We hope these activities will lead to some quality time for you and the 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 to be surprised by many “magical” moments while doing our summer activities. If you fully tune into your child, you and your child can make an amazing connection.
1. Let’s all scream for ice cream. Make homemade ice cream.
You can find recipes in most cookbooks, at the library, or on the Internet. If you want an adventure, try making ice cream the old fashioned way in a tin can. Or, use an ice cream maker, if you have one or can borrow one. Some recipes don’t require any special equipment – they just go directly in your freezer. Little known fact: it has been reported that there are over 1000 different ice cream flavors.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.