Fun Summer Projects For Families
Fun Summer Projects– Episode 430
Are you ready to launch some fun summer projects – what about ones that are a bit unusual but teach? It is a time when you can give your child time to explore or direct your children in an organized way. Depending on the ages of your children the amount of direction may be less focused for the older ones.
How do you spell summer? F-U-N Summer Projects!
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Fun Summer Projects For Families
One of my goals as a homeschool mom was to give my children time to think and create on their own. I really believe that children don’t have time to really think. School is typically made up of reading the information or have it read to you – then answer the questions. Kids often ask, “What is the right answer?” Giving the children time to explore when they are younger in a directed way (to keep them out of trouble) is a good idea.
When they were younger I gave them tools such as measuring cups and other household items that they could play with, pouring water in and out, and measuring. I gave my young son a box of rubber bands (and yes he made a mess with them and I kept finding them stuffed under cushions and other unlikely places for weeks after), but he loved the texture of the rubber and lined them up and put them into buckets and boxes. As the children get older the items can become more involved.
Recyclables become a great treasure trove for kids to build and create. These can be anything from plastics to glass. In an upper-level art class I took, we used small posters and then took glass, broke it, and used the flat pieces with clear glue to create a mosaic on top of it. The results were stunning. Clear glass or colored glass can be used. Paper towel rolls are great for creating different projects as well.
We used maps to track our journey from home (southwest Florida) to Georgia one year. I used maps glued to file folders and the children placed their names on the folders. The kids could tack our journey using road signs as we crossed into different towns. It took us two days with lots of stops in between, but the kids didn’t ask me, “How much longer.”
Another one of my homeschool goals was to teach using fun projects to do it. Teaching skills that are not often covered in school such as money management, planning, etc. Give the children a chance to add to the following list of ideas and you will be surprised at how many they come up with themselves.
Here is a list of ideas for fun summer activities:
- Bubbles: There are so many great things you can do with bubbles, such as making them from scratch (dish soap and water), to using your hands to create bubbles or pipe cleaners, even straws – be sure the kids are blowing out and not sucking in!
- Drama: Do your kids like to act? They can do one-act plays and write their own script. It can be of a famous character or a favorite movie character.
- Water tension: Float or sink? Give the children a bag full of items and have them divide them into the ones they think will float and those they think will sink. Then allow them to experiment in the bathtub or kitchen sink.
- Collections: Summer is a great time to start a new collection. It can be something found in nature—which is the easiest or perhaps researching something they would like to collect. Bottle tops, stamps, coins, etc. State coins are a fun thing to collect and each state quarter has a little bit about the state history. You can find a list of state quarters and their symbolism on Wikipedia.
- Scavenger Hunts: These can easily be set up within a home, a yard, or even the park (but stay together and go in a group). Clues can be given and the end “prize” can be something simple like picking out a movie to watch as a family or perhaps a favorite meal.
- Learn to cook: Many of my college friends had no idea how to do the basics. Make sure your children have an idea of the essentials! If your children have mastered the basics it is time to experiment with new flavors, recipes, or dessert ideas.
- Planning: Have the children plan a fun family outing or a fun family time “in” that is different than something you may often do. It may take some help and direction. For example, planning a homemade pizza night where everyone makes an individual pizza, helps with clean up afterward and then plays board games. You can brainstorm ideas as a family.
- Money Skills: Allow the children to open bank accounts and keep track of their savings. It is amazing how little kids want to spend when it is their own money. You can set up stores in the home as well and the kids can use actual boxes of food to play store. Teach the concept of giving change as well.
- Decorating/ Organization: Decorate an area of a bedroom or maybe help with a party. There are celebrations almost every day and you can look up a holiday calendar online. There are pizza days, chocolate days, and more! The kids can help with making decorations or even making decorations you can keep from year to year—my favorite. Or, you can use summertime to organize. Take one thing like a drawer. Start small and branch out from there. It is not overwhelming if you start small!
- Pictures: How many great photos are sitting on your phone? This could be a time to go through them with the children – pick one night and connect your computer to the TV and go through them as a family or do this on a computer directly. You can print out the ones you want to place on a wall, or send them off to be printed and give them as gifts.
You can place one fun summer project idea into a paper bag and draw out ideas randomly. You may need to plan for certain things, but you can put these on a calendar to do one time a week. You can assign different people (or ask for volunteers). You can put the older children in charge of organizing as well. It is a good time to oversee their “people skills,” and ask them to use nice words and encourage each other. One year I had “banned words” implemented like the words can’t, stupid, or shut up were not allowed. (Remember you are the parent and what you say goes!)
I hope this gives you some ideas of what you can do this summer and hopefully, this will get you started with many, many ideas of your own. Stay tuned for my summer projects for the kids show coming up soon
VHM-430-SummerIdeasforProjects.mp3 (20:42, 9.5MB)