmas presents
81) make homemade wrapping paper
82) make homemade gift cards
83) make picture frames from twigs glued onto sturdy cardboard
84) crochet or knit
85) make doll clothes
86) sew buttons in designs onto old shirts
87) run relay races
88) make bookmarks
89) take a quiet rest time
90) take a shower or bath
91) bathe a pet
92) feed the birds or squirrels
93) watch the clouds
94) organize a dresser drawer
95) clean under the bed
96) empty the dishwasher
97) vacuum under the couch cushions; keep any change found
98) write these ideas onto pieces of paper; pick out one or two to do
99) whittle
100) whittle bars of soap
101) practice musical instruments
102) perform a family concert
103) teach yourself to play a musical instrument (recorder, harmonica, guitar)
104) fold laundry
105) sweep kitchen or bathroom floors
106) sweep front walkway
107) sweep or spray back patio
108) sweep or spray driveway
109) wash car
110) vacuum car
111) vacuum or dust window blinds
112) clean bathroom mirrors
113) clean sliding glass doors
114) clean inside of car windows
115) wash bicycles
116) clean garage
117) play in the sandbox
118) build a sandcastle
119) work with clay
120) copy your favorite book illustration
121) design your own game
122) build with blocks or Legos
123) create a Design Box for craft supplies (copper wire, string, odds-and-ends of things destined for the garbage, pom-poms, thread, yarn, etc.)
124) plan a neighborhood or family Olympics
125) have a marble tournament
126) paint a picture with lemon juice on white paper and hang it in a sunny window and see what happens in a few days
127) finger paint with pudding
128) make dessert
129) make dinner
130) give your pet a party
131) paint the sidewalk with water
132) start a journal of summer fun
133) start a nature diary
134) have a read-a-thon with a friend or sibling
135) have a neighborhood bike wash
136) play flashlight tag
137) play Kick the Can
138) check out a science book and try some experiments
139) make up a story
140) arrange photo albums
141) find bugs and start a collection
142) do some stargazing
143) decorate bikes or wagons and have a neighborhood parade
144) catch butterflies and then let them go
145) play hide-and-seek
146) create a symphony with bottles and pans and rubber bands
147) listen to the birds sing
148) try to imitate bird calls
149) read a story to a younger child
150) find shapes in the clouds
151) string dry noodles or O-shaped cereals into a necklace
152) glue noodles into a design on paper
153) play hopscotch
154) play jacks
155) make up a song
156) make a teepee out of blankets
157) write in your journal
158) find an ant colony and spill some food and watch what happens
159) play charades
160) make up a story by drawing pictures
161) draw a cartoon strip
162) make a map of your bedroom, house or neighborhood
163) call a friend
164) cut pictures from old magazines and write a story
165) make a collage using pictures cut from old magazines
166) do a secret service for a neighbor
167) plan a treasure hunt
168) make a treasure map
169) make up a "Bored List" of things to do
170) plan a special activity for your family
171) search your house for items made in other countries and then learn about those countries from the encyclopedia or online
172) plan an imaginary trip to the moon
173) plan an imaginary trip around the world; decide where you would want to go
174) write a science-fiction story
175) find a new pen pal
176) make up a play using old clothes as costumes
177) make up a game for practicing math facts
178) have a Spelling Bee
179) make up a game for practicing spelling
180) surprise an elderly neighbor or relative by weeding his/her garden
181) fingerpaint with shaving cream
182) collect sticks and mud and build a bird's nest
183) write newspaper articles for a pretend newspaper
184) put together a family newsletter
185) write reviews of movies or plays or tv shows or concerts you see during the summer
186) bake a cake
187) bake a batch of cookies
188) decorate a shoe box to hold your summer treasures
189) make a hideout or clubhouse
190) make paper airplanes
191) have paper airplane races
192) learn origami
193) make an obstacle course in your backyard
194) make friendship bracelets for your friends
195) make a wind chime out of things headed for the garbage
196) paint your face
197) braid hair
198) play tag
199) make a sundial
200) make food sculptures (from pretzels, gumdrops, string licorice, raisins, cream cheese, peanuts, peanut butter, etc.) and then eat it
201) make a terrarium
202) start a club
203) take a nap outside on your lawn
204) produce a talent show
205) memorize a poem
206) recite a memorized poem for your family
207) read the newspaper
208) write a Letter to the Editor about an article or issue in the newspaper
 

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more activities for summer

Water-gun Target Shooting
Stand plastic bottles up on a wall, fence, box, or table, with ping pong balls or empty film vials set on top of each one. From behind a firing line 3 - 4 paces back, shoot water at targets.

Scoop Ball
Make ball scoops by cutting two or more 1 litre (or 1 quart) plastic milk jugs in half horizontally. Toss a small ball back and forth to a partner, using only the scoop to catch and throw the ball.



Torn Tissue Design

You'll Need:
Tissue paper
White glue
Paintbrush
White poster board
Acrylic polymer (optional)
Synthetic paintbrush (optional)

Have your child tear various colors of tissue paper into large pieces. Brush white glue thinned with water onto the back of each piece and arrange them on a piece of poster board. Show your child how to create new colors by overlapping two pieces of different tissue paper; yellow over red makes orange, light blue over pink makes purple, and so on. To give a nice sheen to the finished product, coat it with an acrylic polymer using a synthetic paintbrush or contac paper it.
 

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summer is almost here

I was looking to make a list of some fun family activities for summer. :)

We go to the beach and the nature center a lot. Parks we go to all the time. I'm hoping to head to visit a lighthouse again this year too.

What types of things do you during the summer with your family?
 
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