School’s out and the kids are home. Even though they might be attending camp, VBS or playing organized sports there will come a day when you will hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored!” Structured activities are good for kids but they need to be balanced with unstructured play time. Toys and materials that are open-ended and can be played with in a variety of ways encourage kids to be creative and imaginative.
Head to your local dollar store and for less than ten dollars pick up a few supplies that will keep the kids busy this summer. I suggest the following: Sand buckets, sidewalk chalk, paint brushes, funnels, bubbles, a jump rope and a hula hoop.
Sidewalk chalk can be used to draw self-portraits or a hopscotch outline. Once the driveway is full of masterpieces grab a garden hose, and let the kids hose off the driveway. This is also a good time for them to wash their bikes and trikes.
Fill a sand bucket with water and use an adult-sized paint brush to paint the sidewalk, the house or the lawn furniture. Fill two buckets with water and use a scoop and funnels to move water from one bucket to another.
Make an obstacle course using lawn chairs, bikes, jump ropes and hula hoops. A fun physical activity can get kids away from the TV and video games and get their hearts pumping. Have a contest to see how fast they can run the course.
Don’t forget to take photos. On a rainy day the kids can put those photos into a scrapbook or album as a reminder of their fun and active summer.