If you’re short on ideas (and budget) and scrambling to keep your kids entertained these last few weeks 0f summer, here are a few quick things you can do together that cost absolutely nothing:
Plant things around the house and engage your kids in a game of scavenger hunt. If they’re old enough to read, write down what’s hidden with clues to where the items can be found and have your kids cross off each item as they go. If your kids are too young to read, you can feed them clues and help them with cues when they’re “hot” and close to the item, or “cold” and need to head the other way.
Build a fort
When my cousins and I were little, we’d be entertained for hours by building forts from things we found around the house and have so much fun playing in whatever incredible fortress we created. From chairs and sheets, to couch cushions and pillows, there are endless things you can find around your house to make a great fort. Forts also double as the perfect reading nook, a great place to play games, and even a snuggly little den for nap time.
Imaginative play is so critical for our growing kids. It gives them opportunities to create, to problem solve, to build social skills and language skills. Instead of turning on the TV or popping in a DVD, role play with your kids to act out their favorite shows and characters. My three- and one-year-old boys love to play Jake and the Neverland Pirates. We hunt for treasure, look for Captain Hook and pretend like our living room is a giant ship. It has benefits for me, too. I love to bond with them, at their level, in their world. I feel like I learn so much about their little personalities by watching them interact on their plating field.
Let your kids loose in yours and daddy’s closet and have them pick out a couple grown-up outfits to wear. You can always put on some music, mark a makeshift runway and have a fashion show, too. Of course, another bonus is that the pictures are always priceless!