Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer Fun Inspirations

Can you believe the school year is nearly over?  It is always a good idea to keep some summer fun ideas on hand when you and the kids are getting a little stir-crazy.  I have collected some of my favorite ideas for just that purpose!  Keep these ideas on hand for the upcoming summer months.  Got a great idea to add?  Send it my way.  I'm always happy to add to my list of Inspirations!

Onto some Summer Fun!

Pail of Sand Cake
Pail of Sand Cake
at Family Fun
I love this because it is simple enough that a child of any age can help you make it.  It doesn't require any fancy cooking skills.  It is fun.  And best of all... it is a delicious treat!

Super Sidewalk Paint
at Family Fun
What child doesn't love to paint?  This sidewalk chalk paint uses ingredients you likely already have on hand.  Better yet, the mess stays outside and provides lots of fun for kids of all ages.

Bubble Refill Container & Bubble Recipe
at Come Together Kids

at Come Together Kids
I have yet to meet a kid that doesn't love playing with bubbles!  I get frustrated with store bought bubbles since they never seem as good as they should be.  But making your own bubble solution isn't difficult.  Bubbles are even more fun when you can create new ways of blowing them.  Check out these simple and inexpensive ideas for some big bubble fun!  And a bubble dispenser?  What a great idea!!

at Sun Scholars
If you are camping, in your back yard, or at the park, this is a great activity for the kids.  I created the Nature Scavenger Hunt above, and later found another fabulous way to play that you will find below.  This is great for kids of all ages.  Make it a game, individuals or in teams. Time them, or not.  Make it a competition, or simply a "race" to collect all of the times.  There are so many great variations with this activity.

at I am Momma Hear Me Roar
An egg carton!  Why didn't I think of that?!  Print the image to glue on top right from the link above.  Brilliant!

at Imagination Soup
Have you ever made an obstacle course for your kids?  Collect items from around your house and you can put one together in no time!  A great way to encourage your kids to get some exercise that doesn't cost a thing to pull off, and is quick and easy.  Grab a stop watch and encourage your kids to beat their time.  This link has some great ideas to help you create a great backyard course of your own.

at The Imagination Tree
If your kids are like mine, they love to dig in the dirt, pick flowers, and collect worms.  How many of you are willing to allow your child to dig up your garden?  I admit... I'm not one of them.  I know, I'm a horrible mother.  But why didn't I ever think to create a special space in the garden just for my kids to do as they please?  I LOVE this idea.  This is another one that could be done with little cost or time, and guaranteed to provide your earth-loving child with hours of enjoyment in the summer months.

Momma Made I Spy Book
at Playing House
Sometimes you need to get in away from the heat of the summer sun.  This is one of my favorite indoor ideas.  Have your child help you to collect items to be pictured and used in their very own I Spy book!  Older children might get a thrill out of taking the pictures themselves.  After your book is complete, you have a very special, quiet-time activity for your child.  Check out this link to see how one mom created her own I Spy book.

Kids Crafts Color Scavanger Hunt
A Color Scavenger Hunt
at The Artful Parent
Scavenger hunts don't need to be limited to the outdoors.  Send your little ones on a color scavenger hunt as in the link above.  Modify this for older children, by asking them to search for other items (such as particular shapes, items beginning with a particular letter, things that are shiny, or have different textures, and so on).  Fun and educational!

at Meet the Dubiens
Another fun "indoor" activity.  I have found so many great variations of I Spy activities, this one being one of my favorite.  This might not be the best one to make with the little ones if you are worried about them trying to swallow the tiny objects, but it is one that many ages can enjoy.  You can even dye your rice to make a more colorful bottle (find instructions HERE).

Homemade Sprinkler
at Making Memories
Find instructions on how to make your own sprinkler by recycling a 2L pop bottle!  What more do you need on a hot summer day?!


at Muffin Tin Mom
If you are like me, you totally missed out on this awesome idea!  The Muffin Tin Mom encourages (and inspires) you to use muffin 'tins' of any size, shape, or material, to make meal time more fun for your kids.  On Muffin Tin Mondays, moms just like you are sharing pictures of their muffin tin meals.  This is a great place for ideas on how to make this a fun tradition for your family.

at Sun Scholars
This is one that I've done with my own children as well as my Brownie Girl Scouts.  If the idea of children and Sharpie markers in the same room makes you nervous, perhaps skip this one.. or take it outside!  You won't want to miss this one though.  It is a fun and simple alternative to the messy process used in traditional tie dying.  And don't you think it looks awesome?

at One Charming Party
If your kids like playing with water, these would make a fun toy this summer.  Whether they play with them in the tub, the pool, or in a bucket of water, these are inexpensive and quick water toys to create.  Find the simple instructions at the link above.

artist at work
at Paint Cut Paste
Did you know that you can make some pretty amazing (and wonderful smelling) paints with Kool-Aid?  Warning... ok, so Kool-Aid isn't the nicest thing to try to clean off of your counter-tops (or your child's fingers), but this is too fun not to try at least once!  Another one you could take outside if you are worried about the mess.  Your kids will love this one, so it is worth a try :)

at The Decorated Cookie
Did you know you could get special markers for drawing on food at Wal-Mart?!  Visit the cake decorating section and you will find these markers (made by Wilton, I believe).  So... you're sitting around the campfire with a bag of marshmallows.  Why not encourage your little ones to create some mashmallow artwork before the roasting begins?  What a fun idea!
Ok... I know homemade popcicles are nothing new.  I had to add this link for the great recipe ideas it shared.  Perhaps you'll find something fun to try this summer here.

Found-Object Food Jar Terrarium
at Our Big Earth
While your children are out exploring nature this summer, why not create mini terrariums to showcase some of their findings.  This link has instructions on how to create your own.  Another simple and inexpensive activity that I think any nature-loving child will enjoy.

at Family Fun
When I came across this post I knew I had to share it.  Family Fun is one of my favorite resources for child-friendly fun.  Here, they have a collection of 40 activities great for the littlest ones you are entertaining this summer.

And... these are great to keep on hand!

Mom, I'm Bored Jar
at Skip to My Lou
A simple craft project that you might want to do before summer hits.  Sit down with your kids and brainstorm a list of activities they could do when boredom strikes.  When you hear, "Mom, I'm bored!" you'll be prepared!

at Playing House
A brilliant idea.  One that I wish I had thought of years ago!  This mom shares her idea to create Busy Boxes to keep on hand for when your child needs something to occupy them.  Check out her tips!  You may want to keep a stack of these yourself.
Sun Scholars Sample Program
at Sun Scholars
And, if you haven't checked it out already, I have a free week's worth of fun and educational activities (20 included in this kit) for busy parents and caregivers to share with their primary aged children.  If you love this kit, you'll love the entire Summer Program!

Some of my favorite places for kid-friendly inspiration...

Make and TakesMuffintinmom.com

This Week\ 

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