1. Let them cook.
Create ice cream sandwiches from scratch by baking cookies and making your own ice cream.
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 6 tablespoons kosher salt
- a gallon Ziploc bag
- pint-sized Ziploc bag.
Fill the gallon bag halfway with ice and salt, then combine milk, sugar, and vanilla in the pint-sized bag. Place the pint-sized bag inside the gallon bag and shake vigorously for five minutes.
2. Compile a scrapbook.
There’s no doubt that you’ve taken quite a few photos of your child throughout the school year, so summer break is the perfect time to organize them. Digital photos are great, but nothing beats a physical scrapbook to hold onto as your child grows older. Pick out and print your favorite photos together, and let your child go crazy assembling the scrapbook with stickers, markers, and construction paper.
Take your children to your local animal shelter or nature center so they can volunteer for the day. They’ll learn a few things about animals, the environment, or both, and they’ll have a blast doing it. If a state or national park in the area has a “Junior Ranger” program, you can also enroll your kids in that for a day.
4. Set up a lemonade stand.
Some people may think lemonade stands are a thing of the past, but you’ll be surprised at how many people will flock to it if you help your kids set one up in the neighborhood. Your children can keep the money for themselves if they’re saving up for something, or you can have them donate it to a charity of their choice. It also provides an excellent opportunity to discuss money management.
5. Make sidewalk art.
Sidewalk art options are endless, so you can turn it into an art competition, draw a giant game of twister, or create a huge mural. Your kids will have a fun day right outside your front door, and while they’re preoccupied, you’ll have time to do some errands around the house or simply watch a few episodes of your favorite show without being disturbed.
6. Have a picnic.
Mix up your lunch routine by packing a picnic basket and heading to your local park for the afternoon. The kids can help you make sandwiches, brownies, and lemonade, and be sure to bring a frisbee or another outdoor game for some post-lunch fun and exercise.
7. Plant a garden.
Teach your kids the importance and joys of growing your own food while they’re young. Let them help you pick out some seeds for their favorite fruits and vegetables, then set aside a few days to put together a complete garden in your backyard. Give them the responsibility of watering the plants, and both of you will reap the rewards soon enough.
8. Hunt for fossils.
Next time you head to the lake, do more than just swim and make sandcastles on the beach. You can teach your kids some fun facts about fossils and search for them around the shore of the lake. Check with an expert to see where there’s an abundance of fossils so your kids aren’t looking for hours without finding any.
9. Free kid workshops.
Several stores, such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Pottery Barn, offer free workshops for children during the summertime. They usually provide all the materials and will teach your child how to construct a project. Your kid will develop the skills and confidence to handle simple tools and they’ll have a cool project to show for it. You can also check with local colleges to see if they offer similar events for children.
10. Visit the zoo.
Instill a love and appreciation for animals in your kids by taking them on a day trip to the zoo. You can even come up with a fun scavenger hunt game inside the zoo if the kids aren’t too interested in simply walking from exhibit to exhibit. You can make the hunt educational by having tasks like, “Find an animal that eats plants."