Summer is here! Has the anxiety kicked in yet? What am I going to do with these kids?
Well. Here’s a list of things I compiled.
While most of these things are meant for AZ, I know that other states have some of the things I’ve listed that you can do with your kids.
So here are 40 things I came up with:
1. GEOCAHING – If you’ve never done it, you’ve gotta try it. It’s tons of fun and you don’t need a GPS unit any more. Register for FREE on geocaching.com, download the app, then go on your hunt. Here’s some of our geocaching finds.
2. LEARN TO COOK – Plan a day a week to teach your child some basic cooking skills. At Kids Cooking Activities, it gives you tips on what and how to teach different age groups, including toddlers. There are even age appropriate recipes.
3. JOIN A SUMMER READING PROGRAM AT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY – They have all kinds of incentives and prizes for reading. See your local library.
4. HAVE A SUMMER MOVIE NIGHT – Plan a fun night of friends over for a movie, having popcorn and other treats. If possible, have it outside.
5. HIKING – Get up early and hit some favorite hiking spots. Or if you are adventurous, drive up North where it’s a little cooler for a hiking trip.
6. CHEAP SUMMER MOVIES – Check your local movie theater. In AZ, they have a cheap summer movie program. $5 for 10 movies. The movies are ones that have been released for a while, but it is fun to go with friends to the theater and watch again.
7. PUT TOGETHER A MODEL – Your local craft store sells models of all sorts of things that kids can put together. Some them are only $5.
8. START A QUARTER COLLECTION – Ever since they’ve made the different state quarters, I’ve always wanted to see how many I can collect. One summer, for my son’s Cub Scout collection belt loop that’s what we did. Read here on how we did it.
9. BUILD A BIRD FEEDER – See how many birds come to your back yard. Here are some easy bird feeders to build.
10. PLANT A GARDEN: HERB, FLOWER OR VEGETABLE – You can learn here how to use any container to plant seeds and watch them grow.
11. VISIT THE ZOO – It’s always a crowd pleaser.
12. VISIT A CHILDREN’S MUSEUM – The Children’s Museum for Kids is full of never-ending activities. My recommendation is that you pack a lunch, because you can literally spend all day here.
13. VISIT A SCIENCE CENTER – The AZ Science Center is full of exhibits and activities for kids to learn from.
14. TOUR A FACTORY – If you gather a big group of friends, some companies offer tours of their factory where you learn how they make things. In AZ, Cerreta’s Candy Company offers group tours to groups of 30.
15. VISIT A FARM – There are some local farms that offer tours and even let you pick your own produce. A big one in the valley is Schnepf Farms.
16. MAKE A SUMMER SMASHBOOK OF ALL YOUR ADVENTURES – Here’s a great video on how to put one together.
17. COOK OUTDOORS – Sit down and plan a BBQ menu and let your kids help out in preparation and cooking.
18. HAVE A BOARD GAME MARATHON – Invite over your friends and have a marathon of games.
19. PUT ON A BIKE RODEO – Invite other kids over and test their bike riding skills. If you are still not sure what a bike rodeo even is, here’s a site that explains it.
20. MAKE A TERRARIUM - After you’re done eating those animal crackers, save that Costco-sized container to make a terrarium. What is a terrarium? They are little ecosystems that your kids can make. Here’s how to make kid-friendly terrariums.
21. GO PLAY AT A SPLASHPAD – AZ has many different locations for splashpads that are open to the public.
22. LEARN HOW TO KNIT OR CROCHET – Remember learning how to knit from grandma, or crochet from Aunt May. If it’s been a while, you may have to visit your local Walmart and reinvest in some knitting needles or crochet hook and watch a few youtube videos to remind yourself how to even do it. Teach your kids how to do this skill. Once they get the hang of it, have them start on a simple project. Martha Stewart has a video on how to teach kids to knit.
23. THROW A CUPCAKE DECORATING PARTY – Make a couple dozen cupcakes, invite friends over assigning them a decorating item to bring: frosting, candy, sprinkles. Have different frosting tips and let the kids go to town decorating their cupcakes.
24. BAKE A TREAT AND TAKE IT OVER TO A NEIGHBOR.
25. PLAN A WATER DAY – Invite friends over and play all sorts of water games. Here’s a few ideas of what you can play.
26. HAVE A CAMP OUT – Set up a tent in the backyard and have a camp out.
27. GO ON A PHOTOGRAPHY SCAVANGER HUNT – Have the kids print out their pictures and make a poster showing the things they found.
28. MAKE A COLLAGE – Give the kids a topic and have them find pictures in magazines and make a collage out of them.
29. COLLECT LEAVES AND MAKE SOLAR PRINTS – With summer in AZ, this shouldn’t be hard to do. You can learn how to make them here.
30. LEARN ABOUT DIFFERENT ARTISTS- Each week, teach your kids about different artists and have them work on an art piece using that artist’s technique. Here are some links to different lessons on different famous artists.
31. START A BLOG – blogspot.com let’s you set up a blog for free and you can even customize it to be private and only allow who you want to view it. Your kids will have fun uploading photos and recording what they did that day.
32. MAKE A CRAFT USING DUCT TAPE – this is a popular and easy craft, because usually you only need the duct tape and scissors. Also, there are all kinds of designs that duct tape makes, making it more fun when it comes to craft projects. Here are 45 projects you can work on.
33. TEACH YOUR KIDS HOW TO DO BASIC SEWING – Skip To My Lou Blog has a great series on teaching kids how to sew.
34. LEARN HOW TO DO ORIGAMI – A fun inexpensive project for kids to learn and do. Here are a list of origami activities.
35. VISIT LOCAL HISTORIC SITES – In Hawaii, I did this a lot, visiting old palaces and war memorial sites. AZ has a lot of Native American sites, especially up North in Flagstaff.
36. MARSHMALLOW SHOOTERS – Tons of fun, but I do recommend kids be supervised and these shooters be used by kids over 8. Here are some instructions on how to put them together.
37. DO A MUSIC VIDEO CHALLENGE – This is one our family is going to do. We got this idea from a family friend that is in the middle of doing this with their family. We are going to make our own version of the Harlem Shake and post it on our family’s FB page. The challenge is for our relatives in Hawaii to come up with their own video of the same thing. Have you ever seen the Harlem Shake? Here’s one of my favorite versions. There are Harlem Shake apps that you can download to make the video. But the music video challenge can be a dance routine to any song you pick. Have fun with it!
38. HAVE A PIZZA MAKING PARTY – you make the dough, and invite others, assigning them to bring a pizza topping. Divide the dough into mini pizza sizes and let the kids make their own pizzas.
39. MAKE FITNESS GOALS – sit down with your kids and make a fitness goal. It can be walking, running, biking, you choose and decide how many days or miles you will accomplish to complete the goal. Have the kids make a poster to record the progress throughout the summer. Here’s a great example of that.
40. HAVE A BAKE SALE – This one’s a lot of work, but fun, especially is you have a “cause” in mind. One year, my kids and I baked up things to donate for the Tsunami relief in Japan. There are many good things your kids can raise money for and it will make them feel good that they are doing something good.
There’s your list.
Have a great summer!!!
The Busy Coconut