(**Click on the video above to watch “Staycation Ideas: 10 MORE ways to make summer memorable”)
I want to continue with the summer series with some budget fun but all ways you can make summer memorable. Some of these ideas are things you can make. Some are things you can do. But all of them are good staycation ideas. Most of these are minimal in cost.
MAKE MOON SAND
Moon sand is fun to make. And so easy. All you need is 8 cups of plain flour and 1 cup of baby oil (you can use other oils but baby oil will give the best texture and smell). Mix it up really well until all the oil is well incorporated into the flour. If you want to add color you can by using ground up chalk or food coloring. We never bother with coloring it, because my girls have discovered that moon sand is great for other uses – like a homemade “skating” rink. No color means an easier clean up 😉
** This is a good outside play activity due to the mess that some children can make. I am sure that there are many children who can play with it neatly. My two do not belong in that category.
VISIT A NATIONAL OR STATE PARK
Resources like these are great. We need to make the most of them, especially if we live within day trip distance of them. The parking fee is inexpensive and there are so many things you can do – depending on which park. We like to do the hiking trails in ours. The girls like the mountain bike paths, along with saying hello to every person we pass, especially if they have dogs.
This is something simple and fun and you can do as an individual sport or a team effort. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them. You could spend time looking at paper boat designs on YouTube and then trial different ones. The actual “regatta” is fun and you could even have awards and trophies if you like for the winners. If you don’t have a kiddie pool, that’s fine. Try the bath tub!
PLANT SOME HERBS
Summer time really is a great time to experiment with planting herbs. You don’t need a fancy garden – just some simple pots, or even leftover jars from jam or spaghetti sauce. Plant some herbs and when they have grown, make a meal using them. We have some herbs out in our garden and the girls love to watch them grow. For a while we thought something was getting at the cilantro…..there was, just not the 4 legged deer we though it was but rather our two legged herb sneakers. We love basil and are growing that because it makes pesto, which we love on spaghetti (easy recipe here – if you don’t want to make your own pesto just buy a jar and blend about half a cup of pesto with an avocado. Toss your spaghetti in it. Voila. Done. Delicious.)
STAGE AN A-Z SCAVENGER HUNT
We love scavenger hunts. It’s the educator in me coming out in full force. Create a list for an A-to-Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter of the alphabet. If that seems like too much work for you, try another type of scavenger hunt. Just get out there are scavenge away! (here is my vlog post on scavenger hunts)
Here’s a possible list as inspiration:
A- animal. B – bricks. C – caterpillar. D – dump truck. E – earthworm. F – flower.
G – gnome. H – hamburger. I – ivy. J – jogger. K – ketchup. L – ladybug. M – mother.
N – nickel. O – officer. P – pinecone. Q – quarter. R – road. S – socks. T – table.
U – umbrella. V – vegetable. W – water. X – something in the shape of an X.
Y – (something) yellow. Z – ziplock bag.
FLAT STANLEY OR TOY SWAP
Many people know the Flat Stanley book and activity that kids do in school. If you don’t, it is where you send a cutout of “Flat Stanley” (who mailed himself to friends for adventures) to friends or a family member who then take photos of them doing fun things with Stanley. We have done this for a friend in Australia and sent pictures of him doing stuff around Atlanta. Another time friends left their Batman figurine in our van and we had a great time taking him on adventures and sending photos of him doing things like Ballet Class (he wasn’t very good) having lunch at Chick-Fil-A and riding on the slide. His “boys” loved the photos and seeing what he got up to. My girls had so much fun coming up with ideas for him.
COLLECT ROCKS AND PAINT THEM
This is fun and there are quite a number of painted rock communities around. You can find many on Facebook. This is where you get rocks, paint them and put them places like parks or playgrounds for others to find. If you like, you can hide them with an instruction on the back to post a picture of the rock on social media (with a hashtag) and then rehide it. But maybe your beautifully painted rock will bring a smile to someone’s face. And what the world needs is more beauty and kindness – so paint some rocks and spread some love.
In the last post I talked about letting your kids paint each other with washable paint and then hose each other off. This one is more refined 😉 Why not learn how to do face painting (there are so many good tutorials out there….here’s one example) and buy some face paints and have fun creating facial masterpieces? This is a fun skill to develop. Maybe even I, who cannot draw except the most rudimentary things, could do well at face painting if I take the time to learn it and have fun with it.
MAKE GIFTS FOR FRIENDS AND DELIVER THEM
This is fun. We did this at Easter with bunny baskets and Easter eggs (chocolate of course). We had fun looking at different baskets we could make and then making them. The girls wrote a list of who they would like to give baskets too and we made over 20 baskets and then played Easter Bunny and delivered them. Half the fun was leaving them on the doorstep, ringing the bell and trying to get away unnoticed. They still talk about the fun we had doing it and how many times we got caught. They are planning their next adventure and have already asked if they can do something like this at Christmas. It doesn’t haven’t to be anything fancy and can be homemade. Maybe it is cookies or a coupon card for ice cream. Whatever it is, the fun is in the making….AND the delivering.
PUT ON A PUPPET SHOW
Why not write a puppet show or a play? You could act out a favorite story using your toys. The great thing about this is the practice time, right parents 😉 Lots of practice means not being bored! Invite a friend or two, or many some family over to come and see the show. Have tickets and treats. If we can’t get to the theater, why not bring the theater to our friends?
Ten ideas not enough? Watch the video above (click on it to watch) to hear the bonus idea.
I hope you find some fun ideas for you to do this summer. Let’s head back to school with smiles on our faces.