Updated: Sep 2, 2020
As a stay at home mom, sometimes the trickiest thing to do is to keep your kids busy especially during the Summer.
And I never like to depend on a movie or TV show as my only source of distraction.
So I hope that these activity suggestions will help generate some ideas that can be help you connect and have fun with your kids.
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If you have children that are not very close in age or perhaps you run a daycare with a wide range of ages, it can be tricky to plan activities that will engage everyone.
However, it is not impossible.
There are activities that can be planned that everyone can participate in at their own level
or ones where the older children can help the younger.
Don't despair about the age gap or feel that you need to plan something different for everyone.
Follow the tips below as a guide or a starting point to including everyone in your everyday or summertime activities.
Indoor or outdoor crafts are perfect for kids of all ages.
Provide the materials and general instructions and see the different masterpieces that will be created.
Like Sun Art
This is a craft where the sun will do most of the work.
You will need to find the sunniest spot in your house or yard and it will take some time; at least three hours of full sunlight.
You will need brightly colored construction paper and various shaped objects that can be found around the house.
Items such as leaves, coins, utensils, or anything else with an interesting shape can be used.
Lay the piece of paper in the sunny location first and then place the objects on the page.
Be sure to leave space around each object, they should not be touching.
Then you have to wait, but it will be worth it.
After a period of time, the sun will fade the paper that is not covered by the objects that
were place on it.
When you take the shapes off you will have made a picture with the
To make it more interesting you can use different shapes or objects to create a
picture or a scene instead of only trying to get shapes.
Good materials to use for making a sun picture are different shapes of pasta, string, and other household items such as cotton swabs and cotton balls.
Check out this fun kit on Amazon and just imagine how something like this can keep you and your kids busy!
It is best to use a bright colored piece of paper or this craft will not work properly.
The quality of paper used should not be poster board.
The poster board or similar paper will still fade but it will take longer (maybe more than one day in the sun) to get the desired result.
So if you have longer to let it sit, by all means use a poster board.
Then be careful with the finished artwork.
If you hang them up in a sunny spot in the house, the sun may continue to work on the paper and fade away the hard work that was put into the craft.
The best way to preserve it is to tuck it away in a scrapbook or art folder.
When making crafts keep in mind that the instructions are more of a starting point.
Let kids use their imagination to make it all their own.
You will be pleased with the results when fewer parameters are put on a child's imagination when creating artwork or other hands-on crafts.
Nothing can excite and keep kids busy quite like games.
So I have included two different games for you try.
Don't worry; this doesn't involve catching bugs just finding them.
You will need a piece of paper for each child that is playing, crayons or pencils and stickers (check out this amazing bug sticker book).
Divide each piece of paper into nine squares with three columns and three rows.
The middle square is a free space.
I went ahead and created a printable version for you, you can get a print Bug Bingo here.
In each of the other eight squares draw a picture or write the name of a bug that can be
found in your backyard.
Send the children out with the stickers and their bingo cards to find the bugs.
As the child finds each bug they can place a sticker on the appropriate square.
The only rule that should be reinforced is that the bugs are not to be touched (or
squashed, squished, etc.).
To make the game longer or shorter you can either have the children find all the bugs on
the page to win or like in traditional bingo the first person to make a line on their card
Once you put the effort into the game cards you may want to spend a bit of extra time and money to have them laminated using this easy laminating machine and laminating paper from Amazon (seriously love being able to find all I need there).
They can be re-used over and over again.
When they are laminated you can choose to use a marker or crayon instead of stickers to
check off the bugs that are found.
A good list of bugs to put on the cards:
Any other bug or insect that can be easily found in your yard.
Different variations of this game include using leaves or flowers instead of bugs.
A prize for winning the game can increase the fun for the kids.
It doesn't have to be candy or a toy, even letting them decide what video to watch or have for dinner can be enough of a prize for a child.
Another great game are old-fashioned games like hide-and-seek or tag.
And here are 4 Different Ways to Play Hide and Seek
4) The traditional way to play hide and seek never gets old, but you may want a change if it
is requested every day.
Here are a few ways to play hide and seek with a twist while staying in the backyard.
3) Have the kids pick out some toys that are not too small and are allowed outside.
While they cover their eyes and count, you hide the toys around the yard.
You can let them run loose and try to find them or play hot and cold if they are having a hard time.
If the kids don't understand the concept of hot and cold you can use different words like: "you're getting closer" or "you're getting farther away" or give away little hints to help that they have to figure out.
2) Sardines is a fun variation on hide and seek.
You will need a few kids to play (at least three or four).
The person who is designated as "it" does the hiding instead of the counting.
Once the allotted time is up everyone has to try and find the hidden person.
As each child finds the person who is hiding, instead of calling out they found them, they
hide with them.
This continues until all the kids are in one spot.
It can get really squishy playing this game, just like in a can of sardines.
1) Chain hide and seek is also best if at least four children are participating.
As the person who is "it" finds the other kids playing, they have to hold hands and form a chain until everyone is found.
Falling down and giggling are sure to ensue as the kids try to run around while holding hands.
This is a great one to play in the park.
Involve all the kids in the park and see how long the chain get get.
The added benefit of the physical activity will run off some of the abundant energy children possess.
By participating yourself you can fit in your own exercise for the day too.
Let older children help facilitate the summer activities that you plan.
By engaging the older children to help the younger they will feel a sense of responsibility and importance.
This is a summer activity in itself, teaching leadership to children will help in many aspects of their lives.
When the situation warrants it, let the older and younger children do their own things.
Don't feel that you can't combine the activities too, it is easier for you and great for the kids.
Make sure to let me know in the comments how it went with these activities and then make sure to follow me on Pinterest to catch more great summertime activities to keep the kids happy and busy.
Wishing you the best,
P.S. Are you a "Mompreneur" or work from home Mom?
I know that having activities for you kids is extremely important for their growth and how to work together, I also know that as a mom, it is also vitally important for me to have something of my own so that I can express who I am outside of being a mom and being an Entrepreneur or "Mompreneur" has been outlet.
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