This is the first in a monthly series where I will share with you free or low-cost fun family activities that you can enjoy doing with your kids. I hope you enjoy some of these activities as much as we do!
Spending quality time together doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Instead try one of these five fun family activities and reconnect after a long week. You will be happy you gave them a shot.
Go Blueberry Picking. Take a drive and visit a blueberry patch where you can spend the morning picking your own berries. Enjoying the great outdoors, at a blueberry patch is one of my families favorite August outings. Picking your own berries isn’t just fun, but it can also be a learning opportunity for your little explorers. Far to many kids have lost the far to table connection with their food. Introducing your kids to the farmers, having them see the blueberries on the bushes, and then pick them can give them a new understanding of their food. It can also give them a sense of accomplishment when they see the blueberries they picked on the dinner table.
Go For A Picnic. Have your kids help you make and pack their picnic lunch. Include some of your child’s favorite foods and even consider adding something special for dessert. Don’t forget the blueberries! Getting outside and away from the TV, iPad, and computer is a great way to reconnect as a family after a long work week. Spending the afternoon at a park and having a picnic lunch is one way to do just that.
Catch Lightning Bugs. Do you remember the magic of warm summer nights? One of the things I remember best were all of the fireflies that danced in the night sky. I remember catching the little lightning bugs and putting them in an old Mason jar. It was like having my own little light show. Now it’s my sons’ turn to be the little lightning bug catcher. At four years old he has become quite the “expert”. Why not spend some time after dark with your own children exploring the back yard. It looks so different after the sun has gone down. Catching lightning bugs, place them in a jar (temporally) and watch the excitement on their face as they watch them light up. Talk to them about he wondrous things that happen after dark.
Go On A Nature Walk. Take the kids on a nature walk and see what natural treasure you can find together. Collect small things that you find along the way, such as an interesting looking stick or leaf. Put them in a little Ziploc bag and when you get home make a nature collage to hang on your refrigerator door. That way you can enjoy the art you created together. Take it one step farther and talk to your child about the things you collected on your outdoor adventure.
Make Your Own Play Dough From Scratch. One of my favorite childhood memories was making homemade play dough with my grandmother. We would play with it all afternoon, and clean up was a breeze as she would just toss it out when we were one. I’m not sure what my favorite part was, the mixing the dough or playing with it.
I thought I would share our recipe with you just in case you didn’t have one of your own. This was a very easy thing for grandma to throw together, and while she did toss it out at the end of the day I know that it will keep for several uses if you keep it covered.
4 cups of all-purpose flour
11/2 cups table salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup water
food coloring – optional
Directions: Combined dry ingredients thoroughly, then slowly add the vegetable oil and water and mix by hand until you have the consistency of play dough.
Once dough has been mixed you may add as much or as little color as you wish.
Your Turn! What do you like to do on the last few days of summer freedom? Do you have any special get away or activities?