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Summer may be a time to relax, but tell that to kids who are bouncing off the walls or saying  "I'm bored." As parents, we want each summer to be more memorable than the next, and with that comes the need for a few new ideas. Take advantage of those bright sunny days and warm summer nights and plan something new a couple of times a week.  Here are ideas for some summer fun to keep kids from being bored and create memories you'll have for a lifetime. 

  • Bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
  • Have a luau in the backyard.
  • Visit the beach and collect shells.
  • Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
  • Visit a farmer's market.
  • Stage an A to Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter.
  • Pick berries
  • Have a picnic at a state park.
  • Build a sandcastle.
  • Clean up trash at a local park.
  • Make homemade pizza.
  • Go for a walk and then make a collage from nature objects you find along the way.
  • Head to a local pond and look at the ducks.
  • Set up a lemonade stand.
  • Have a water balloon fight.
  • Go biking on a trail
  • Plan a picnic at a local park -- or in your backyard.
  • Create salad spinner art: Place circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, dab tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.
  • Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
  • Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
  • Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
  • Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
  • Pretend to be pirates for a day -- dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
  • Make an indoor sandbox using colored rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight.
  • Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls and decorate them.
  • Visit a museum you've never been to. Free Fun Fridays have lots of free museums
  • Lie on the grass and look up at the clouds and see what shapes you find.
  • Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
  • Have a tricycle race at the park..
  • Visit a fire station.
  • Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
  • Go roller skating.
  • Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals.
  • Run through the sprinklers.
  • Blend your own smoothie.
  • Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.
  • Let kids paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When their creation dries, they can begin again.
  • Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate them.
  • Make popsicles in Dixie cups using fruit juices.
  • Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).
  • Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.
  • Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.
  • Go to a flea market.
  • Visit a retirement home and read stories to residents.
  • Attend an outdoor festival or concert.
  • Take in a fireworks exhibit.
  • Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and repositionable glue.
  • Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
  • Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
  • Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter's tarp and shaving cream.
  • Go camping in the backyard or at a campsite.

Take a boring brown paper bag and have kids brainstorm creative things to do with it -- you'll be surprised at how many things you can come up with.

 

 

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