Summertime! I look forward to it. It means sunshine and long days and a break from school. It also means 100 degrees and above, on many days. Which means I am so, so thankful for air conditioning.
It is busy and lazy all mixed together in a colorful blend.
Summertime brings wheat harvest time upon us and our busiest couple of weeks. There is always something to be done anytime of year, but harvest brings its own sense of urgency and pressure. When the wheat is ripe we want to get it in the bin!
I’ve been thinking about some of the things my kids do in the summertime. Some of the activities we also do in the winter, but summer time brings more time and fresh inspiration.
When it’s hot outside and no one wants to be out, audiobooks make a great accompaniment to whatever activity is happening. My kids listen to audiobooks a lot. My son does a lot of Lego building and he almost always has an audiobook playing too.
If your kiddos are young, I say start your audiobook collection now! 🙂 I’ve loved having them for my kiddos. Anne of Green Gables, Little Lord Fauntleroy, Adventures in Odyssey, Airship Andy…. The library is a great option for audiobooks too. We’ve enjoyed several from ours. My kids have also listened to Adventures in Odyssey, online. I think there are other sites offering online listening options also. CD’s have been the easiest for us because my kiddos have a cd player handy and it just works easier and more quickly than going online. However, audiobooks can get pricey, so online options are certainly great.
2. Bubbles and Playdough.
If you have a few extra $, bubbles and playdough are fun outdoor summertime activities. My kiddos are growing out of this somewhat, but they did just have our playdough stuff out the beginning of the week. They’ve had summertime playdough fun ever since they were very young. I’ve never loved playdough INSIDE my house. But outside, it rocks! Besides it’s always more exciting to play with something that you haven’t played with for a long time.
3. Sprinklers and Pools and Water
What’s more fun when it is 100 degrees than some good ole water play? Once again, every summer since my kiddos were very young, they’ve played in the water. My son used to like to play with a hose and pretend he was an irrigation system. Great fun, that, standing in the yard slowly squirting a hose around in a circle. Plus, watering the grass. Or in our case, probably more weeds than grass. 😉
We’ve had small wading pools, little bit bigger wading pools, cow tank, and finally one of those blue pop-up pools that you see everywhere. We’ve used it for five years and it is quite on its last leg. Not sure it is going to make it up this year to our kiddos disappointment. I will miss it too. I enjoy water and enjoyed getting in it with them. I won’t miss the taking-care-of-it part so much, though it’s not that hard.
My kiddos have also enjoyed playing in sprinklers. Not as good as a pool, but so intriguing to run though water spraying and arching into the air or to try to sit on the sprinkler or to get a drink from it.
4. Magazines and Books
While my kiddos aren’t bookworms compared to some, they do enjoy reading. My daughter more than my son at this point, although he enjoys books once he gets going on one. My mother-in-law has given them subscriptions to Highlights, Puzzlemania, and Which Way USA, and they not only enjoy reading the magazines and doing the activities, but they like getting mail. When they were very small they had a subscription to Wild Animal Baby and then got Ranger Rick for a while when they were older. Magazine subscriptions are such a fun gift idea for kids. I like to keep some of the Puzzlemanias in the car and I like to take them along when we are going to a restaurant or somewhere that involves some sitting and waiting.
5.Games and Puzzles
Summertime is a great time to pull out games and puzzles that haven’t been played or put together for a while. We do these activities in the wintertime too, but with schoolwork to do, the day moves right along and time just flows differently.
6. Tucked-Away Toys
I find my kiddos digging out toys that haven’t been out for a while and setting them up. They just really do have more time for this kind of thing with the schoolbooks tucked away on the shelf.
7. Movies and Websites
While we don’t have television, we do watch movies occasionally. Once again, while a movie is a fun wintertime evening thing, it can also be a really fun summertime thing. Sometimes it’s so hot that watching a movie INSIDE, in the afternoon or evening, is one of the coolest things to do. My kiddos also spend time now and then on Lego.com or American Girl checking out all the “stuff” or playing games.
8. Outside Play
During the morning or evening, or on the occasional cooler day, my kiddos like to ride scooters or bikes or build a fort or jump on the trampoline. They spend time playing with their kittens and they have a tire swing they swing on and perform acrobatics on and climb to the top of the rope on. This summer they’ve played croquet some and they play softball or soccer or basketball sometimes. They throw a football and play gymnastics. My son still digs around in the sandbox sometimes; another thing they are outgrowing. When they were younger, they spent a good bit of time on our swingset. It was just a basic frame with two swings, but they enjoyed it.
I’ve never loved my kiddos to think they’re bored or have nothing to do. They really have always been pretty good at keeping busy and not complaining that “they’re bored.” Mom is always glad to offer extra chores to anyone who needs something to do. 🙂 They are truly blessed with many activities and have always had good places to play outside. Therefore they really have no option to claim boredom. I know there are families and children who don’t have much space for outside play and some don’t have a lot of extra inside space either. It can all certainly make a difference.