Looking for low cost/no cost ideas for your kidlets – especially now that summer is here (besides checking out the ideas on this blog)?
School aged children
3. Extend learning over the summer with activities from K-12 at Read Write Think
4. Science Experiments
- Do It Yourself Science Experiments
- Kids Science Experiments
- I have a few of these over at my science blog, The Exploration Station.
5. Nature Exploration at The Green Hour Blog (site sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation).
6. Create a Nature Journal (these are pretty impressive ones from LaPaz Home Learning)
7. Other Nature Study ideas from Lapaz Home Learning
8. Geocaching (entertaining adventure game for GPS users; a world wide “treasure hunt”)
9. Letterboxing in North America (adventure treasure hunt/game using clues – no GPS needed)
[One of my neighbors and I think we will do a version of these for our preschool aged children and use some of our relatives homes for this "treasure hunt" concept, complete with clues and inexpensive toys in inexpensive containers]
Various other ideas
10. Family fun activities
11. Go Park Hopping – choose a new park each week (or more).
12. Host a tea party play date – with real “china” (check out garage sales/thrift stores for inexpensive cups and plates). It can be a themed tea party – like a princess/prince tea party, or just a dress up party.
13. Make a treasure hunt with clues to hidden toys in the yard.
14. Go on a safari and look for hidden stuffed animals.
15. Go on a imaginary adventure into outer space. An empty wading pool can be a space ship.
16. Dig for “treasure” (small toys or play jewelry) in the sandbox: bury toy dinosaurs/shells/rocks/box of play jewelry or coins and pretend to be paleontologists/archaeologists/pirates. Provide small brushes to dust off the items.
17. Go on a sensory walk: walk around the neighborhood looking for sights/sounds/textures. bring a basket to pick up nature bits.
18. Here’s more ideas for the nature walks in a previous post of mine.
19. Go unplugged from the TV with ideas from Unplug Your Kids.
20. Check your regional area. You just may be surprised that you have local farms (like berry picking or dairy farms), historical homesteads, arboretums/botanical gardens, nature centers, planetariums, informal astrology clubs, that offer activities throughout the summer at a nominal fee or even free. Historical homesteads like the one we went to often have period costumes and activities to teach how life was prior to the 20th century.
21. Fun with food:
Make pretzels and form into shapes, letters, numbers.
Make bread by hand (no machine needed).
Make homemade fingerpaints – a great idea at Elizabeth’s Real Learning blog (a wonderful method using plant based food dyes you make yourself from food).
22. Keep a journal/make a book with Strathmore Kids Story Drawing Book – available at craft stores like Joann’s (it’s great because it has space for pictures and lines for writing). A great way to keep up writing skills over the summer!
23. Teach your childhood to scrapbook. This would be a great joint activity. Maybe you can catch up with scrapbooking too.
24. Teach your child embroidery/knitting/crocheting/sewing
25. Read children’s classics to your children – even older children still enjoy being read to. Many of these have been turned into movies and are watered down versions. Why not educate them on the originals? The language and descriptive passages of some of these classics are absolutely breathtaking.
Lewis Carroll: Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass
E.B. White: Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little
C.S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia
Frank L. Baum – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz series (yes, there’s more than just the Wizard of Oz).
Francis Hodges Burnett – The Secret Garden
Hans Christian Anderson – various stories, including the original version of The Little Mermaid
Lucy Maud Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables series
J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan
Read modern chapter books – take turns with your child reading chapters
(Did you know that young readers can lose 2-3 reading levels over the summer if they don’t practice reading)?
Mary Pope Osborne – The Magic Treehouse Series: a great mix of modern adventure with historical time travel.
David A. Adler – Cam Jansen series – mystery/detective girl with a photographic memory.
Older readers -
For Girls (yes, these are “vintage”)
Phyllis A. Whitney – Juvenile Mystery series with provocative titles such as Mystery on the Isle of Skye
Secret of Haunted Mesa
Caroline Keene Nancy Drew Mysteries
For Boys (yes, girls too may be interested)
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Series
Franklin W. Dixon The Hardy Boys
JK Rowling – Harry Potter series
Please feel free to post any other unique low-cost/no cost ideas I might have forgotten about.