When you step through the doors of School of Rock Vancouver, what you will hear is laughter and excitement. That’s because these budding musicians are building their self confidence while playing their chosen musical instruments from day one instead of starting with scales and other theory exercises, and they are doing this alongside their friends in…
Whether your kids were in-person, virtual, or homeschool learning this year, once summer begins, their regular schedule typically goes out the window! Entertaining kids becomes part of your full-time job and, let’s face it – it’s tough.
Having a list of simple boredom busters to pick from makes things a lot easier when that whining starts. It’s super important to incorporate fun, easy and physical activities into their daily routine to keep your kids active and engaged.
Print out this list of 15 fun and simple activities to try this summer to add a bit of simplicity to your days.
Five Active and (shh!) Educational Games for Kids
Need a quick way to burn some energy? Check out these 5-minute, active, and (shh!) educational games that use materials you have around the house!
1. Alphabet Lava
Set up “islands” around the room with things like stools, pillows, placemats, or whatever you have around the house (They should be set up close enough so your child can jump between them), then toss age-appropriate flashcards (for toddlers: colours, shapes animals, for preschoolers: single letters, for bigger kids: sight words or parts of sentences) around the islands. Call out different flashcards and have your child jump from island to island without touching the lava to retrieve them.
2. Alphabet Run
Create age-appropriate flashcards (for toddlers: colours, shapes animals, for preschoolers: single letters, for bigger kids: sight words or parts of sentences) and use painters tape to hide them around the house. Your job is to yell out the objects, letters or words from the cards and your kids are responsible for running to find them.
3. Life Size Painters Tape Maze
To make your life size painter’s tape maze, it’s easiest to start with a large box around the entire space, then map out your maze, start to finish, and end by adding dead ends and obstacles. Cut out flashcards with different action words, such as walk backwards, jump, hop, dance, roll, crawl – Flip a card and complete the maze while doing the action (ie. If he flips ‘jump’ he must jump through the maze).
4. Painters Tape Obstacle Course
Ideas could include:
- Obstacle 1: Set up simple lines at different distances apart and practice your long jump.
- Obstacle 2: Set up balance beams with straight lines, zigzag lines and curvy lines.
- Obstacle 3: Set up a silly painters tape ‘laser beam’ maze between chairs, walls and under tables
5. NFL Combine Your Kid
My husband gets credit for this one. He decided to bring the NFL Combine home – by using our kids as guinea pigs and testing their strength, agility, speed and size against real NFL players. The kids enjoyed it. I enjoyed watching it (if you want a laugh, encourage a 5 year old to bench press his little sister). It was fun all around!
Stats to measure could include Height, Arm Length, Hand Length, Wingspan, 40 yard dash time, Vertical jump height, Broad jump, Bench press
Five Simple S.T.E.A.M. Challenges
Do you have curious kids who love to explore and learn? Here are a few ways you can simply incorporate S.T.E.A.M. learning into play (without them even knowing it)!
- Provide elastic bands, recycled bottle caps and popsicle sticks and challenge your kids to create a simple catapult to get an object from point A to point B.
- Provide magnetic tiles and challenge your kids to create a maze. Use a straw to blow pompoms through the maze.
- Provide painters tape and paper towel rolls and challenge your kids to create a marble run on your wall.
- Provide popsicle sticks and challenge your kids to create the letters of their names.
- Provide red, blue and yellow play dough and challenge your kids to create all the colours of a rainbow.
Five Outdoor Activities for Kids
Nobody needs an excuse to get outside – but these five simple activities will give your kids a bit of a nudge in the right direction if they need it.
- Make a Classic Bird Feeder
Search for a large pinecone, slather it in natural peanut butter, roll in birdseed and string!
- Create a Natural Fairy Garden
Fill a planter with soil and plant some wildflowers to encourage pollination! Collect natural materials, such as moss, sticks, leaves and stones to complete your fairy garden.
- Plant Your Own Veggie Garden
Plant simple things for them to manage on their own, like tomatoes, beans, strawberries, and peas.
Don’t have a large space or a backyard of your own? No problem! Small planters do just fine for a project like this!
- Visit An Outdoor Natural Tourist Attraction
Pack a picnic and head to your nearest beach or world wonder for a last-minute, family adventure!
- Play Classic Backyard Games
No prep. Minimal Materials. Hours of fun!
3-Legged Races. Potato Sack Races. Egg & Spoon Races. Wheelbarrow Races. Enough Said!
Kristen Bellamy is a homeschooling mom of 2 young kids, author of children’s picture book, The Colors of Kindness, and runs Kidtivities, a free online resource for simplifying life with kids. To learn more about Kidtivities and The Colors of Kindness (and to snag your FREE digital Book Companion with 10 fun activities for kids), check out www.instagram.com/discoverkidtivities and www.discoverkidtivities.com
Summer is coming to an end and now is time to start planning which activities your children will be doing this Fall. Extracurricular activities are a huge part of children's growth and development. They provide an opportunity for children to have new experiences, meet new people, and learn new skills. On top of all that…
Let's get into it as we explore new ways to keep kids busy during Summer break. There are a variety of new ways through which caregivers or parents can keep their young ones busy.
More current research is showing that excessive screen time is associated with other delayed cognitive and linguistic development.