Summer Fun!

Summer is winding down, as least it is in Memphis.  School starts back on August 6 – that’s only 2 short weeks away!  Don’t worry, there’s still time to have some great summer fun.  Here are a few ideas:

Barnes and Noble Summer Reading Club:  Kids in grades 1-6 can receive a free book from Barnes & Noble by reading 8 books over the summer. They will need to fill out a Summer Reading Journal and bring the journal to a B&N location when they are finished.  They will then receive a coupon for a free book.

Local Library: Many libraries offer summer programs that include reading clubs or contests, special guest illustrators/authors, entertainers, craft time, or fairs. Most are free and open to the public, although some might require prior registration.

Playgroup Fun:  Do you belong to a group organization for mothers with children (i.e. a playgroup or church group)? Contact the local fire station or police station. Most officers are more than welcome to provide free tours for children’s groups with advance notice. The kids will love it, and it’s free!

Visit a Local Museum:  Is there a museum in your area you have been meaning to visit, but haven’t? Some museums offer a “free day” where you can visit without paying admission. The same applies to some zoos.

Have a Cookie Baking Day:   Is it raining or just too hot? Make cookies, but be sure to let your kids do most of the work (and the clean up too, of course). Freeze some cookies for later or hear them giggle when they deliver some to a neighbor.

Sprinkler Day:  Delay your sprinklers for one day so they come a little later in the morning.  This way everyone can get on their bathing suits and have fun jumping through the sprinklers on a hot day.  But not for too long!  This is a good time to teach them about conserving water, reducing utility costs, etc.

Fly a Kite:  Check your 10-day forecast and look for a windy day in the coming week.  Pick up an expensive kite for the kids and head to the park.

Make Playdough:   Have the kids help you make the playdough (this recipe works without having to heat the playdough mixture on the stove – just use warm water).  Playdough is a great activity to encourage fine motor, speech and language skills.

Build a Fort:   A living room “fort” could be as simple as a few kitchen chairs gathered in a circle with a large bed sheet thrown across them and draped to the floor.  The kids can hide from mom and dad, read books, or pretend they are camping out in the living room.

Go Bowling:  Call the lanes ahead of time and ask if they have any summer specials (certain days may be cheaper). Also check those coupon mailer packs for coupons for free games.

Declare a “Bored” Game Day:  Few kids today don’t realize you can play games without a computer.  Most of these old board games are inexpensive in their basic form and can create great memories.

Break Out the Water Balloons:  Kids can participate in games like a water balloon toss – they start close together, but take a step back with each toss to increase the distance.  The last one to break the balloon is out.  With that was left, the kids can have an all-out water balloon battle.  Lots of fun, but be sure to pick up the balloon remains, especially if you have very little ones or pets as they could be a choking hazard.

Create a “Mini” Me:  Find a piece of large poster board, or large heavy-duty paper (such as a butcher paper) wide enough for your kids to lay down on.  Use a dull pencil (less chance for boo-boos) to trace their entire body to the paper from head to toe.  Now let the kids decorate the kids to look like themselves in the same clothes they are wearing, same color eyes, hair, etc. When they are finished, help them cut out their mini-me for proud display.

Enjoy Pajama Day:    I feel like having these days as an adult!  Stay in your pajamas all day long.  Make pancakes in the morning, bake a pizza for lunch, and lounge around watching movies.

Volunteer:  A good way to wrap up your summertime fun is to allow your children to donate to a worthy cause.  Contact a few local charities and find out which ones will allow kids to volunteer some time over the summer (under your supervision).

The best gift to give your child is you!  Quality time with your child creates the most precious memories.  Remember to plan ahead and have fun.


Adapted from the following sources:
Frugal Dad   

Dave Ramsey

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