1. Let’s have a 4:00 party. Have a tea party. Try to follow the old-fashioned “rules.” You can find them on the Internet or at the library. Be sure to talk about “manners” for tea parties – for example, how to set the table, serve the food, and use “please” and “thank you.” You can invite other kids and adults or just dolls and stuffed animals. Don’t forget to include the boys. No reason they and their superheroes can’t attend. By the way, the “proper” time for tea is 4:00 pm. But, if you can’t arrange your party for that time, have fun with the fact that it is 4:00 somewhere else in the world. For example, it is 4:00 pm in Rome, Italy at 10:00 am Eastern Standard Time in the U.S.
2. Let’s go-a hunting. Plan a scavenger hunt. The younger children may need it to be in their house or yard. Older children could have it be throughout the neighborhood. Also for older kids, you can have them use their camera to take a picture of what is on the scavenger hunt. This makes it possible to use more interesting things even though they can’t be disturbed or moved – like a green car, an oak tree, a blooming rose, sleeping cat, or a for sale sign.
3. Let’s do “Doing” art. Make a list of things your child can do by himself. Come to an agreement about the things he thinks he can do and things you think he can do. Let your child draw a picture for each thing on the list. A picture can be as detailed or as simple as your child wants (and is able) to make it. He can use pencils, crayons, paints, cut out pieces of paper, pictures from magazines – whatever type of art your child likes. For example, a shoe can represent him being able to tie his shoes or a big smile that he can brush his teeth. For younger children, you can be a helper. Have your child tell you what he wants to have on the page, and you can do the drawing. Attach the pictures together to make a “book.” Make each drawing be a separate page. Have fun giving the book a name. Be sure to share it with friends and family. You can also keep it and add to it over time.
4. Let’s show off. Help your child organize and perform a “kids show” with kids from the neighborhood. Younger kids may need you to be the director, come up with the plan, and help them rehearse. Older kids can develop their own plans and get ready. If they need help, you can offer to set up a place for the show and notify an audience (other parents and neighbors). The show can be as simple or involved as you want. If you want to make it very real, the kids can even make tickets and snacks. Clap and celebrate at the end. Tell each kid why you are clapping – you loved his song … her dance made you feel happy … he made you laugh … she had such a great smile.
5. Let’s get prepared. Help your child make his own Boo-Boo kit. This is a collection of things he can use to help himself when he gets hurt. It is not to replace the family first-aid kit. It is something extra to encourage your child to be responsible and confident about taking care of himself as he grows older.
- Pick out a container. It could be plastic, cardboard, cloth, or even a paper bag. Let your child decorate it with crayons, markers, or paint. Make sure he can open and close it easily.
- Work together to find things to put in the Boo-Boo kit. Make sure they are safe things that he will be able to use himself if he gets hurt – special band aids, muscle wraps, stuffed animal, a small toy, a book. Don’t put in anything (for example, medicines or creams) that could be dangerous, if he were to get in the kit without you there.
- Decide where to put the kit. Make sure he can easily get to it.
- While working on this kit together explain what things you think he can do for himself when he is hurt. Remind him that if he were hurt, two people would be ready and glad to take care of him – you and him.
6. Let’s picture it. Have a photo shoot. Gather lots of fun things for the kids to wear and stand beside to have their photos taken. Dress-ups will work great for this, but even if the kids have grown out of their own dress-up clothes, you can find some things in your closets for them to use. You can also use places to create fun pictures like under a chair or table in the family room or in a tree in the yard. Be sure to display the pictures afterwards. It can be either a paper display or a digital display.
For more summer activity ideas see
Watch for Summer Activities Part 5 on July 8.