School is out, and the whining has begun.
Even if you have your children enrolled in summer camps and activities, there will inevitably be times when they are with you ALL STINKING DAY.
Crafting is not my thing. Every so often I find something I want to try, and my son will cooperate for about 10 minutes before he runs off.
Projects have to be simple around here.
There are some television shows that I actually approve of. But I certainly don’t want my son to spend all summer attached to the television or ipad.
So I came up with an elaborate list of activities for moms that are not crafty.
This isn’t just any list, it is meant to be a resource guide for all the moms who don’t really enjoy “kid” stuff.
Here are a few summer activities for moms that are not crafty.
How to Entertain Your Kids Without Being Crafty
First, some Easy Crafts
Ok – so for me to do any craft it has to be easy. I managed to make slime, so I am doing better.
Here are some “crafty” ideas that won’t drive you (or me) nuts.
Mini Mason Jar Aquariums via A Little Clarification
Cereal Box Jet Packs (My son is obsessed with jet packs.) via Small Fry Blog
DIY Simple Catapult via Kids Activities Blog
Q-Tip Blow Dart Game via Kids Activities Blog
Squirt Gun Painting via Fireflies and Mudpies
Lillipop Bouquet via Sits Girls
That is pretty much as crafty as we will get this summer.
Next, Educational Activities
Whenever somebody talks to me about home schooling I tell them that the teachers at my son’s school do a much better job than I ever could.
Unfortunately, I cannot afford to pay one of them to hang out in my house all summer.
In the interest of developing my son into a well-rounded individual I will be attempting the following educational projects this summer. Or at least…some of them.
Since my son has some fine motor skills, some of these activities are chosen for that purpose.
Regrowing Vegetables From Scraps via What We Do All Day
Dyed Flowers Science Experiment via The Imagination Tree
Build a Lego Candy Dispenser via Frugal Fun 4 Boys
Building with Paper via Deceptively Educational
Spider Web Construction with Straws and Playdough via Rainy Day Mum
Solar Oven via Castle View Academy
Education.com has some amazing resources for learning. You simply download the lesson plan and gather materials. It is that easy!
Here are some links that I plan to use from Education.com:
Study of Names – After I did this I realized it was supposed to be for a 3rd grader. Whoops! No wonder our graph was backward.
Consonant Blend Scavenger Hunt via Education.com
Not every activity you try with your children over the summer has to have a specific educational objective. Here are some of my other non-crafty summer ideas:
Visit a Farm
Every year we join a local CSA where we get most of our produce for the summer.
It is important for children to understand where their food comes from. My son enjoys going to pick up our farm share every week.
I keep him involved by having him count out the vegetables and fruits, and talking about how some food grows in the ground. When we get home we wash our produce.
We also visit a local dairy farm so we can see the baby calves and big momma cows.
Sometimes E asks some errr… interesting questions about the cows, but I just answer as honestly and accurately as possible. As crazy as it sounds, it is a great learning experience.
And they have ice cream!
Take A Nature Walk
I don’t hike. In fact, I prefer all of my exercise to be indoors because I do not like insects and humidity.
But at least once per summer I take my son to one of the local county parks for a stroll.
We look at plants and trees, and I spend a lot of time saying, “I don’t know much about the forest.” But E enjoys it anyway.
Sometimes he rides his bike along a flat trail and I walk behind him.
You can also walk around your neighborhood and look for squirrels, flowers, and different types of plants. We actually found a turtle in our backyard this week!
Visit a Museum
Every summer we make a trip to visit my family in Pittsburgh, PA. While we are there we always visit the Childrens Museum or the Carnegie Science Center.
Two important facts about museums: they are air conditioned, and they keep your child busy for at least a few hours.
Use Google, find a museum within driving distance, and then go. Just do it.
Visit a Zoo
My son is totally obsessed with the show Wild Kratts. Short of buying a plane ticket to Madagascar – which he tells me is quite expensive, we will not get to see exotic animals any time in the near future.
We love the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Smithsonian National Zoo.
Beware: zoos can be crowded and hot. Plan ahead and take plenty of
Read a book Series together
My son just finished kindergarten, so he is now reading semi-independently.
One of the ways I try to encourage his reading habit is to get him involved in books that are a series.
We are working on Harry Potter right now. Next I am thinking Percy Jackson.
There is nothing better than snuggling on the couch with a book and your little one.
When you are finished with the books, you can even watch the movies.
Camp Out In the Back Yard
My son wants to go camping in the worst way.
Unfortunately, the Hubs and I are not campers. We don’t do tents and bugs and sleeping on the ground. We are more boutique hotel with a wine selection kind of people.
I have officially promised my son that we would borrow a tent and camp in the back yard this summer. Maybe it will be fun?
Have A Picnic
Kids love picnics. For my son, an applesauce pack and goldfish is enough to make his day if it is served outdoors.
Pack a picnic lunch and go somewhere, even if it is just to the local park. Play for a bit, sanitize your hands, and then have your meal.
Take pictures. If the weather is good let your children run some of the energy off.
You never know, you might get an afternoon nap.
Finally, It’s ok to admit that you do not really enjoy crafts, kids toys, and digging in the sand box.
Not all of us love this stuff. This doesn’t mean you don’t love your children.
Summer activities can be fun and educational without being crafty.
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