Summer Activities for Kids
The hooks are no longer holding backpacks but have been replaced with swimsuits & towels, the temperature is heating up and sunscreen is a necessity and the kids are finally out of school….now what??? A lot of parents are asking “now what to do with the kids all summer?”
While some families choose a nanny/sitter to entertain the child, some families choose day camps such as a local Boys & Girls club, church sponsored camp or community outreach camp and some daycares even offer summer programs for school-age children to help keep them occupied all summer. No matter how you choose for your child to spend their summer there are lots of activities that not only your child can enjoy but you may enjoy as well.
At our house, we like to have some summer goals and a “by the end of Summer….” List. We set some goals for our children and for our family to accomplish before August 1st and those are our “summer goals”. We also create a list that the kids compile of 6 things each that they would like to do “By the End of Summer” and work on accomplishing each of those as well. That way, we are having an “intentional summer”….not just a “what are we going to do today?” summer.
Our family loves going to the movies but it is a rare occasion that we all get to go because they are so expensive…especially the 3D movies! This summer, AMC Theaters will offer a special movie on certain days and you can receive value priced admission for these films. Cinemark Theaters is offering a special “punch card” where you can see 10 movies for $5.00 (if purchased in advance) or $1.00 per show if purchased at the box office.
AMF Bowling is offering children 16 and under the opportunity to bowl two free games per child per day all summer long! For adults, you can purchase a special pass for only $27.95 that allows 4 adults (ages 17+) to bowl two free games a day for the entire summer so you can enjoy the fun of bowling with your children.
I’m a huge advocate for continuing to bridge the educational gap during the summer and our kids always participate in summer reading programs. Check with your local library as most of them will offer a summer program for children locally. A lot of families shy away from checking books out of the library for fear of losing them. In our house, we have a basket in the living room labeled “Library Basket” and that is where every book we check out stays. If the kids want to read a book from the library, they have to pile up on the couch, loveseat, rocking chair, etc. and read it in the living room. Then return it to the “Library Basket” when they’re done. That way, we don’t lose books or have to search all over the house for them. Best of all, the kids love snuggling up in the living room to read! Scholastic Summer Challenge allows your child to log the minutes they read each day and then reach weekly reading goals to win digital prizes! Barnes & Noble is offering “Imagination’s Destination” where you child can earn one FREE book for every 8 books they read!
With gas prices skyrocketing right now traveling long distances is often not in the budget for families. Check out local places in your state to visit. You will be amazed at the state parks, day parks, museums, galleries, campgrounds, splash pads and more right in your own state. We have made a list of 5 places in Alabama that we want to visit this summer and 4 of them are FREE and none of them require an overnight stay!
Of course, you can have tons of fun without ever having to leave your home! Plan a day at the park, visit your local community pool, choose one day a week to make sure to stop the ice cream truck as it comes by, build a fort inside and make smores and read books, make snowcones, play in the sprinkler, make a sidewalk chalk mural on your driveway, make homemade ice cream, etc.
Bring a smile to someone else’s face…..I encourage you to think outside of yourself this summer and try to at least once a week take your children and go bring a smile to someone else’s face. For example, most people in the nursing home can’t go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather so take some “sunshine” to them. Let your kids decorate a brown lunch sack with art, stickers, glitter, etc. Then put 3 chocolate chip cookies in a ziploc bag, an orange and some hard candy inside the lunch sack. You can also include a note of encouragement from you as well. Fill up lots of sacks and then drive to the nursing home and let your kids deliver them to residents there. I guarantee it will bring a smile to not only the residents faces but to your family’s as well. Or let your kids bake cookies and then deliver them to each house in your neighborhood. The possibilities are endless!
No matter how you choose to spend your summer the most important thing to remember is that you all enjoy it and that you are creating memories with your children that they will remember in years to come.