Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Free Summer Fun

This week, Thoughtful is at day camp hosted by our church. Although I know that he's having a blast, as evidenced by his unusual non-stop-talking on the way home and weary, ready-for-bed-at 8:00, but this unfortunately leaves Spunk a little bit bored. OK, a lot bored.

So, these are my top ten Free Summer Fun things to do, for my temporarily only-child.  They are simple ideas but worth having listed when the "I'm bored" cry strikes your home!

  • Jumpy Sprinkler This isn't my term, it belongs to Spunk. We have a small round, very cheap, sprinkler that we've hung on the trampoline. "Its like a shower outside!" It is one of his favorite things to do.
  • Spy Tape Using yarn and a little masking tape, turn your laundry room, or hallway, or closet, whatever, into a spy zone. Spunk loves to create the play area just as much as he loves to weave his little body in between the "lasers." He's imaginative so it works for him. He also dies a horrible grueling death if he hits just one "laser."
  • Scavenger Hunt The key to a successful scavenger hunt is to make it interesting! I have my kids find things that are of interest to them. They could care less about "something blue." They looooooove to look for "a blue bird feather" or "a complete, unbroken acorn." Also, I keep the list at 10 items to find, and let them earn an extra fun thing to do when finished (bake cookies with Momma).
  • Earn a little cash OK, so this one will cost you, but totally worth it. My children don't get a regular allowance. (We've tried it, and I haven't liked it the outcome. That's another future post.) People take great pride in their work, and children are no exception to this theory. Give him/her a job to do that is normally reserved for the grownups to handle. For example, let your child wash the car for $3. It won't be the best wash you've ever had, but he will work hard, and his little chest will swell with pride when you praise his efforts. It will keep him busy, and it IS fun to earn some extra cash for the kitty.
  • Make something extraordinary Making play dough is a favorite. Yes, we've done it before, but it isn't everyday. It isn't even every year, which makes it extraordinary in my boys' eyes. What else can you make? Think messy here. Marshmallow shooters, sidewalk chalk, giant bubbles, and super balls are fun too. Using the search feature on Pinterest will help ;) (pinaholic here)
  • Thoughtful with a marble course made last month.
  • Make a marble course Find odds and ends from your recycle bin and hot glue them to a piece of poster board. Drop marbles into the top, and watch them go. We spent 2 hours on ours. It was very Momma-intensive, but we had fun. The kids loved doing this. When they get tired of it a few days later, they can pull the stuff off and rearrange it.

    Move - together Get out and move! My children are great at running around outside. They enjoy said running even more when I get out there to play too. Water gun fights with Momma are against the rules right?  Silly string war?  Or water-balloon fights?  Whatever you have them do, join in the fun.
  • Act- Again, this is for my creative and artsy child. Just as we learn choreography with our VBS songs, its fun to make them up on our own. Choose a favorite song and give it some action. You could do the same with his favorite story book or make up a story of your own.  Use craft sticks to add a puppet show to your story. The ideas are almost never-ending.
  • Be a secret helper/giver Have your child make a card with some sweet encouraging words.  You anonymously leave it in your neighbor's mailbox.  Or ding-dong-ditch them, leaving the card and a plate of goodies at the door.  Secretly take their trash cans in or their newspapers to the front door.  Whatever you think of, keeping the secret is half the fun!
  • Photography Give them free reign with a camera.  It doesn't have to be your top of the line, fancy-pants camera.  It can be a $2 disposable (my kids ask for them frequently, the weirdos they are).  Encourage them to take pictures of a wide variety of things.  Then, have the photos printed and give them a $1 album from your local dollar store.  Let them arrange the photos on their own, writing captions, etc.
Do you have any free/cheap summer fun activities to share?  I'd love to read them! 
Today, I'm linking up to Top Ten Tuesday, where you can find more Top Ten Lists:
Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings


  1. This post makes you look like such a fun mom!!!! I'm hiding it from my kids or you'll have 3 invading!!! Great ideas...

    1. Its just that I cringe at the "bored" whine. It becomes an excuse to turn on the tv or be lazy. My little Spunk is truly bored without his partner in crime this week. So I trying to fill in the hole. Its hard!! I don't know how only-child-families do it. :) Hope you're having a fabulous Fourth!