When you think of summer crafts for kids, pipe cleaners, finger paints and googly eyes might come to mind. While these inexpensive craft items can be great time fillers for kids, why not attempt something that both of you might actually want to hang on to for more than a couple of days? Teach your kids a new skill with one of these meaningful projects.
Redecorate Their Rooms
If you kid is old enough, consider helping them redecorate their room. Not only will they be able to express themselves, but it’s also a great way to teach budgeting, hard work and organization skills. Begin by setting a budget and helping your kid research how much their desired room redecoration will cost. Take them to the local home store to choose paint, fabric and accessories. Encourage them to help with the work as much as possible. Enlist them as a painter, carpenter and general assistant. You can also take this time to teach your child how to be organized with their space. they’ll be far more likely to keep their room clean if they feel they had a hand in making it their own personal hideaway.
Plant a Garden
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, planting a garden for kids is a wonderful idea. You don’t need a lot of space to grow a few vegetables, and your little ones are more likely to eat fresh produce they have helped grow themselves. If you are short on space, try a small square-foot garden that will produce maximum yields in the minimum amount of space. Begin by heading to the local library or university extension service to do some research about what grows well in your area. Let your kids help make a garden plan and then enlist their help in preparing the soil, planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. Not only will you all eat a little healthier, you’ll also be teaching invaluable lessons about hard work, patience, and stewardship.
Learn a New Skill Together
Summer isn’t just a time for the kids to try out a new sport, talent or skill. Look for something you and the kids can learn together. “Mommy And Me” classes are more popular than ever and there are options for every age group and interest. Among the popular choices are yoga, dance, martial arts, musical theater, swimming, sewing, cooking, natural sciences and even film production. Local museums and universities are great places to start looking for these types of classes. If you can only find kid classes, ask the instructor if you can volunteer as a helper during the class. You’ll spend more time with your kids and you might get a discount too.
Magical Mondays, Wonderful Wednesday, Fun Fridays!
If the ideas above are too much for you to take on, consider setting aside one day each week for special summer activities. Print out a calendar for the summer months and sit down with your kids to plan what types of things they want to do this summer. Let every person choose at least one outing. Fill in the remaining days with things that are new or family favorites. Look for discount days or family passes to save money. Some popular ideas include: zoos, aquariums, aviaries, botanical gardens, museums, amusement parks, fish hatcheries, movies, county fairs, water parks and library story times. Knowing that there is something to look forward to each week will help the kids manage their expectations and get you all out of the house and enjoying the season!