I am super excited to be featuring some guest posts on my blog while I am out of town for a few days. I am headed to my sisters about 6 hours away to enjoy some very needed sister time. It will be great all 4 of us sisters will be together. I am so thankful to Alexandra from Momsbagoftricks.com for being so willing to help me out. Be sure you check her blog out. It’s great!
Hey Guys! I’m Alexandra from Momsbagoftricks.com. I am a Special Educator specializing in Early Childhood. I love working with kids and their families to help better their education! I love blogging and helping provide tips, tricks information and ideas for parents and educators of children with and without disabilities! I live in Utah and am happily married with a 20 month old little boy and one Fur Baby (Who thinks he is the first born child).
I am so excited to be here today talking about Tips and Tricks to keep your kids entertained this summer! It can be SO tough to think of new ideas every day for your kids! Especially ideas that do not involve a screen of some sort! It can be pretty easy to revert back to letting your kids watch movies, play video games etc… BUT they can get so much more out of their summer with limited screen time! Here are some tips to keep them occupied while not using a screen!
Create a Summer Schedule. Creating a summer schedule does not mean you have to have something planned every second of every day! (We will talk a little more about this in a minute). But, it is extremely helpful to have some ideas planned out before hand. When you don’t have any pre planned ideas you may just pop in a movie or turn on the TV to burn up some time. Having some scheduled activities during the week can prevent this from happening. It can be a weekly schedule, a monthly, or a whole summer schedule. (I suggest for flexibility to go with the weekly schedule.)
Throw in a surprise event every once in a while. Draw out of a hat, have your child pick something off the list spontaneously etc… this will keep your schedule from getting monotonous and get your kids excited for times when they may get a surprise activity. This can also be a reward for finishing projects or chores around the house.
Create a summer Bucket List. Come up with a big list of things that you and your kids would like to do over the summer. This can include fun activities, projects, shows or art exhibits you want to attend, mini vacations, scavenger hunts etc…. Have your kids add their ideas to the list and add some of your own! Have the list out where the kids can see it. Have them help plan the weekly schedule when possible with items off the bucket list.
DON’T overfill your schedule. Should you have a schedule? Yes! But overfilling it will only exhaust you and your children. It will cause you and your kids to want to be lazy and not get things accomplished. (And probably want to just veg and watch TV all day.) Allow for some down time. Relaxation, read a book, a day in the yard, etc… Try not to drag your kids around to the point where they don’t want to participate in new and exciting activities.
Embrace your location. Find new places in your area that you may not have tried before. Art exhibits, library activities, splash pads local petting zoo etc… Explore what you have right there in “your own back yard!” This is a great time to find things you may have never known were available to you. Attend activities at the library (story time, read aloud, puppet shows etc…) Take a tour of your own city! You may learn things you never knew before. If your public transit system isn’t too pricey take a ride around the town on the transit! (We rode the bus around our small town. It is something our son talks about ALL the time!)
Do a movie night on the lawn. Now, are we trying to avoid screen time? Yes, but not all screen time is bad! Create a fun movie night on the lawn. Hang a sheet on the house or garage door. You can normally rent a projector from your local library or media center. Have fun treats, and comfy blankets etc…
Pick a good book or series to read aloud. Having downtime is very important for you and your kids during the summer! But, down time can also include a lot of screen time! Pick a series or certain books to read to your children. You can make this a daily activity. (Specified time of day for reading time). You can also create a summer book bucket list of books you want to introduce to your family. Check out these 100 best children’s book that you HAVE to have on your book shelf! Have your kids draw pictures or write down ideas while you are reading. Share the pictures and ideas afterward. It is so fun to see how your kids imagine the story!
Have some friendly competition. Hold Family Olympics. You can find all sorts of fun games and “minute to win it” games on pinterest. Have a tournament with games that everyone can play! This can include young children and toddlers! There are all sorts of fun activities for tiny tots! Think of some fun rewards that EVERYONE can win! Have someone win a little something. Including Mom and Dad! Don’t be afraid to be silly and be a part of these games with your kids! That will be more fun to them than the actual games!
Plan activities that can be ongoing. Think of art activities that can be started one day and finished thorought the week. Painting one day, gluing, stickers, etc…. One great activity is making cars out of paper boxes! This can take a couple of days and you can make your driveway into a road. This fun can last for weeks!
Make Home Made Toys. Making your own toys is a blast. And like mentioned above, it can take a couple of days to complete. Check out this huge list of Home Made Toys for Tots to try out!
Do a Service Project. Ask around to local churches, retirement centers, children crisis centers etc…to see if you and your kids can participate in a service activity. This teaches empathy, sympathy, caring, selflessness among many other things! Make sure your summer isn’t all about fun! Teach your children to care through doing things for other people.
Try some fun new recipes as a family. Not only are there fun quick recipes that you can try for your family, (Try these 15, 30 minute Meals) But there a TON of fun recipes to use for your kids! Making a quick No Churn Ice Cream recipe or something similar can be a fun activity for all ages! And Recipes are NOT only for food! Recipes are FUN too!!! Check out these awesome recipes for fun. Including shaving cream puff paint, play dough recipes and tons more!!
Don’t hesitate to be spontaneous and flexible! Be ready for changes, and new activities and be willing to try them out! If you run out of ideas check out these fun Summer ideas that Do NOT involve a screen!
Have fun, Good Luck, and don’t forget the sunscreen!!!