Summer break for the school age kids and I seem to dread the kids being home for such a long time. They all seem to fight, eat everything, and I cant tell you how many times I hear the words ” I am bored.” So this summer we did things a little different around here to make it fun and not spend a fortune doing so! We did a variety of themes that I thought the kids would enjoy and incorporate smaller kids and bigger kids! I wanted to share with you all some activities, so you all can use them also in your home. So far the kids have loved it, and we have done a lot of fun stuff in just a months time. So let’s get started and if you think of any other themes we might be able to use over the years – please share!
We decorated the entire downstairs in ocean theme decorations. I got out any and everything I could think of to use that I already had. We had a baby pool, beach ball, pool rings and set them up in the living room. We used orbeez to create sensory buckets for the kids, and I did order some ocean animals ( Ocean Sea Animal ) off Amazon for a spectacular price to play in the buckets and on the kitchen table. You could even use a small amount of water in a bowl to play with them too! Just throwing some ideas out there for you all. We also took some time to do some easy crafts such as jellyfish paper bags and ocean sensory bags. I will show you how to do those and posts some links below for you to make your own. The kids loved these bags, and they were super simple to make.
There are so many different options for the summer break – do weekly themes as we do, organize bi-weekly ones, or even monthly! You can find so many different things to do with the kids for each of these themes that the options are endless! Our ocean theme was incredibly fun, and I can’t believe how much fun the kids had in the small pool we set up for pretend play. The jellyfish in the pictures I even made myself. The supplies were five bucks each at Walmart and only took me about a half an hour to put together. They can be saved or tossed at the end, but a couple of the little girls I watch wanted to take them home. A little creativity can go along way with this theme for sure!
Camping theme for the week had to be one of my favorites so far! I have so many little ones that haven’t made it out camping that they were so excited to do this week’s activities! I created a camping scene right in my living room for them all when they arrived on Monday. Their faces were so lit up and all I heard all week was how neat the decorations were. I used a real tent we got for reasonably cheap at Walmart along with two little chairs I had laying around. I made a campfire with orange tissue paper, toilet paper rolls, and a silver bucket. I let the children come on Monday morning in their jammies along with sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets. We had a camping adventure that day and spent a lot of time on pretend play. We also had donuts in the morning just like you would do when you are camping. I can’t even tell you just how excited the kids were to do this with me. My kids slept in that tent all night for an entire week. The smiles were so bright when they woke up each day. It is something so simple that build memories to last a lifetime.
We did so many exciting projects for our camping week. We made smores one day together and trail mix for a snack during the week. I don’t know what kind of camping trip is complete without trail mix! Also, we did campfire handprints that turned out super adorable. I will share them with you in another post so you can do them with your kids too. I am super lucky that I have some fantastic daycare parents that made copies of camping images for me for the kids to color and stay busy. You can find these all over the internet for free to even print off for your little ones. I highly recommend setting up a camping theme for your kids – you can take blankets that you have at home and make a fort too. Just leave it for a couple of days and don’t mind the mess!
This is the very last theme we are doing this week with all my daycare kids. I bought a flag for the Olympics and a tablecloth to have for decorations this week. We will do some crafts, races, outside activities, receive medals and make torches. They will be worn out with all the fun activities planned and make some cute crafts along the way. I did come up with more ideas to do for decorations around the house but decided against it this week. Some of the simple activities we will do to compete with each other will include – bean bag toss, disc throw, high jump, and relay races. Honestly, you can do whatever you like with these too! On Friday we do water days around here, and we will have a water obstacle course set up in the backyard for the kids. I always set up the night before for those days because it does take a lot of time for setting up. I purchased about five different color pool noodles to use for the course as well. Those were cheap, and you can do so many different things with them.
I do have all sorts of things planned for July too. We will be on vacation next week but if you enjoy these ideas – I will post the ones we do in next month as well! I know it has helped myself get through summer without my own kids going crazy and bored. This gave the little ones some new things to do and play along with also having the older kids enjoy it too. In my book, it was a win-win in this house. Let me know what you think of these themes and any that I might not have thought about myself. I would love to hear from you!