Sometimes the summer months can be agonizingly exhausting and stressful for us mamas. Between the heat, missed naps, longer days and no school: it can get a little crazy! Keeping your kids, not only busy but occupied for longer than 20 minutes, often seems like a mighty task. Never fear: we have some special and fun ideas for you and your brood to try out this summer. Creating lasting and meaningful memories with your kids is typically on the top of every mama's life to-do list. With these exciting options, you'll be well on your way. Camp In The Backyard Sometimes summer vacations can be stressful with little ones. If you have kids in a wide age range, this is a good substitute for packing multiple outfits, snacks, toiletries and all the essentials, to lug kids out of town. Instead, you have an entirely new and different setting with the comforts of home just a few feet away. Pitch a tent, have a picnic dinner, tell stories, snuggle in sleeping bags. You can even add a glow in the dark craft or two. It's also perfect because the weather is so much nicer in the evenings and the blaring hot sun isn't up to drain you. Interview a Relative Cultivating the interpersonal skills of our children is so incredibly crucial. One of the best ways to do this is to get them interested in others. To help foster a naturally inquisitive brain, encourage your child to interview a member of the family, preferably someone older. This helps your child get to know aspects of the family tree, and life itself, that may not have dawned on them yet. Though it may sound a bit like schoolwork, your child will likely come to find it fascinating. Photoshoot In this incessant social media age, there isn't any shortage of documentation and photographs. However, there is something to be said for the physicality of an image. Photos are the very best keepsakes of our lives and memories. Make it a summer tradition to let the kids dress up and have a photo shoot. Using a Polaroid camera is ideal because you have instant access to your pictures. Put them on your fridge, in the car or around the house as little reminders of your fun summer. Visit The Library With our fast paced and ceaselessly digital lives, we can sometimes forget that a library is a beautiful place filled with books of countless stories. Spend an afternoon going through different books with your children. Interact with them, read with them, ask them questions. Even though school's out, they should always be learning and growing. It's a much slower pace than the games they're used to playing on their iPad's, but it also helps them cultivate patience and critical thinking. Water Balloon Fight Some things should never go out of style. Certain aspects of childhood, like hide and seek and water balloon fights, should live eternally. Lather the kids up with sunscreen and head out to the backyard. Added fun bonus if the sprinklers are on. Fill a giant bucket with water balloons for each kid and let them run wild. A perk of this suggestion is after a couple of hours, they'll be passed out on the couch from an overdose of sun and laughter. Family Game Night We know the electronic devices get to be all consuming, but a little family time is still one of the most fundamentally vital aspects a kid needs. Pull out the old fashioned games, whether it be board games or a deck of cards. Try to play something new each week. This not only helps exercise their analytical and logical minds but also teaches them valuable life skills. A good game allows for great family bonding and requires enough concentration to have your kids hooked. Organize and Donate Old Toys It's important to give your children context for how to treat their belongings and how to treat others. Telling them it's time to donate old and gently used toys to children less fortunate should be an activity that becomes consistent. Donating items at least twice a year keeps play spaces less cluttered and also teaches your kids valuable lessons about giving, empathy and being of service to others. Let them choose between the toys they want to keep and ones they want to donate. Make gentle suggestions of specific toys you know they no longer play with. Cooking Class Get your kids involved in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the gendered notion that cooking is something that women predominately do is still very much engrained in many people. Whether you have sons or daughters, helping them learn how to cook is essential as a life skill. Whether you use some of your favorite recipes or enjoy a meal cooking service, familiarizing your kids with the kitchen is one of the best uses of their extra summer time. Scavenger Hunt What you don't want is for your child's entire summer vacation to consist of video games and cheesy puffs. Though there's nothing wrong with those things, having a bit of variety is exactly where that sweet spot lies. There are numerous ways you can orchestrate a fun hour or two of your kids roaming around the house looking for clues. You can try an A to Z scavenger hunt where they must locate an item that begins with each letter. You can also hide little rewards near the object itself. Put on a Show Kids and their creativity and imagination know no bounds. Tap into that by allowing them to put on a show. They can perform a dance number, do magic tricks, tell jokes or any other type of display. Set it up like a talent show complete with costume changes and interesting little tidbits. You can act as the host or an enthused audience member. Children constantly need validation and praise. This is the perfect way for them to get that while also demonstrating their flair and knack for what they have an interest in.
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