Summer Activities for Children (2015), Part 1

For the next two months our blog is about summertime’s best of times and worst of times. Best of times = many opportunities for quality time with your children. Worst of times = children who are pestering and causing trouble because they are bored.

Calling all working moms!

Do you find yourself feeling guilty that your kids have all this extra time on their hands in the summer, and you are at work? Kids are not the best tellers of time. They don’t necessarily focus on whether you have been with them every minute of every day. What they need to know is that they can count on your attention for some part of every day. They need to know that they are so special to you that you are taking part of every day just for them. Our lists of summer activities can help you with that.

Calling all stay-at-home moms!

Do you get to your wits end over the summer after you have heard the “b” word (boredom) fifty times too many from kids with way too much extra time on their hands? Summer is the best of times for letting your kids know how special they are to you by taking part of every day and making it just about them. Our lists of summer activities can help you with that.

Calling all grandparents, daycare providers, and nannies!

You are so important – to the kids and to their parents. Make summertime special for everyone, including yourselves, by planning new and fun things to do with the children you care for. Our lists of summer activities can help you with that.

A word about quality time

Quality time happens when we least expect it, often around the smallest and least expensive events.  You can’t schedule it. It doesn’t take a lot of time. Instead, it takes a lot of small moments. Be prepared for a “magical” moment when doing any of the things in our lists. As long as you are fully tuned into your child, you and your child may have an amazing connection.  You’ll learn something really important about him.  She will show you how important you are to her.  Your hearts will connect.

Summer Activities List #1 

  1. Let’s go backwards. Do something backwards today. Wear pajama’s until lunchtime. Eat lunch foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for lunch. Walk backwards for a certain amount of time. Wear your clothes inside out.
  1. Let’s play the Pizza Game. 31 Sidebar 2You can find directions for Mr. Steig’s Pizza Game at Summer Fun. You can get a more elaborate idea of the game from the book, PETE’S A PIZZA by William Steig. Get ready for lots of giggles and fun. And, decide ahead of time how many games you’re willing to play, because this one is a game you’ll be asked to do over and over.
  1. Let’s write a story.  One person starts the story by writing a sentence or two on a page. Each person afterwards takes a turn to add another sentence or two one by one. If both younger and older children are doing the activity, let the younger child dictate her idea about what happens next and have an adult or older child write it for her.
  1. Let’s play “What If.” Play “What If” about an upcoming vacation or special outing. You can play it anywhere – in the car, on a bus, in a waiting room, at a restaurant. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask your child a “What If” question like, “What if we went to Grandma’s house for our vacation?” Let your child imagine himself in that situation. By listening to his answers you can learn how he feels about the situation, what he likes or doesn’t like about it, what to expect of him in the situation, and what preparation he may need to be comfortable or successful in the situation. You may need more questions to get him thinking – “What would that be like for you?” “What would you do there?” “What do you think you would like the most?” “Do you think that is a good idea?”
  1. Let’s read nursery rhymes. 32.2 Sidebar 1Read your child some nursery rhymes – even if he seems to have “outgrown” them. You can find them in library books or on Internet sites. For younger children, have them do an art project about one they like. They can draw, paint, make a sculpture, or make up a song or dance. For older children, ask them what they think the nursery rhyme meant when it was written, or what they think it could mean if someone wrote it today. For example, what could the water stand for that Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch? Who could the three men in the tub be and what were they doing there?
  1. Let’s have an un-birthday party. 52 Sidebar 2Have an un-birthday party for yourself, your child, or a friend or relative. Let your child help prepare the party. Make sure your celebration includes THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Lewis Carroll where the “unbirthday” party idea started. Also include “The Unbirthday Song” from the ALICE IN WONDERLAND movie.
  1. Let’s play ball. Teach your child to play ball against a wall. For younger children, use a nerf ball. For older children, if the weather permits, use a hand-sized rubber ball against the house or garage door outside. If you’re rained in, try bouncing against a basement wall. Count how many times your child catches the ball. Catching in a row is the most difficult, but you can make it easier by counting catches over a certain period of time. Make the time pretty short for younger children or those new to the game. For older children, spell words with a letter for each catch. With more than one player see who can spell a whole word without missing a catch. Make it harder by letting one person be the thrower and the other person be the catcher (and speller). This would be a lot like playing H-O-R-S-E in basketball.
  1. Let’s play “Feeling Faces.” 47 sidebar 2Play a feeling faces game. You can find examples on the Internet. (Search for “feelings faces games.”) You can purchase a game you discover, use one available online, or get ideas about how to make a homemade version.
  1. Let’s do music. 52 Sidebar 1Sing, play music, or dance together. Plan a “show” that you can perform for your family or neighbors. When you are willing to show your talents, you teach your child it is OK to be talented and to enjoy your talents.
  1. Let’s play with a pet. 36 Sidebar 1Take your child and a pet out to play. If you don’t have a pet, borrow a neighbor’s pet. Where to take the pet will depend on the type of animal. For many it might be a park. For others it could be your yard or just letting them out of their cages in the house for some free playtime.


* Be sure to select a place that will be safe for the type of animal.

* Be sure birds are protected from predators and from flying away.

* Some pets can’t be “taken out to play” at all because moving them is dangerous to them – like fish.

  1. Let’s make a calendar. Make a calendar with the birthdays of relatives and friends that are important to your child. Use the calendar to send cards. You can have your child make a card on the birthdays as they come up. Or, if the child is old enough, you could teach him how to send e-cards or notes.
  1. Let’s play an alphabet game. 52 Sidebar 3Play an alphabet word game. Start with the first letter of your name and name a place or thing that starts with that letter. The next person takes the next letter in the alphabet and does the same thing. Take turns back and forth until you have done the whole alphabet. You can name a category first, if you like. For example, each word has to be an animal, fruit, street name, food, etc.
  1. Let’s learn about jobs. Arrange for a field trip or tour of a place where your child can see people (and maybe talk to people) who are working at a job that she plays about when she is pretending or if she is older that she seems interested in as a future occupation. It can be a virtual tour by looking for a TV or video that is about that job. Talk over all that you learn. Art or writing projects are great ways to make a record of an experience.
  1. Let’s bake. Bake a cake or cookies. Let your child help decide what flavor, color of icing, and decorations to use. Share the results with a relative or neighbor.



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