Every year we all have the best intentions to make it the BEST SUMMER EVER.
And has there ever been more pressure on a summer than this one?
We start the summer fresh, full of ideas and good intentions. There will be daily outings! Picnics at the park! You will achieve Pinterest Level Pro!
But the reality is, by the end of July, the idea well has gone dry. And many of us struggle to fill another 14-hour day without losing our minds.
These ideas may not be Instagram-worthy or Pinteresty-pinnable but they might keep you going when the going gets tough.
Remember when you were a kid and you’d head out with friends to explores somewhere in the neighbourhood you’d never been before? You can do the same thing with your kids. Put on some old clothes and shoes that can get wet and head to a local creek or a pond. Check out a forest or a nearby conservation area. Pack some sunscreen and a picnic lunch and head out somewhere new, either by bike or by foot. Exploring where you live can be a great way to pass some time, and you never know what you might uncover.
Grab the hose, fill a bucket with sudsy water, toss in a couple of sponges and put up a sign. You’re in the bike washing business. Actually, your kids are. You’re in the ‘sitting on the porch whilst drinking a coffee’ business.
Frozen Lego in the Tupperware
Freeze a Lego character in a Tupperware container (or any small toy that’s waterproof –Hot Wheel cars also work well). When it’s completely frozen, pop out the ice block (you may have to run it under warm water to get it out), set it up against a tree, your garage, your house….any place you don’t mind getting wet, and have your kids shoot water guns at the ice blocks to ‘free’ the Lego character. To make it a less difficult for younger kids, fill the water gun with warm water. To make it more difficult, tie the ice block to a tree branch with string for a moving target.
Timed Lego Building
Give each of your kids a small container filled with Lego pieces. They then have 30-minutes to build their own creation. At the end of the 30 minutes, they present to you with their design.
Helpful Hint: Don’t declare a winner unless you want to deal with the aftermath.
Decorate Your Street
$10 worth of Dollar Store chalk = an entire block of sidewalks transformed into art. Have your kids pick a theme for each sidewalk square. Circles for one, stripes for another, stars on the next one…. within a few hours it’s possible for them to turn your entire street into an art show.
Am I the only one who remembers bike parades? Grab a group of neighbourhood kids and have them decorate their bikes, scooters, tricycles, or wagons using streamers, ribbons, or whatever else you have on hand. Playing cards attached to the wheels with clothespins? Yes, please! Enlist a couple of parents to bring some sort of musical instruments like a tambourine or small handheld drum and lead those gussied up bikes throughout the neighbourhood. End it with a Freezie festival. Because what’s summer without Freezies?
Paper Boat Races
Construct boats from paper (Google it, there are a million tutorials and it’s super simple), tape the bottom with duct tape to make it waterproof, but not too much because it will weigh the boat down and cause it to sink which will, in turn, cause meltdowns. #BeenThereDoneThat. Then use a straw to blow it across a kiddie pool to see who can get it to the other side the quickest. If you don’t have a kiddie pool you can fill up the bathtub (which is a great rainy day activity).
Paint With Ice
Freeze washable Tempura paint in an ice cube tray (the dollar store is your friend because you won’t be able to use the tray for regular ice cubes afterward). Once frozen, pop out the cubes and paint your sidewalk and driveway.
Fill a kiddie pool with bubble bath or bring the soap and shampoo outside and let them run through the sprinkler. Either way, your kids get clean while having fun. And you get to wear your Mom of the Year sash. It’s a win/win.
What I love about this is that it entertains kids from toddlers to teens. Toddlers will mash the paints together to create a tapestry of colours while older kids will attempt to fashion something out of the shape of the rock.
For the record, my Sponge Bob Squarepants rock will go down in rock painting history (at least in our family).