We are almost at that point in the summer when the neighborhood pool has lost some of its charm, and going on vacation has already occurred; so now what? My last blog listed some local happenings and excursions that might interest young families. I hope you enjoyed trying some of those suggested outings, but this month I would like to focus on some 'down home' fun that requires little in the way of travel or expense. Enjoy trying some of these activities before the hectic pace of the school year begins. Your preschooler will love both the effort and experience!
1. Car Wash
Get out the hose, soapy water, towels and rags. Preschoolers love having jobs, and this one is perfect for hot summer temperatures. Practical, too!
2. Family Bike Ride
This is a wonderful way to spend a weekend morning or early evening. Always wonderful to get moving as a family, and exercise serves as a lovely bonding experience. Stop at a local playground on your ride, or finish with an ice pop treat.
3. Library Scavenger Hunt
A few years ago I gave my kindergarteners a library scavenger hunt sheet to complete with their parents. Google 'preschool/kindergarten library scavenger hunt' to find a printable one, or prepare your own. This is great fun, but serves a dual purpose as it acquaints children with how to find books and resources in their local library. You can make the hunt personal and more meaningful by finding an author with the same last name as your own, or locating your child’s’ favorite story.
This is probably one of my favorite activities to encourage children to grow up as socially responsible, caring individuals. As preschoolers there are multiple ways to volunteer, but the key is to make sure children have an active role. Prepare a bag to donate to a food kitchen. This is so simple, but powerful. Have your child decorate the outside of the bag, and locate food items to fill the bag. Make sure your preschooler goes with you to deliver the donation. The same can be done with back to school supplies. Buy an additional backpack for an unknown child, and encourage your child to help stock it with school supplies.
Traditional board games are lots of fun, but they also teach skills like taking turns, following rules, increasing focus/attention. Bingo is one of my favorites, as players can keep playing after the first BINGO has been determined, and a second round can always be added if interest hasn’t waned. Another personal favorite is Charades, as all that is needed is your enthusiasm and a bit of dramatic flair! Other summer favorites include jump rope, and sidewalk chalk games.
6. Make Your Own
Bubbles are always a hit, but particularly if you have made your own, and created your own wands for use. Water, dish soap and corn syrup will form a nice mixture. Another recipe calls for water, dishwashing soap, cornstarch and baking powder. Have fun experimenting with a few recipes, and different wands. Basically, any kitchen or household tool with a hole will work as a wand. Try cookie cutters, or making wands from pipe cleaners. Bubbles will keep your child busy for quite a while, but also be learning experience as he/she tries out different size and shape wands.
We miss your children here at LANK but hope all of our families are enjoying the easy nature of the summer break, and the relaxed togetherness that the summer months bring. Please share some of your summer fun when we see you in September.