"I'm bored!" "I have nothing to do!" "What should I do now?"
Are these some of the things you are hearing or have heard from your child or children this summer? Are you running out of things to do? Here are some fun activities that you can do with your kids. You can even have your kids invite friends and do these activities together.
But first, here is something to think about. A girlfriend of mine had a very good suggestion that will prevent your child from complaining about being bored. She sends them to the refrigerator and taped to the door is a list of chores that she has written down for them to do, when they complain that they are bored. Needless to say, her children never complain about being bored.
As a self confident parent, if you are looking for some things that are actually fun to do, here are a couple of great activities or ideas:
1) Do a craft project together. This is one of my favorites when my kids were younger. You can buy a craft kit or make up your own project, if you are crafty. One of the projects my kids liked to do was to cut out paper snowflakes. Another one was to figure out different ways to fold airplanes and find out which way flew the best. We would also paint wooden cut outs (that I had purchased from a craft store), for instance, gingerbread men during the holidays. There are all sorts of kits that you can buy from a craft store, like Michael's Arts and Crafts or JoAnn's Fabric store. Another very simple idea, that I used to do when we had a play group and it was my turn to host, was to take a walk. We would pick up leaves, flowers, etc. We then bring them back and paste them on a page to make a picture. We have also bought the kit to make permanent plates, cups, and bowls. After you order the kit, have your child draw a picture (or if they are very young, you can write their name, date, and trace their hand) with their markers on a special piece of paper. You then send it back to the company who will mail it back with their artwork on a plate or bowl. (For pictures on a cup, the picture is inserted after it is drawn and is not sent in.) In fact, to this day, we still use those plates for our meals.
2) Bake cookies or a cake. My kids loved to help me stir the dough and then when the cookies were done baking, they got to frost and decorate them with sprinkles. A fun thing to do is to make up a story about your decorated cookie before you could eat it. Another great idea, which I usually use at my children's birthdays, is to buy store bought cookie dough, in the refrigerated section. I usually take a chocolate chip cookie dough and a sugar cookie dough, and press them down on to two pizza baking sheet. I spread the cookie dough to the edges of the baking sheet until it looks like a pizza. Then bake it. After it is cooled, I have my child spread the frosting of their choice and then decorate it with different colored sprinkles and colored icing (from the store and in the ready make tubes). He has a blast. We then add candles to it. Another great idea, is to buy fancy molds. I have, for in-stance, the football stadium Nordicware mold. After the cake it baked, they like to sprinkle different colored sprinkles in the inside of the stadium to look like fans in the stadium.
3) Create memory books. You can buy inexpensive or expensive photo albums. You can give each child their own or share a book and make a family album. Next have your child cut out their favorite pictures from magazines or give them copies of their favorite photos. Use acid-free glue, double stick tape, or special double sided photo stickers to stick the pictures on to their books. Then decorate the pages with acid-free stickers, markers, stamped images, or cut outs. Another great idea is to make dream journals or wishing boards. You cut out things that they want, from weekly ads or magazines, and paste them onto a poster board. You can have them cut out pictures of people that they want to be, for instance, a singer, a dancer, a football or basketball player, a golfer, a doctor, etc. or cut out pictures of their dream house, etc. They can cut out places that they would like to visit. The possibilities are endless. Or you can make a book with a spiral bound notebook and decorate the cover or buy a notebook binder and decorate the cover. Then have your child write down their favorite jokes poems, or memories. You can even copy the jokes or poems and then cut and paste them into their books. You can make autograph books. You take a book and dec-orate it. You then have their friends or relatives write little notes to them or you can start writing little notes to them on a weekly or daily basis. You can write down your wishes, dreams, or special memories of them down.
Anyway, these are just a couple of fun activities that you and your child or children can do with you or their friends that will help foster their self confidence and yours as a self con-fident parent. Have fun!! Have a great summer!