Now that the kids are out of school and the days seem so much longer, it's time to open our minds and come up with activities that the children will love to do - and, of course, will fill up the long summer days with more than television, computers and game consoles.
I know that, although it's much easier to let the children attach their minds to technology, children need activities to keep their minds active in other ways during the summer break. And, to get the children involved, you, as parents or guardians, need to get moving and involved, too! Yeah, the water parks, amusement parks, zoos, and movie theaters are fun, but they can also be EXPENSIVE.
Here are some fun ideas for activities for you and your children to enjoy this summer that will break them away from the technology addiction:
1) Yard Mini-Golf - One activities my husband started to do recently with the children is grab the ol' golf clubs, golf balls, and tees and set up a mini-golf course around the house. We start out at one point of the yard, with a specific "finish point", rather than a hole. (Our finish point happens to be a big pine tree.) And, despite what many would think, golf can work some muscles you didn't even know you had! (I know I had some aches and pains the next day!)
2) Book-A-Thon - It's a well-known fact that the reading skills of children take a dip during the summertime, especially if they are not book lovers. But, even book lovers are not necessarily inclined to keep up their reading during the summer if we don't encourage it. Take a weekly trip to the local library to give your children a selection to choose from that is comparable to (or better than) what they would be able to find at school. Also, check with your local library for fun activities to bring the children to during the summer - many of the programs are free!
3) Local Activities - Not everything fun has to cost money, so check with your town's website to see if they are planning any fun activities for children during summer break. Many towns even have a recreation center that hosts free, fun activities for families during the summer. Check out summer concerts or festivals in the area. If a few dollars won't hurt the pocket, check into the local YMCA or town pool to see when public swimming is allowed.
4) Nature - Get the kids out of the house, take a walk through the neighborhood or at a local park or nature preserve. Go to the beach, the lake, anything "nature" will get everyone some fresh air and exercise, which we all know is vital for our bodies.
5) Fresh Fruits an Veggies - Are there any local farmer's markets? Strawberry or blueberry patches? Take the kids to pick out their favorite fruits and veggies - they will actually be more inclined to eat them if they choose their own, and the prices at local farmer's markets will usually be a lot less than the grocery stores, because there are no packaging, handling, or shipping fees added.
6) Water Fun - Get out the water hose, fill up some water balloons (Dollar General, only $1 per pack of 100), and spray each other down on those hot days! Summer is never complete without some water fun!
Think about the learning experiences that your children will get with these activities, too!
What other activities can you suggest for families during summer break that are healthy, free or minimal amounts of money, or simply fun to do?