Spring and Summer is probably most child’s favourite seasons. School is out, the sun is out, and all the fun is definitely out! If you don’t have any plans for a vacation, a trip to the beach and no scheduled summer camp, there are still plenty of ways to keep the enjoyment going even when you’re just at home. What matters to your kids is that you enjoy the activities with them!
But Families have changed in the last 40 years or so. In many homes, both parents may work long hours while their children do their best to keep up with both school and extracurricular activities. Because of this, family fun can sometimes be lost in the rush of everyday life while important bonding moments can be shoved to the side in place of tight schedules.
Yet, there are still many ways that families can enjoy time together even with a busy lifestyle. By including fun, light-hearted activities, filled with some humour to keep it interesting, kids and parents can create memorable moments together.
Every family, no matter the tight schedule they share, has a day or two through the week when they can carve out a bit of time to spend together in a fun way. Setting aside a few hours during a convenient day of the week for a “Family Fun Day” can help keep each family member on track. So here are some activities you can indulge your kids in this summer.
Create an obstacle course indoors
Kids love a good challenge. And they have plenty of energy to burn. An obstacle course is the perfect activity for active little ones. Even an indoor one would work great!
Tape some yarn back and forth across hallways to create a “laser maze”, drape a blanket over a table (covering the sides) to make a “tunnel”, set up couch cushions to create barriers to crawl under or jump over and more. Better yet, let the young ones create their own obstacle course to also keep their minds busy!
Introduce water beads
If you don’t know what water beads are, they are tiny and colourful hard beads that when left for hours in a bowl of water, grow into soft, squishy balls. The longer they are soaked in water, the bouncier and larger they get. Water beads are ideal for sensory play (and therapeutic for adults, too!).
Place the water beads in any clear container and just let the children explore it using their hands. Place a few of their bath toys in the container for added fun. If you purchased plenty of water beads, one fun activity you can try is a water beads bath! Fill a small inflatable pool with water, get the children in their swim wear and get right into the water fun!
Make homemade movies
In a time where most kids love to watch their favourites on YouTube, it would be really exciting for them to star in their own video. Guide them through planning but allow them to run the whole thing – from scriptwriting to what they want to do in the video. They could pull a prank, open a package or act out a story. Do the editing, upload it on any video app then gather the whole family in the living room for the “premiere” of the movie or video – popcorn and all!
Pots or a small vegetable plot is all that is required. Let children decide what they would like to plant, and this can even encourage them to eat their vegetables. Involve them in the entire process, from planting to watering and harvesting. Make a cheap watering can out of a bottle (pancake containers are ideal) with holes through the top – they are the perfect size and each child can have one. It is so rewarding to watch plants grow, especially if they are edible. Currently, my daughter is patiently waiting for her snow peas to grow!
A bit like sand, stones are great for play. They make a great sound when they hit tin or wood. Provide the children with a few items to use with the stones, a bit of plastic, some metal or wood. I normally use spoons, trucks, containers, cooking trays etc. The children immersed themselves in the play and so far, I never had children throwing them at each other! Give it a try.
Charades can be made into a humorous activity when the subject is centred on funny family moments like when the dog ate Mom’s meatloaf or when the washing machine turned all of the laundry pink. Simply write down these moments of humour on little folded notes and place them in a bowl. Each family member picks a note from the bowl and must act out the subject accordingly. This provides the family an opportunity to learn that even stressful moments can be funny.
Family bonding is a crucial aspect of family health. Including fun and humour in as many daily activities as possible will help to ensure that both parents and kids stay in communication with one another while creating an important sense of trust and caring among all family members.
Sure there are plenty of toys like Lego, trains and dolls, which are all great fun and of course have a place. But what lasts the longest and promotes cooperative play are those basic play opportunities, such as rolling down hills, finding snails or playing with boxes. One such activity promoter would be kids electric car which are refreshing and exciting, sure to spice things up a bit. So, head on over to your nearest kids electric car shop to get yours now!