Summer Fun for Kids
School's out, and your kids want to have some fun in the sun. How can you keep them happy and busy -- and maybe help them learn something -- all the way through August?
From ants on a log to chalk on a sidewalk, here are ideas that
will keep kids 3-5 happy all summer long.
Simple kitchen projects. "Projects with preschoolers
in the kitchen are always supervised and simple," says Roth. "Make ants
on a log using celery, peanut butter, and raisins, and let the child do most of
the work -- they'll love it."
Other simple preschooler projects for the kitchen: trail mix,
apples and peanut butter, and for a hot summer day treat, ice cream sandwiched
Arts and crafts. "Drawing with lots of different
papers is a great activity for preschool kids," says Roth. "Give them
different kinds of markers, pens, pencils, finger paint, chalk, and chalk
Let kids paint to their heart's content outside on the grass to
make cleanup easy, and let them use paper, cardboard, driveways, and sidewalks
as their canvases -- your little Picassos will be busy for hours.
"Popsicle sticks and Legos are also great," says Roth.
"Let them experiment with building and creating new things, which will keep
them happy and help their development skills."
Green thumbs. "Give your child a small spade, a
small piece of earth, and talk to him about the different flowers he can
plant," says Roth. "Over the summer, he can watch it grow and it's a
great project for your child -- and for you."
Projects like this can unknowingly be turned into a
science-math-English project. Help your child look up the scientific name of
the plant in the encyclopedia, and when the plant starts to sprout, have your
child measure it every day, and keep a journal on how much it grows and changes
over the summer.
Day trips. "With kids this age, and older kids, get
a feel for what they're interested in at the start of summer," says Haller.
"Take them to museums, parks, the zoo, and wander around and gauge what
their summer activities might be based on their interests. And over the course
of the summer, you can do more day trips that relate to the things they