Thursday, May 17, 2012

Summer Fun Activity Grab Bags

I am the queen of good intentions.  Every summer passes by way too quickly, and somehow I do not end up doing all the neat ideas I had planned with the kids.  Fortunately, last spring I came across The Crafting Chicks blog and found a way to keep all my activities somewhat organized to make sure all our fun ideas won't be forgotten in the busy summer days.  Go to their Summer Activity Jars and Grab Bags for a more detailed explanation and FREE downloads to get you started.
First, I divided up the various activities that I wanted to do with the kids over the summer into three categories: activities and games, fun food and treat ideas, and outings or road trip ideas.  I printed these ideas out on different colored paper, and cut each one out, placing all the same colored pieces in the same jar.
At the beginning of each week, I planned out the week by pulling out a few ideas from each jar and placing them in a grab bag labeled for every day of the week.  Mondays we typically stay close to home, so we didn't usually have any road trips planned for that day but we might have 2 fun activities and a fun treat to eat.  I can also plan according to the weather what activities we do when.  I would typically place 3 slips of paper in each bag. 
While making out the list, I included the kids, asked them what types of things they'd like to do during the summer, but I also kept a few as a surprise!  The above post also included a large list of ideas for summer activities to do, but after being introduced to Pinterest this year, I have added a few more that your kids may find fun.

Summer Fun Activities
  1. Listen to an audiobook
  2. Make Giraffes
  3. Make Slime
  4. Make Bird feeder
  5. Melted Crayon Dot Art
  6. Use a rope ladder
  7. Make a nature book
  8. Make & Fly a kite
  9. Make obstacle course in back yard
  10. Make a stargazing map
  11. Have a Dress Up Party
  12. Learn bird calls
  13. Have a "bored" board game day
  14. Make silhouettes
  15. Play "I Spy" while on a walk
  16. Make a wind chime
  17. Travel Around the World
  18. Make a Solar Light
  19. Make a Lava Lamp
  20. Do a photo shoot
  21. Glow in the dark bathtub sticks
  22. Mini rainbow volcanoes
  23. Hand shadows
  24. Make a teepee outside
  25. Build a Marble Run

Fun Summer Foods
1.  Choose food from a different country to try
2.  Smoothies
3.  Cook a meal for someone
4.  Make a fruit kabob
5.  Try a new recipe together
6.  Take a picnic somewhere
7.  Bake cupcakes and decorate them
8.  Have a candlelight dinner
9.  Make Popsicles
10. Dip a banana in chocolate & freeze it.
11. Mini personal pizzas
12. Frozen grapes
13. Make homemade lemonade
14. Watermelon seed spitting contest
15. Rice Krispies on a stick
16. Make homemade ice cream
17. Prescooped refrozen ice cream with sprinkles
18. All Natural Rainbow Snow Cones
19. Berries dipped in yogurt and frozen
20. Apple Sandwich
21. 1 minute Berry Ice Cream
22. Yogurt Drops
23. Fruit & Waffle Cones
24. Nutella Popsicles
25. Banana in a Blanket

* Note, most of these ideas were found on Pinterest.

Summer Road Trips!

1.  Zoo
2.  Movies (Summer specials)
3.  Science Museum
4.  Lost River Cave
5.  State Park
6.  Library
7.  Huntsville's Space Center
8.  Drive-in Movie
9.  Camping
10. Putt-putt golf
11. Swimming
12. Fountains
13. Visit the Mennonite Farms
14. Bowling (Kids bowl free summer program)

My kids loved waking up and opening the bags to see what fun was in store for them that day!  Plus, it was a way that I could keep track of what we did over the summer and have lots of fun without forgetting something that I really wanted to do over summer break!
Here are a few pictures of activities we did over the summer:
Cleaning pennies...  they actually found this fun.

Sidewalk Masterpieces, a lovely collection of kids artwork all summer long, or until it rains!

This was a favorite that was requested over and over again.  The Dino Dig.  Freeze small toy figures in ice cube trays, take outside and let the kids chisel away to "dig up" the dinos!  Very fun on a hot summer day.

What kid doesn't like making a fort inside using chairs and sheets with Dad?
Also a favorite, a Treasure Hunt in the back yard.  Don't forget to hide the Secret Treasure!!

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