Thursday, May 14, 2009

No School? Do Something Cool!

Pretty soon school will be out for the year. Moms everywhere are asking themselves the same question - how can I keep my kid entertained all summer? I have a few ideas.

Check and see if your local movie theater chain has a free summer movie program. Regal and AMC both offer one in certain areas. The movies usually start around 10:30 in the morning, and tickets are free! All you'll have to pay for is popcorn and drinks.

In most places, free movies and concerts are held in city parks in the evenings. Check with your local Parks and Recreation Program. We bring a blanket and a picnic.

See if your local library or bookstore sponsors a summer reading program. Most have a list of books in different age groups to be read, and offer a prize for reading some or all of the books on the list. It's a great way to keep your children entertained and sharp for school next year!

Check with your local museums and see what their free day is. Most have at least one day a month when admission is free. Enjoy the free air conditioning and soak up some culture!

Take your child camping. This is inexpensive fun for the whole family. Kids love to sleep outside in a tent and cook over a campstove. Besides, some exposure to nature is good for them. Just watch out for poison ivy!

Build a solar oven, and cook dinner outside on a hot day. I haven't tried this yet, but plan to this year! Here is a link to some simple instructions I found:

Use the sun to take photos using special sun print paper. You just place an object with an interesting shape on a piece of the special paper, expose to the sun for a few minutes, soak in water until you see the image appear, and let it dry. Here is one place to buy the paper online:

Play miniature golf. This is a fun and inexpensive thing to do, and if it gets too hot, most places have an indoor putting green.

Go bowling. Your local bowling alley has kid-size balls too. I bet most of you haven't been bowling in years and have forgotten how much fun it is! Many bowling alleys offer a free summer bowl program too, it never hurts to make a few calls and check to see if your local alley is one of them.

Pick up some thrift-store costumes and have the kids put on a play or talent show. Invite other kids from the neighborhood to the performance.

Plant a garden together. It's not too late to start one. Sunflowers, tomatoes, radishes and zucchini are particularly easy to grow. Plant a few pumpkin seeds in June, and you can harvest your own Jack 'O Lanterns for Halloween!

Get up in the middle of the night and watch the Perseids Meteor Shower. Spread a blanket on the lawn and prepare to be impressed. This year it peaks on August 13th and 14th. Look toward the northeast after midnight. During the peak, you will see about 60 meteors per hour.

Send the kids on a scavenger hunt around the yard or house with a list of items they must find. Be sure to have a neat prize for the first one to find all the items.

Three words: water balloon fights!

Try this recipe for making ice cream in a baggie. I'm looking forward to trying this too!

This should be enough to get you started. Please comment with your own great ideas. Let's banish "I'm Bored" this summer!


Kat said...

This was a really GREAT blogpost! I don't have kids, but I DO have a brother that is signifigantly younger than I am and I am looking for some 'bonding' stuff for us to do over the summer.

These are some really great ideas for not only parents, but Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents...etc etc. that have kids come visit. Even if they plant things, this is the age of tech and we can easily email pics of the 'growing' products of our summer memory.

Thanks :)
@penny_less (twitter)

Betsy Bargain said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Kat. I hope you and your brother have a lot of fun together this summer!

Anonymous said...

Good ideas! Some local pools have free or cheap swim times for kids in the summer. Try your local YMCA and High Schools.

casablanca said...

Thank you so much for this! I've been so busy lately I've actually forgotten how hard summers can be (and how necessary it is to book children during that time.) I'm looking forward to reading your blog more! Thanks again.