For some of you, summer is already in full swing. Memorial Day marks the end of school and the beginning of summer with lots of sleeping in, no school, and fun filled activities. If you are a parent, Memorial Day marks the beginning of very busy days trying to keep your kids occupied so they don’t drive you insane during the next three months. Don’t get me wrong, kids are great! But sometimes when they are at school, you get a much needed break to make you realize how much you truly appreciate having them around. But when summer hits, it’s a bit of a shock since you are used to having a little bit of alone time during the day. To help ease the dog days of summer, here are 30 summer activities for kids that can be done at home. The best part about these 30 activities is that most of the materials needed can be purchased at a dollar store near you. It’d be an interesting challenge to see how many of these you could provide for under $100. You may surprise yourself.
1. Bike Basket – Get a basket at the dollar store and zip tie it to the handlebars of your child’s bike. They’ll be able to store all sorts of cool stuff in it like rocks, grass, treasures they find while riding around, and if you’re lucky enough, they’ll probably fill it with a ton of insects that you don’t want anywhere near your house.
2. Shower Curtain Coloring Paper – If you have a child that loves to scribble or draw, get a white shower curtain along with some dry erase markers. Lay it out on the ground and there will be hours of endless fun. The really great thing about this is that they are drawing with dry erase markers so all you have to do is wipe it off and they can do it all over again.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shells – If you have a child who is a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, this is super easy and cheap way to make them happy. Take a roasting pan and spray paint it green. Poke holes in the top and bottom on each side, so you can put fabric through them like a backpack. Then at a local fabric store, grab a little bit of solid fabric and you can turn your child into their favorite turtle.
4. Chalkboard For Car Rides – Take a baking sheet and paint it with chalkboard paint. Then on your next road trip, give your child some chalk and magnetic letters to keep them busy for hours.
5. Road Trip Organizer – Keep your car clean by hanging a shoe organizer from the back of the driver’s seat. Fill it with the essentials that your child will need to stay happy including a drink, snacks, activities, etc.
6. Color Mixing Station – All you need here is food coloring, water, cornstarch, and a vegetable tray from the dollar store. In the vegetable tray, put 1/4 cup of cornstarch into four compartments. Then slowly add 1/8 cup of water into the compartments and add the food coloring using the primary colors (red, yellow, and blue), slowly stirring each one to mix the colors. Have your kids wear play clothes since the food coloring could stain their clothes. Then they can add colors to the 3 empty compartments, mixing as they go to see what colors mixed together make what.
7. Vegetable Tray Mold – The vegetable tray from above can also be used to make a flower mold using sand, dirt, or cement.
8. Art Tub – Go to the dollar store and buy a small plastic tub. Once you have the tub picked out, go up and down the aisles looking for art supplies to fill up the tub with. This can be anything from crayons, markers, glitter, paint, and more.
9. Busy Bags – This is a great idea for kids who constantly run up to their parents and say, “I’m bored!” These busy bags each have items in them that can be used for a specific activity. You can view all of the ideas HERE. Some of my favorites are A Hungry Giraffe, Popsicle Stick Puzzle, and Springtime In The Garden.
10. Colorful Archery – Be careful because this one can get MESSY! Take a poster board and draw a target on it. Hang the target from a tree or somewhere you won’t mind a little bit of paint. Then take suction cup arrows dipped in paint. To make it a game, have each kid pick a color to use so you can tell who hit where on the target. Then use the bow that comes with the arrows and have the kids shoot it at the target.
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