Enriching Curriculum at Home

by Melanie Edwards on August 4, 2010 · 16 comments

in guest-posts, Parenting

Home PicnicGuest post by Ellie McDermott

With summer at its halfway point, your children or the kids you take care of may already be going stir crazy. Choruses of “I’m bored” and “There’s nothing to do” may be ringing in your ears. You’ve looked forward to summer all year, but are quickly running out of ideas for engaging your kids in these long, unstructured days.

It only takes a bit of planning and creativity to infuse life back into your summer plans! Check out the field trips and at-home activities below to gain new inspiration and make the most of the rest of the summer.

Field Trips

  • The Zoo – It’s likely that your children have been to the local zoo many times. On your next trip, create a simple treasure hunt, using clues such as “I’m the tallest animal in the zoo,” in order to engage your children as they enjoy the many members of the animal kingdom.
  • The Science Center - Just because it is summer doesn’t mean that your children have to stop learning. A trip to the local science center may spark imagination and creativity. Be sure to have supplies on hand for homemade science projects when you return home!
  • The Wading Pool – Some cities have free wading pools at parks throughout the community. Fill a bag with sunscreen, towels, and water toys, check the schedule, and head out on a refreshing outing to a local wading pool. Make sure you know which days and times the wading pool is in operation, or you may be stuck with an empty wading pool and some very disappointed children!
  • Free Movies – Ask your local movie theater if it shows free kids’ movies in the morning during summer months. This can be a great chance to escape the summer heat and enjoy a cool morning watching last year’s blockbusters on the big screen once again.
  • The Park – Are your children getting tired of walking to the neighborhood park every evening after dinner? Load them up and explore a park in a different part of town.
  • The Library – Help your children lose themselves in a world of imagination and creativity through a trip to your local library. Pick up a calendar of events and plan your next trip during a story-time or special event. Many libraries have a summer reading program that readers of all ages can participate in.

At Home Fun

  • Baking – Babies can play with measuring cups, little ones can help stir dry ingredients (with the help of a parent!), and older ones can pour ingredients together. Regardless of age, everyone can take part in baking projects. Encourage your children to select a dessert they would like to bake, gather the ingredients, bake it, and enjoy!
  • Camping in the Backyard – Your most exciting summer vacation may be entirely free and incredibly local. Sounds pretty good, right? Most children are delighted by the novelty of camping out in their backyard. Create lasting memories by throwing the tent out back, dragging sleeping bags and pillows into it, and telling stories by flashlight.
  • Picture Time – Have an old digital or disposable camera lying around the house? Teach your child how to use it and let them capture their favorite summer memories while exploring their artistic abilities. Print the photos and create a summer memory album.
  • Picnic Time – Shake things up at lunchtime by eating outside. Either pack a lunch and take it to the park or just take your lunch out back. Kids will be delighted with this new eating locale, and you will be less worried about them making a mess with their watermelon and ice cream sandwiches!
  • Lemonade Stand – Cultivate your childrens’ entrepreneurial spirit by helping them create a lemonade stand. Guide them through purchasing supplies, producing the product, and interacting with customers. Explore other products, such as freshly-cut flowers and home-baked goods. Make sure that appropriate adult supervision is present at all times.
Ellie McDermott is a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog and a writer for Guide to Online Schools.
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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 6:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven’t planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it’s good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet torntry a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There’s not a lot of traffic inrnour neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

Latinaish August 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm

These are all great ideas. I let the boys do a freeze pop stand since there was less $ needed to start it up. LOL. They made a profit and learned some lessons. (Hard work sitting there in the sun!) … For the most part though, this summer I haven't planned as many activities. Sometimes I feel guilty, as if I should be entertaining them, but then I remember that I credit my good imagination to all the summers my mother virtually kicked me out of the house all day long :) I think it's good for them to figure out what to do on their own sometimes.

Reply

modernmami August 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Yes, too much planning can be almost counterproductive, no? I have yet to
try a lemonade/pop stand with my daughter. There's not a lot of traffic in
our neighborhood, unfortunately.

Reply

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