Nothing says summer quite like the smell of freshly cut grass, a charcoal grill and kids laughing in the distance. With the kids out of school and the long summer days ahead, it can be daunting to think about entertaining our kids for that long. Parenting isn’t always laughter and rainbows, and summertime only lends to extra tired kids and temper tantrums.
But summer is also the best time to make those childhood memories that will be forever talked about. And let’s face it, those memories aren’t going to make themselves! So, it is up to us as the parents to create the opportunities and see where the adventure takes us.
A Summer to Remember Tokens
Enter our ‘Summer to Remember’ tokens. As an added layer of fun, we created a grab bag of 25 different ideas (and 4 blanks for you to write in your own ideas) that come loaded in a linen storage bag. The idea is to have the kids grab out a token and let the adventure begin!
As a parent, I know that not every token will be met with the same enthusiasm as some others, so let’s not set too many rules with it. If they don’t like the idea, then put it aside and draw another one. It is all about creating fun memories and not fighting over the details. And don’t forget, you are in control of what’s in the bag. If there is an idea in there that isn't feasible, then remove that token from the bag.
I don’t know about your family, but as business owners we must be planners. Sometimes that ‘planning’ habit can get in the way of a spontaneous grab bag of ideas. If you find yourself with the same problem, it may be helpful to have the kids draw it the day or night before.
That helps build anticipation and excitement while giving you time to get the details figured out. Hey, you can use it as leverage to get the kids in bed at a reasonable time too! Again, no obvious rules and all fun is the goal here.
Below are some helpful ideas and links to tutorials that will guide you through some of the more complicated ideas.
Free printables and links:Giant homemade bubbles:
This is such a fun activity for the kids! Now you can obviously buy a kit and do it that way or you can turn it into a longer activity by making your own wands and bubble solution. Here is a great tutorial on how to make all of it! A good tip is to make the solution first, and then the wands so the ingredients have time to dissolve together.
Homemade slip and slide:
Slip and Slides are so much fun, especially when you can teach your kids to use what you have. You don’t have to go out and buy a commercially made one. Grab a tarp, grab some plastic sheeting, anything you can find to create a slippery and fun experience. Check out this 65’ long one!
Click Here for Step-by-Step Instructions
Now if you are into over doing it sometimes like I am, check out this incredible 100’ long DIY build!
Click Here to Watch a How-To Video
Nature Walk/Scavenger Hunt:
One of my favorite things to do is take the kids on a walk and learn about the environment around us. You can tailor this to the ages of your kids involved and don’t be afraid to get the neighborhood kids involved too. A fun way to do it is to have the kids group up into teams and give each team a digital camera (old smart phones work great for this). The idea is they must snap a photo of each of the items on the list and the first team back with all the photos wins a prize! Another great way is to try this Sensory Scavenger Hunt where it has you find different items based on the 5 senses! Super fun!
Click Here for a Sensory Based Scavenger Hunt
I love making pizza. If Carrie would let me, I would probably eat some form of pizza for every meal. It can be especially fun for the kids to make their own since they get to control every aspect. We have one daughter who hates red sauce and another who wants extra red sauce. You can imagine the disappointment when a pizza delivery shows up with neither extra red sauce nor without.
I have been working hard at getting the perfect pizza recipe and I haven’t found that ‘take-out’ taste just yet, but that’s not to say the pizza we make isn’t good. If you get your heart set on a specific local delivery pizza, well then, I would say order it. If you are open to finding your own flavor and letting everyone have some fun in the process, then try making your own. It’s pretty easy.
Click Here for The Pizza Crust Recipe
A quick google for kid friendly science experiment will get you endless experiment ideas! Sometimes its hard to find one where you have all of the ingredients to make it. We have found these two experiments are easy go-to’s where we usually always have the ingredients on hand.
Rain Cloud Experiment: Grab a tall clear glass and fill it about ¾ of the way full with water. Grab Dad’s shaving cream out of the bathroom and fill the rest of the glass with shaving cream. Not get out the food coloring and add a lot to the top of the shaving cream. It will work its way down through the shaving cream and look like rain falling through the water. If its not working, add more food coloring or try adding drops of water to the food coloring.
Click Here for the Rain Cloud Experiment
Baking Soda & Vinegar: There are so many fun ways to explore the reaction between these two ingredients. Check out this site that lists 7 great experiments to try including making rice dance!
Click Here for Baking Soda Activities
Homemade Ice cream:
Before you say, ‘I don’t have an ice cream maker’, I’m here to say you don’t need one! There are tons of machine-less recipes out there. So, grab your favorite ice cream toppings and mix ins and get to it! Here is an easy one that we like to use. The best part is that you know exactly what is in it. Don’t be afraid to let the kids mix in their own favorite flavors. My personal favorite is creamy peanut butter with M&M’s.
Click Here for Easy No-Churn Ice Cream Recipe