Back to School Countdown: Make the Last Days of Summer Count!
By Erika Rasmusson Janes
Posted on ivillage
Has the end-of-summer malaise struck your house? Let’s face it, those days between the end of summer camp and the beginning of school can be hard to fill. On the one hand, there’s a long stretch of unscheduled time to spend with your kids. On the other hand, there’s a long stretch of unscheduled time to spend with your kids! A type-A mom could break out in hives just thinking about it. So how do you make those fleeting summer days memorable?
This year, my family is spending those two in-between weeks visiting out-of-town family. (The plan is to spend lazy days at my husband’s family cabin, hit our favorite local ice cream shop, splash in the lake and visit the awesome kids’ bookstore that houses a live tarantula, chinchilla, chicken and cat alongside the stacks of books.) Friends of ours are also doing the travel thing. But if you’ve met your vacation quota for the summer, check out these tips from real moms and from parenting expert Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions.
Make a memory book. Enlist your kids in creating a summer 2011 scrapbook or photobook. Ask everyone to share their favorite memories from the past three months, and get the mementos — pictures from vacations, ticket stubs from the zoo — together and create a memory book.
Do something silly. Set up a tent and ‘camp’ in the backyard; bring a picnic indoors (especially if your city is still experiencing triple-digit temps!); plan a backwards day where you serve dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner; or create a drive-in movie experience by bringing a portable DVD player outdoors. “Mixed-up, silly things are what kids love and remember most,” Borba says.
Get a head start on school. “We’re spending the week getting into our school routine, so the first week isn’t as much of an adjustment,” says Kansas mom Jennifer A. “Going to bed and getting up at ‘school times,’ picking out what we’re wearing the night before, and setting up the homework area.” Borba also recommends spending that week experimenting with new school lunch ideas that your kid likes — and can even help prepare.
Plan a last hurrah. “Once the school doors open, those things you wished you’d done go out the window,” Borba says. So use this last week or two to actually do one of those things you — or your kids — have been wanting do do. Bake that complicated German chocolate cake recipe your kids have been begging to make, do the craft project you’ve been collecting cardboard toilet paper tubes for, or plan that trip to the aquarium.
Hit the state fair. For many counties and states, annual fair time is approaching. If yours is one of them, spend a day there and don’t feel guilty about letting your kids eat something fried on a stick.
Sure, unscheduled days can loom long for parents and kids alike, but the last days of summer are also a perfect time to slow down before the back-to-school craziness starts. So if nothing else makes it onto your calendar, plan one last barbecue and eat one last ice cream cone. Or two.
15 Christmastime Activities for Kids
Click the link below and check out cool stuff like-
Fingerprint Christmas cards, Christmas sparkle cloud dough, large yarn wrapped ornaments and gingerbread house greeting cards.
50 fun things to do with your children!
Try these on the weekend (after homework is done of course!) or on holidays to keep everyone having fun!
- Write stories or comics together.
- Play a sport (soccer or cricket)
- Make home-made paint and paint together or try fingerpainting or facepainting.
- Create a fort in your living or bed-room out of blankets or cardboard boxes.
- Go on a nature hike or kite flying.
- Have a picnic in your backyard or have an outdoor barbecue.
- Set up a tent and sleep in your yard or on the patio.
- Play games: board, cards, video or online games.
- Go to a museum or the observatory.
- Go to a playground.
- Pillow fight!
- Ride bikes or scooters.
- Have a picnic at the beach, park or at a pool.
- Go fishing near a pond or at a dock.
- Movie night! Make different flavored popcorn.
- Have a scavenger hunt or create a treasure hunt.
- Make mazes or puzzles for each other to solve.
- Plant seeds in little pots or in the backyard together and watch them grow!
- Go to the zoo or pet store.
- Go to the library.
- Shop at a thrift shop.
- Create a blog or scrap book together.
- Make a movie using your smartphone or tablet and edit it together.
- Learn to play music and play or sing songs together.
- Make play dough from scratch.
- Cook together: make homemade mini pizzas or bake cookies.
- Make Popsicle, ice-cream blocks, milk shakes or smoothies- use different ingredients and colors!
- Make hand-painted or tie-dye T-shirts or decorate jeans.
- Set up a hammock, make lemonade, relax.
- Visit or write emails to family.
- Paint or decorate the kids’ room.
- Do a science experiment.
- Teach them to play chess or juggle.
- Learn tricks or jokes and share with each other.
- Create a family book, with information and pictures about each family member.
- Volunteer or donate stuff to charity.
- Compete in a three-legged, sack race or other race.
- Roast marshmallows.
- Play loud music and dance crazy.
- Write and produce a play (to perform before other family members) or do a puppet show.
- Have a gun-fight with those foam dart guns.
- Explore your yard and look for insects or interesting plants.
- Go for a walk and explore the neighborhood, take the dog!
- Take pictures of nature.
- Blow bubbles or let them have a bubble bath.
- Take turns saying tongue twisters.
- Make up stories where each person takes a turn building the story.
- Play outside with a hose and squirt guns or have a water balloon fight.
- Build a model from a kit or build stuff with legos
- Build paper airplanes and have a flying contest.
Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Kidz Keepers is the place where kids reach out to help other kids.
The purpose of such activity is founded in the scriptural command: James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Therefore we hope to involve children in helping less fortunate children.