My son has been in camp for the last five weeks. It’s just day camp — or morning camp, to be more precise — but he loves it. He and his toddler friends play with water tables and bouncy houses and make crafts with Popsicle sticks and glitter. Every week is a different theme, and every day he brings home his latest masterpiece. While he’s only there for three hours a day, his time at camp allows me to get things done. I can work out, do some work, and take a breath. But in just one more week, much to my son’s dismay (and mine), camp will be over.
It is hard to express how much I (and the other parents) are dreading the end of camp. Sure, it will be tough not having those few hours every day to get things done. But more importantly, keeping my little boy entertained will soon become my job all day, every day, until school starts in two long months. The prospect of this has sent me on a mad hunt for things to do with him when his trains, trucks, and time in our yard just aren’t cutting it.
If you will be desperate for some fun activities to do with your kids for a few weeks this summer, then look no further. This list has you covered.
Playdough is great for creativity, but if you can get your kids to take the extra time to make their very own batch of it, you’re looking at an entire morning revolving around just one activity. The bonus is that you can make it any time that your old stash gets left out and hardens into a bright, colorful, crumbling, rocky mass. This is far cheaper than buying the real stuff over and over again.
Color Scavenger Hunt
This is great even for your younger children. It can be especially fun for kids who are just starting to learn their colors. Watch them amaze you as they find everything in your house that correlates to the color you ask them to find.
Older kids will definitely appreciate this. Fun science projects aren’t just ways to keep busy — they can also keep those brains working in the summer months so that when it’s time for school to start up, they won’t be rusty. They might even be excited to jump back into learning again in September!
Ice Block Treasure Hunt
Ok, I wouldn’t necessarily trust my 3-year-old with this one, but if you have an older kid with a sturdy hand, by all means, go for it. The thing about this extremely time-consuming activity is that you basically have to give your kids tools (hammer, maybe even a screwdriver?) to hack away at the ice to get to the treasures. If they’re crafty, they’ll put that block in the hot sun and let nature lend a hand.
Kid-Made Wind Chimes
This is a lovely activity that will result in a new ornament for your house. Unless, of course, you don’t want to listen to wind chimes outside your house all day and night. In which case, you might want to avoid it, since the kids will undoubtedly insist that their creation be hung up for all to see.
Homemade Bath Bombs
I have a pre-teen niece and I learned from her that bath bombs are all the rage. When I went to buy some for her for Christmas last year, I was horrified at how expensive they were. They’re basically soap. There is no reason they should break the bank. If you can have your kids make them, they’ll love it and so will your wallet.
This is an oldie but a goody. At least around our house, there is no shortage of rocks. And my kid loves paint as much as the next toddler. Turning piles of rocks into fun little characters is a wonderful way to kill a few hours.
Bake for Your Pets
Do you have a dog or cat? You and your kids can spend some time baking treats for them! Not only will Fido or Fluffy appreciate the gesture, but the whole activity will spark some fantastic conversation with you and your little ones.