This Week’s Summer Activities

Each week in June and July, we will publish activities to do with children. We hope they will lead to some quality time for you and kids you care about.
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 can make an amazing connection.  You could learn something really important about him.  She could show you how important you are to her.  Your hearts will connect.
Let’s make our own special game.  Help your child make up a new game. It can be a physical game, like a ball game or running/jumping game. Or, it can be a card or board game. If starting from scratch to come up with a new idea for a game is too difficult, try making changes to a game your child already knows. How else could Chutes and Ladders be played? Or baseball? Let him make up whatever rules he wants as long as they are not unsafe or hurtful to other players. Be sure to play the game after it is created. Discuss how well your child liked the game and whether it could be even better with some additional changes to it.
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Let’s do make-believe art.  Do an art project with your child that is about adding something to his
dress-up stuff. It could be making hats to go with clothes he has. It could be making “extras” like magic wands, tools, etc. It could be whole costumes made out of craft paper or newspaper. It could be props like ovens, hideouts, or walls made from cardboard boxes or blocks. Be sure to play together to try them out once they are made.
Let’s play “What If I Could Do….”  Ask your child a “What If” question about something she is not yet able to do. For example, “What if, you could fix your own snacks when you were hungry?” Or, “What if you could ride a bicycle?” Listen to your child’s answers and enjoy her imagination. You can also get clues about what preparation she needs in order to do what you have asked about.
Let’s hunt for treasure.  Have a treasure hunt. Hide one or more treasures (candy or trinkets). Use different colors of chalk to write clues on the sidewalk. Make it very simple or more difficult depending on what your child can handle. You can use pictures for non-readers. If you can safely have other children participate in your hunt, have different colored treasures and clues – one color for each child so they each have the fun of finding their own treasure and they are not rushing to be the first to find a single treasure. If a child is having difficulty, let him ask someone for help.
Let’s play “What If?”  Play “What If” about “not so good” situations. You can play it anywhere. It takes no equipment other than brains and willingness to use them. Ask a “What If” question and take turns answering it. For example, “What if you and your brother were really, really mad at each other? Or, “What if it rains for a whole week straight?” By listening to your child’s answers you can learn how well prepared he is for difficult situations. By offering your own answers you can make sure your child has heard some good ways to handle those situations. It is important that you do not “correct” your child’s answers. Instead, set some rules ahead of time. For example, “Your answers cannot include anything that would hurt another person or thing.”
 Let’s be all about Dad. Work with your child to think of three things that Dad says or does that are really good for your child. They can be things that help your child grow up well (for example, when he reminds him of his chores without getting mad) and also some things that are just a lot of fun for your child (for example, when he runs races around the house with her). Share with Dad what you come up with. (Making a drawing of the things is a fun way to share.) If your child’s Dad isn’t in his life right now, celebrate a grandfather or male friend, relative, or neighbor who acts like a dad to your child.
For more activities see:
This Week’s Activities (June 1)
This Week’s Activities (June 7)



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