5 fun things to do this summer with your kids

June 12, 2013

Summer always seems so appealing because it's such a long stretch of time without school or other extracurricular activities, but when it finally gets here, I suddenly don't know what we should do with our time. 

We can only chase each other around the kitchen so many times (I can only do one lap) before we get tired of that game. 

I've seen some "summer bucket lists" on pinterest and there are a few fun ideas out there, but most of them seem to be along the lines of "water balloons" and that sort of thing ends up being like the running around the kitchen game for me. 

I can only tie so many water balloons only to see my two year old immediately drop it on the sidewalk and ask for another before I get tuckered out. 

A few of you have asked what my "summer plans" are for the kids. And even though I may look to be somewhat organized via the blog--that's really only because I post about activities after the fact and can arrange them so they all look very neat and tidy and thematically linked. 

I'm not a very good planner--mostly, I wake up and try to think of something fun. I use pinterest to collect ideas and then we just see what we can make happen with what he have around the house. 

Having said that, I do have some general ideas of things we'd like to do (or have already done), so I'll share them in a list for you. Maybe something will jump off the screen and work for you and your kids. 
1. Why not Eat Your Way Around the World this summer? I ordered this for us and we made the first meal tonight. We went to Egypt and although I was skeptical--it was all really good! Cooking is not my thing, but Juliet LIVES for it. So, I try to cook with her every now and again. The recipes in this book are very simple and on a kid level--so perfect for ME. The point of the books is to visit a different country every night (or week) and sample some of the food. You can take it farther by checking out books about the country from the library, making decorations, writing a menu, etc. Really, where ever you imagination and creativity take you. Juliet wanted to make a menu with hieroglyphics, so we googled some and went with it. We also found Egypt on the map and talked about pyramids and the Nile while we were cooking. It was a lot of fun and the food was really tasty.

2. Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden If you haven't done this yet, your kids will love it. We raised ladybugs and butterflies this spring and there were tears when we had to release the animals. It is really very fun. Juliet kept an observation journal where she recorded what she saw each day. It was a good, sneaky way to work on handwriting skills.

3. Learn some new songs together. I recently bought Lullaby Baby: 50 Songs to Read, Sing, and Hear for Lucia because she is at that age where folk songs, lullabies, and nursery rhymes are so appealing. She can sit for hours listening to music and she loves me to sing to her. I wanted to expand my repertoire, so this book is great for us. It plays the tune and provides the words. Most of them are ones I already am familiar with, but several are new to me. Some I can catch onto and others are more difficult, but I'm working on it. There are lots of song books to choose from--your library probably has several--I know ours does.

4. Visit someplace new (via books!) We are tackling the rainforest this summer. Juliet is extremely interested in nature and butterflies and plants in particular, so the rainforest seemed like a good choice.
We have checked out a lot of great books from the library--a rainforest book post will come soon! Right now, we are reading Rainforest Explorer which presents the information in a really fun 1st person perspective. You don't have to go to the rainforest, though. Just pick a destination and head to the library--the world awaits you!

5. Have an art show. We've used our rainforest books to inspire several watercolor sessions in the backyard. Juliet has been painting various butterflies, flowers, and birds that she's learned about in her books about the rainforest. The three of us have spent many afternoons in the backyard with our paper, books, and watercolors. Lucia gets tired after a painting or two and soon is just running around hitting trees with sticks, but Juliet has kept at it and made quite the collection already. We had a mini art show when my parents came to visit a few days ago and she enjoyed showing off her work. When my mom tried to buy one of her pieces, she refused to sell any of them! I tried to sell a few of mine, but unfortunately, they weren't interested. Lucia did agree to sell and made some cash! :) 

This is what we've been up to so far--I'll share more when I figure out what it is we are up to next! What are you doing to keep yourselves busy and entertained this summer? 

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