Thursday, June 07, 2007

Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?

Ahhh, the lazy days of summer are here. Except you wouldn't know it if you went by the weather we've been having around here. This was the scene out my living room window yesterday morning. (I was sitting on the couch when I took the picture.)
That is snow on the mountains. In June. But indoors we are warm, having fun with our Cool Summer Days. Over the last several years I've developed quite a list of activities to keep the kiddos learning, creating, playing, laughing, HAPPY! Here is my list divided into categories:

Make homemade stickers
Paint with watercolors (I let them use my real watercolor paint)
Use potatoes carved with simple designs as stamps to make our own wrapping paper
Stamp birthday cards for family and friends, file them to send throughout the year
Make Christmas decorations or ornaments
Create scrapbook pages
Make home made pinatas
Break your pinata
Make playdough
'Stained Glass Windows' - Cover the sticky side of contact paper with several colors of tissue paper, make sure to leave about an inch edge all the way around so it will stick to the window
Make your own chalk
Make candles
Make papercrafts. This site has loads of fun printables to make and do!

Bake a cake, decorate it, and sing "Happy Unbirthday to Us!"
Make popsicles
Bake mini loaves of bread, make butter to spread on them
Bake up different batches of muffins to freeze for snacks
Make homemade bagels
Decorate sugar cookies
Bake cupcakes and deliver to friends
Choose different cookies recipes to bake and freeze for snacks
Make Ice cream in a bag
Make tiny treats

Field Trips:
Go swimming
Pick raspberries
Go to the museum
Ride a horse
Go out for ice cream
Trip to the dollar store
Go to the movies
Attend a concert

Learn a new Primary Song
Check out a book from the library on paper airplanes. Make all different kinds and have competitions.
Make 'Slime'
Make a list of what you want to learn about this year (Homeschool)
Buy school supplies
Catch butterflies, compare them, learn the life cycle of a butterfly
Plant a garden
Learn about different types of poetry (haiku, limerick, acrostic) and write your own
Design a quilt
Sew your quilt
Read books all day or listen to books on tape

Make patriotic bracelets
Paint T-shirts for the 4th of July (search FamilyFun)
Make patriotic hats
Attend a parade
Do patriotic activity pages (wordsearches, crossword puzzles, coloring pages) Do an internet search to find more than you can ever do!

Boutique Week:
Make soap
Make chapstick and lip balm
Have a make-up makeover. Don't forget to take glam shots!
Paint toenails and fingernails.
Make charm bracelets
Make seed bead rings
Sew some cool new PJ pants
Make hair accesories - tie lots of ribbons around hair elastics

Outdoor Activities:
Build a campfire, roast hot dogs and marshmallows
Camp out on the lawn
Blow bubbles. Use different wands. Be creative!
Go for a walk
Try geocaching or letterboxing. These are SO MUCH FUN!!!!
Play water games
Try some new outdoor games (search FamilyFun)
Have a nature scavenger hunt. Write a list for older children. For younger children paint different colors on the bottom of egg cartons (different shades of green, brown, other colors of nature) and see if you can find objects matching those colors. You'd be surprised at what they can find!!
Bike riding
Squirt gun fights

Indoor activities (Sabbath appropriate):
Draw pictures and send to the Friend Magazine
Write down everything you are thankful for. Be very specific.
Read pioneer or ancestor stories. Act out your favorite ones.
Try writing your own song
Choose a cousin to write a letter to. Make sure to tell them all the things you admire and like about them!
Make your Christmas wish list (I like to get my Christmas shopping done by November)
Write real letters (not e-mail!) - to grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, or friends
Make your own envelopes out of wrapping paper to send your letters in (Look here for templates)
List 5 nice things about each member of your family
Play board games all day
Think of a good service project to do. Plan it out and carry through with the plan
Make a list of what to give everyone for Christmas
Music Mix CD

I hope this list will get you started on making this a great summer spending time with your children. And please let me know if you can think of more fun activities!

Sugardoodle and The Dollar Stretcher also have HUGE lists of summer activities.


Kassie said...

Great list. I may have to swipe it and use it for my kiddos. I was feeling quite braindead and knew I needed to come up with some things, so thanks for sparing me the thinking.

nestle said...

you make me tired

An Ordinary Mom said...

You are a wealth of information. I know I will be visiting this post again.

Corrie said...

I am printing this out. Thanks!

Calandria said...

haha! i'm with nestle. :-)

Do you guys really do all that stuff?

Montserrat said...

We don't do everything every summer. But we do do a lot of it.

Our Peculiar Life said...

beautiful picture and I want to come live at your house this summer. ;-)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I just printed your list off and stuck it to my fridge. I love all these ideas! We make a pinata every year for my oldest daughter's birthday. It is tradition. One year I even made a disco ball pinata for my hubby's 70's birthday party.

P.S. All your photos make me so jealous. I want to live on your farm, wear fun boots, and look out the window to your amazing view.

Julie said...

You guys are awesome! Thanks for the wealth of ideas. Especially the homemade stickers one. I've never heard of that before.

But there's one thing I am GOING to do this summer: READ. And read A LOT.