Beating the Summer Blues, Part 2: Simple Activity Ideas for Summer Fun
By: Courtney Kowalczyk, M.Ed.
Summer is in full swing here Michigan. We are enjoying the warm and sometimes humid days and the extra hours of sunlight. School has been out of session now for over a month, and for many families the feeling of restlessness is beginning to set in.
Some of you may be feeling overwhelmed by what to do with your children each and every day during the summer months. Here are a few more simple activity ideas that you can do with your children to add fun and excitement to your summer.
√ Go on a picnic. Whether you have a scenic backyard or a park nearby, going on a picnic is always a fun activity for the whole family. Be sure to have your kids help you with the planning and preparing of food for the picnic.
√ Create something for the outdoors. There are many different craft items that you can make to decorate you outdoor environment. Children love to make birdhouses, birdbaths, birdfeeders, flower pots, etc. You can create many of these items by using materials that you already have at home.
√ Create and maintain a garden. You can create a summer-long project by building and maintaining a garden. As a family, you can plan for your garden by deciding where it should go and what you will plant in it. Shopping for plants and then planting them is a lot of fun as well. It will be neat to see what grows in your garden-and remember to water it everyday! It is always a special treat when you are able to eat a snack or meal from items you have grown in your garden.
√ Make a collage. Collect various items from around the house and make a family collage. A collage could be in the form of a picture, sculpture, 3-D form, etc. What types of interesting items can you find and use? Display your collage somewhere special in your home.
√ Organize your junk drawers. We all have secret stashes around our homes where we hide our junk. Have your kids help you reorganize the junk piles and decide what items should stay and where they should go, along with what items should be thrown away. This is a great activity to help you get organized over the summer!
√ Go for a nature tour. Go for a walk or bike ride in the area around your home, and see what nature has in store for you. How many different types of plants, trees, flowers, insects, and animals can you find? Can you name them all? If not, take a picture of the item and do some research on it when you get home.
By planning simple and yet fun activities throughout the summer months, you and your children will be less overwhelmed by the limited structure of summer time. Have fun with your family this summer, and enjoy these simple activity ideas!