Being prepared with a list of activities for kids is essential if you want to stay sane during the long summer break.
After all, it’s summer break for the kids, but not for us. I work from home, so for the next couple of weeks, until the kids go to summer camp, I will have to find a way to keep them busy at least a few hours each day while I work.
I do plan on getting out of the house and doing something fun every day, and I will definitely allow more screen time than usual, but I do want my kids to keep themselves busy for a few hours each day doing something creative.
I created this list of activities for kids with the help of my children. When the list was ready, I printed it out and placed it in the playroom. Whenever the kids complain that they’re bored and ask if they can watch more TV, I remind them to look at the list and find something they want to do. So far, it’s working quite well.
Activities For Kids That Do Not Involve TV
1. Read a book (shocking, I know.)
2. Play an instrument. The instrument can be a real one such as a piano or a guitar, or a homemade instrument such as an old pot used as a drum, or maracas made from sealed empty toilet paper rolls with dry rice.
3. Write a poem.
4. Write a short story and illustrate it.
5. Draw or paint a picture.
6. Practice hula-hoop.
7. Take photos around the house or in the yard.
8. Start a scrapbook with your thoughts and photos (we always end up with extra photos that the kids can use for these projects.)
9. Create a “joke book” filled with your own jokes and riddles, or with jokes and riddles that you like.
10. Make bracelets using string and beads.
11. Water plants around the house or in the yard.
12. Cut photos from a magazine and create a collage.
13. Create a dance or a gymnastics routine.
14. Play hide and seek.
15. Play tongue twisters.
16. Do a crossword puzzle or sudoku.
17. Make up a play, write it down, rehearse it and perform it to your parents.
18. Create with clay or play-dough.
19. Wash the dishes.
20. Help your parents cook or bake. Or look at recipes and cookbooks and select the recipes you would like to make together.
21. Go exploring in the backyard.
22. Find something to draw or paint around the house or in the yard and draw a still life.
23. Get active: do jumping jacks, sit-ups and push ups.
24. Draw a self-portrait.
25. Play a board game or a card game.
26. Play dress up.
27. Make paper airplanes in different sizes and from different types of paper, and see which one flies best.
28. Clean up your room. Find stuff you no longer need and make a pile for donation.
29. Write a letter to your grandparents or to your friends.
30. Invent your very own code language. Write the code down, then write sentences using the code.
31. Have a tea party with your dolls or stuffed animals.
32. Listen to music on your iPod.
33. Look at family photo albums.
34. Take a long, luxurious bath.
35. Give your dolls a long, luxurious bath.
36. Make your very own recipe book and fill it with creative recipes you have invented.
37. Do you have Hama Beads in the house? If you do, create with them.
38. Make an award, or a ribbon, for someone you admire. For example, make a “BFF award” for your very best friend.
39. Play hopscotch.
40. Practice skipping rope.
41. Do you own Heelys? If you do, practice them.
42. Draw with sidewalk chalk.
43. Go to the back yard and blow bubbles. See if you can string a few bubbles together.
Photo credit: John-Morgan