Summer is coming! I believe it! Parks will be open again, picnic areas unleashed. Lakes invite us to cool off and refresh! Even in these days of COVID19, families will be able to enjoy the outdoors.
It seems appropriate to offer some simple, cheap, and fun ideas to do with your kiddos. Keep reading for tons of ideas!
- Old ketchup bottles make the best squirt guns!! One summer, I waited for the perfect sweltering day to invite my energetic grandsons to visit. Before they came, I “hid” ketchup bottles filled with water (the boys were little and I wanted the bottles to be found quickly.) When they arrived, I squirted them and told them to go find a bottle. We were quickly refreshed from the hot sun. And who doesn’t like a good water fight! Since then I always have empty ketchup bottles under my kitchen sink!
- Water balloons are a great summer refresher, too. You can usually find them at the Dollar Store. These days they even have a little gadget to help fill them up. Better than the days of trying to stretch them over the garden hose! Buy them ahead of time just to be ready.
- You can also fill these balloons with flour. Use a funnel (or create one out of paper) to fill with as much flour as you like. Tie it off, and you have a fun squishy toy or stress ball! Face it, you may need this more than the kids.
- A great picnic idea is to create peanut butter jar cups. Save your peanut butter jars, and then wash them out and let the kids decorate them with permanent markers (depending on the age). Keep the cover on as they decorate, keeping the lip of the jar clean for their lips, and afterward you have an outdoor drinking cup with a cover to keep bees and other undesirables out! This serves 2 purposes — creative fun for a rainy day and a new drinking cup!
- The internet is filled with great picnic food ideas! The kids can help prepare their lunch of ants on a log, fruit and veggies, or fill an ice cream cone with a favorite mix of fruit or snacks! Maybe your kids will have an idea for a way to make their lunch fun and different too – just ask them!
- I love making play dough, and the kids love it too. Let them pick the colors, and they will be busy for hours. It stores easily in a ziplock bag and can be brought out again on rainy days. You can even bring it outside! Play dough always creates hours of fun. Join them, it will double their fun!
- I never made slime but there are recipes out on the internet for that, too. One of my friends would give it as a gift on birthdays and my son loved it.
- For older children, origami can be a fun new skill to master.
- Do a roadtrip trip A-Z Quarantine Hunt or go on a walking scavenger hunt. Be creative with the finds: a barking dog, a round stone, a neighbor in her garden. Make a list. This will give your walk purpose and the kids will have fun as they try to find everything on the list.
- You could also create a treasure hunt. Make up a series of clues (or have an older child do that). Each clue leads to another clue and then finally a treasure. From popsicles in the freezer to a bin of water balloons, kids will enjoy the treasure hunt. (Ok. Obviously I love water play, but keep it simple and fun!)
- A neighborhood bike parade is great fun! I remember as a child using clothespins to attach old playing cards to the spokes of my bike. It gave a whirring, motor sound. Then we would take crepe paper and wrap our bikes in pretty colors. Our handle grips would have streamers of crepe paper dangling down. We would intertwine the crepe paper in the spokes. From bikes, wagons and trikes, we would parade up and down the street. Be sure it’s a safe area and that the kids know the rules. They will have fun being creative and showing off.
Also, begin each adventure with a quick prayer, teaching the kids to cover everything in prayer. Just a few words are needed: “Lord join us for our fun day, keep us safe and let us have a great time! Amen.” They may even have a prayer to add. Invite them to pray. You’re teaching by example, they’re watching and learning. Your faith may become their faith.
I don’t add this because we’re on a Substance blog and that’s what we do. I add this because teaching your children to pray will be one of the greatest treasures you can give them. Teach them early on that God is always in control and he is always good. Teach them that you can talk to him anywhere, anytime and ask him for anything. He is always listening and he delights in giving his children good things.
Now go! Enjoy this day!
Cindy and her husband live in Blaine. She enjoys spending time with family, camping, writing, studying God’s Word, and being creative at her job as a high school data management secretary. She has a passion to see women grow in their faith and encourage each other.