School is out and the lazy days of summer are in full swing. Doesn't it feel amazing to sleep in until 9 a.m. every day and relax with cup of coffee in hand while the kids entertain themselves for hours?
On the off chance that's not quite how your summer is going, we've put together a list of super cool activities to keep the kiddos busy this summer and that dreaded "Mooooommmm, I'm bored!" chant at bay...at least temporarily.
1. Paint Rocks and Spread Kindness
It all started with one rock and a few kind words. It's grown into a full-fledged grassroots kindness movement. The idea is super simple: (1) collect rocks; (2) paint them however you like; (3) write encouraging, kind or inspirational messages on them, and (4) drop them around town for others to find. How's that for a perfect kid-friendly activity that doubles as a service project? Visit The Kindness Rocks Project for details and complete "how to" instructions. Be sure to add the #TheKindessRocksProject to the back of each rock you drop to keep track of your kindness. Your kids will love this one!
2. Get Slimy - 31 Different Ways
Do-it-yourself slime took the school-aged crowd by storm this year and there's no sign of this trend letting up anytime soon. My kids keep coming up with more and more interesting slime concoctions. I love how excited they get about something that doesn't involve an electronic device and that there's even some science involved. #Winning Check out DIY Projects for Teens for 31 Most Awesome DIY Slime Recipes that will keep them happily slime-ing all summer long.
3. Keep Them Spinning
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that fidget spinner toys are all the rage right now. If, like me, you're tired of your kids begging for the latest and greatest model/color/shape/design, why not channel that enthusiasm into a summer spinner DIY challenge? Check out Lemon Lime Adventures for Totally Rad DIY Fidget Spinners That Will Make Your Little Makers Go Nuts, including a LEGO® model. Red Ted Art also has a cool Ninja Fidget Spinner DIY model made out of only paper.
4. Let's Get Cookin'
Research suggests that kids who are involved in planning and preparing meals are more likely to eat a wider variety of foods and make healthier food choices. Food Network has a section on their website devoted to getting kids involved in the kitchen, including kid-friendly kitchen tasks, tips and recipes. If you're not quite ready to turn dinner prep over to your littles, there's lots of simple fun treats you can whip up with your kids this summer. We love these Too-Cute Frozen Banana Animal Pops.
5. Catch the Summer Reading Bug!
Summer has long been the perfect time to cozy up with a good book. These days, there are lots of great public and private programs that make summer reading even more fun, exciting and rewarding. The DC Public Library's Build a Better World Summer Reading challenge encourages all readers, including adults, to read books with cool prizes, including Chipotle kid's meal coupons and even tickets to a Washington Nationals baseball game! Check your local public library for similar programs. Barnes & Noble, Chuck E Cheese's, Scholastic and Sylvan also offer rewards programs that will get your kids excited about reading this summer.
6. Score with a Summer Bucket List
Having a list of go-to activities at your fingertips for those inevitable "I'm bored" moments is a great idea. Check out this super cute Summer Bucket List craft and activity ideas from The Home Teacher. Get the kids involved in brainstorming and write down all of your 'bucket list' activities on Popsicle sticks. Kids get a kick out of pulling a new exciting adventure out of the bucket with every stick!
7. Go on a Real Life Treasure Hunt!
Letterboxing is a great outdoor family activity that involves following clues in search of real life hidden treasure boxes that contain a unique stamp and notebook to log box visitors. You can look up letterbox locations and clues on letterboxing.org. You will be amazed at how many there are near you. If you want to take your treasure hunt high tech, try geogaching. Use your phone or handheld GPS device to navigate to the "cache," which includes a logbook and perhaps some trinkets to trade. A new adventure awaits you with every hunt!
8. Check out a Cheap (or FREE!) Flick
Summer and movies go hand in hand, but taking the whole family to a movie can be a pricey endeavor. Luckily, many movie theaters offer cheap (or even free) family-friendly movies for kids and families during select days of the week during the summer, usually in the morning hours. Check out The Balance for a full list of participating theaters for 2017.
9. Go High Tech for FREE at Apple Camp
The price tag for summer camps, especially science and technology camps, can cause sticker shock for many families. Select Apple stores offer free camp sessions where kids 8 to 12 can expand their digital creativity by making their own movies, composing musical stories, or coding games and robots. Click here to find the Apple Camp nearest you.
10. Get Cultured
Summer is a great time to expand horizons and learn something new. Check out this list of the Best Free Language Learning Websites and get the whole family learning a new language together. Practice at the grocery store with your little ones by taking turns naming the fruits and veggies. Label objects around the house with post-it notes and make a game of quizzing each other. Celebrate your progress at the end of the summer with a themed dinner and see how long you can make it through the meal without speaking English!
And don't forget to check CertifiKID for great savings on summer camps, local family fun, and family-friendly day trips and getaways! New deals are added daily, so be sure to sign up to receive our daily family friendly deals.