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Regardless if it’s during the school year or its summer vacation, there’s always time to squeeze in a little bonding time. If spending time with your kids is just as important to you as it is me, no matter what you do will be a delightful time. But, are you not sure about what to do with the kids?
I’ve listed some fun things I’ve done with my children and they had a blast. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find some time to try them out with your little ones.
What to Do With the Kids
1. Make a Movie
I don’t know about your kids, but mine absolutely love recording on their smartphones. Have your children come up with an idea for a movie and watch them perform as you record them on their phone. You can help them upload their video to your computer so they can edit it or add different effects to it. Most computers (Windows) comes with their free “Movie Maker” software, but if not here are a few free video editing software programs you may want to try out:
2. Take a Nature Walk
Grab a bucket and go to your local public state forest, hiking trail or any area where you can experience nature. I’m lucky to have a hiking trail right behind my house where I take the kids. It’s beautiful and filled with animals (not the scary kind).
We actually had an armadillo walk in front of us (I’m in Florida so you see a lot of them here). That was pretty neat. Have your children fill up their buckets with different types of nature like stones, leaves, flowers, etc. While out on your nature walk, why not have them listen to all the sounds and have them guess what they are (birds, a river flowing, wind, leaves rustling, etc.)
When you get home, you can even take out some colored paper and glue and have them glue their leaves, flowers and other nature findings that will stick to the paper and they can make nature artwork.
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3. Plant a Veggie Garden
My son and I just planted a pumpkin patch so we’d have pumpkins for Halloween. It’s amazing how fast and long those plants grow. But, you can find seeds for just about any type of veggies. Here’s a variety of different fun kids veggie seeds to get you started. Or, you can pick up the seeds at your local grocery store or garden center.
Veggie gardens are fun to maintain. Your kids will love watching the produce grow and you may even be able to get your kids to eat their veggies once they’re ready!
4. Plan a Treasure Hunt
Go to the dollar store and grab some little toys (eight to 10 items). Then, hide them around the yard or in your house. Draw out a map they can use or you can just send them out without a map. They get to keep the prizes they find.
5. Star Gaze
Buy a cheap telescope and star chart. Throw a blanket down in the backyard where you’ll be able to look up into the night sky. Here are some cheap telescopes you can check out. This is a great before bedtime activity to help wind your children down after a long day and give them some fresh air too.
6. Feed the Ducks
This is another favorite thing I used to love doing with my kids. We have a lot of parks around us and there were always ducks around. Unfortunately, alligators too, so we had to be especially careful not to get too close to the water. You can gather up some stale bread and let your kids feed the ducks at your local park.
7. Jumping Gym
These are becoming quite popular lately and they’re loads of fun. A quick Google search and you should find some in your community. They have bouncy houses or a gym filled with trampolines. They run family specials all the time, so call them in advance to get your discount. Your kids will burn off a lot of energy and get their exercise.
You can also do this at home. Here are some safe kids trampolines you can buy to put in the backyard for some jumping fun at home.
8. Visit your Local Fire Station
If you call ahead of time, many fire stations will let your kids come over for a tour. They’ll get to meet real firefighters and check out the big red trucks.
9. Have a Garage Sale
I love garage sales, especially when they’re my own. You can have your kids clear out their closet of any toys, books or other items they would like to sell to make some money. Have them help you set it up. You will likely find some of your own stuff to sell.
10. Hide and Seek
This can be indoor or outdoor hide and seek. It’s a fun way for kids to blow off some steam while they get to explore different areas of your backyard or in the house. You may want to sit your kids down before you start playing and set up some guidelines or places where you don’t want them to hide (because it isn’t safe) and how far they can go outside so they don’t get lost. Have them bring a walkie-talkie with them so if you can’t find them, they can give you hints to where they are. You remember hot, getting hotter, cold don’t ya?
11. Box for Boredom
I read this idea online somewhere. With this activity, you sit down with your kids and have them write out different games or activities they enjoy on pieces of paper, crinkle them up and toss them in the box. Then when your kids get bored, have them reach into the box and pull out a piece of paper.
You can then enjoy that activity or game with them. I’ve been using this idea as a “rewards” system where I have my kids do a few chores once a week and they get to choose an activity from the box for us to do once they complete their chores.
12. Go Bowling
Bowling is pretty cheap, especially for kids. It’s also a lot of fun. If you don’t want to go to the actual bowling alley, you can always make “home bowling”. You can buy a kid’s bowling kit here for pretty cheap or make one of your own. For instance, you can use empty plastic water or soda bottles for the pins and a tennis ball or any other item for the ball.
13. Create a Book
This is another thing my son and I like to do. He has so many books he’s created. Have them come up with a story. Then you can have them draw out the pictures and/or cut out some pictures you find in magazines or online that you can print out and glue them to the pages.
Once done, use a paper puncher to make holes on the left side of each page (three holes per page — one at the top, one in the middle and one at the bottom). Make sure each page lines up. Then you can use some yarn, string, shoelaces or buy some notebook rings to put through the holes and hold the pages together. Take some time out each night to read the book together.
So there you have it. Thirteen fun things to do with the kids. Next time you’re trying to figure out how to spend more time with your kids, you try some of these ideas. Let me know if you try any and how it went.
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