Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer School in the neighborhood!
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It is still quite cool here, and though we are all itching for summer to start most of us are not quite itching to spend too much time outside. In a few weeks it should warm up a bit and we'll be spending more time outside. While I intend to get us out and about a bit I must be realistic.... I'm in the third trimester and not really up to many big outings, but want my kids to enjoy plenty of fun activities outside. Here is a list of some of the things I'm keeping in mind for those activities. Remember simple and inexpensive are very important components of these plans.

1. Tennis courts- We have some tennis courts in our neighborhood that are often used by the school for the school children to run around on. We walk by them regularly and my kids have asked recently if we could go play there too. I'll plan on packing up a bunch of balls and heading down there for plenty of running and chasing balls around.

2. Bounce house- Ok, if you don't already own one of these it may not fit into the "inexpensive" category, but we purchased this for a child's birthday. He had requested that we rent one for his birthday, but we quickly realized that this request was bound to come up again with 6 kids and we would be better off just purchasing a smallish one. Our kids really enjoy this bounce house, and it is very simple to set up. At this point my husband just has to take it from the garage to the yard and the big boys can take it from there! When he gets home in the evening my husband just rolls it up and puts it away (I'm thinking the boys will be able to take over this job soon too!).

*There are many more inexpensive options now than there were two years ago. Here are some that I found that looked like fun. By clicking on one of these links (and then making your purchase through it), we will receive a small commission from Amazon.

3. Water play- Once it does warm up around here I'll try to involve as much water play as I can in our outside play. The sprinkler will be fun as well as the occasional water balloon fight. I've also found that the little ones love "washing" just about anything, and get quite wet in the process. My older kids love the job of washing the car. We also enjoy playing with these water bottle rockets, it is a contraption made up of PVC to pump air pressure into bottles that have water in them (2 liter soda bottles, and just about any other size drink bottle, the kids like to experiment with the sizes). This activity always gets them wet!

4. Parks- We have quite a few parks in our neighborhood we'll be taking walks to them regularly. Most of them have fields of some sort attached to them, so the older kids can take balls, bats, etc with them if they want.

5. I'm going to work on a scavenger hunt, things to look for in our yard or on our street. I'll have to have some simple ones for the little ones to do, but more difficult for the big kids. Since we have a couple of digital cameras that we let the kids use I may have them work in two teams for a hunt as well.

****A picnic with any of these activities makes them feel like an extra special day! I'll be picking up special picnic foods to make these days even more fun. We don't normally have PB&J, so my kids actually think that is a treat. We've found that fruit and yogurt make a fun lunch. Cheese, crackers, and salami make a nice lunch as well.

As I said, these are all very simple, but I've found that having directed play (even if it is simple) keeps the kids from getting bored with their regular outside toys and activities. Having a plan for these things means I will not have to think about what I should have the kids do each day!

Next week I'll post about back-up plans! Even the best plans can hit a snag, what are your back-up plans?

Please link-up and share your "Summer School" or just summer fun ideas! Be sure to link back here, and grab my button too! If you don't have a blog I'd still love to hear from you in the comments!

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  1. Do you think I am too old to enroll in your summer school? Sounds like you guys are going to have a ton of fun!

  2. We would love to have you join us! You can never be too old for this sort of fun!