Sunday, June 8, 2008

Summer Activities for Your Family

Summer Activities For the Whole Family

Scavenger hunt! Write (or draw) a very simple list of things for your youngster to find in the backyard, park, or while on a walk. Here is a list that was developed for nature walks in an Ohio, USA, forest...can you find everything where you live?
Check out animals all over the world with Critter Cams! Birds, elephants, moon jellies, chickens...
Survey your backyard and become members of Backyard Jungle. Upload pictues, drawings, and descriptions of the plants and animals that live near you and see the backyards of people all over the world.
Help scientists keep tabs on the bird populations by helping out with My Yard Counts. Go birdwatching three days in a row at different times throughout the summer and send your results to Cornell.
Go for a walk in a local park..with empty trash bags and gloves.
Learn about first aid for kids
Go stargazing with a telescope or binoculars. Check here for the stars to be seen in your area. Also, be on the lookout for some spectacular summer meteor showers!

Summer Activities for Younger Kids

Join your local library's Summer Reading Program, if they have one. If not, give small prizes (gum, small toys, trips, game time, etc.) for every five books read.
Try these fun ativities that go with popular kids books. Make a spider web to go with Eric Carle's The Very Busy Spider, turn your room into a jungle to go with Where the Wild Things Are...
Make a bug catcher. This is a very simple way to see critters up close.
Try these fun art projects for little ones, but don't be surprised if the older kids want in on the fun too!
Make your own rain!

Ask a furniture or appliance store for large boxes, then turn them into castles or forts. It may be a bit hard to navigate your living room for a while, but it will keep kids happily and creatively occupied for days!
Take a measuring tape outside and measure large distances...it's helpful for kids to be able to be able to guess approximatly how far away something is. 'One hundred meters' means a lot more when they know that that's aout how far it is from the swingset to the garage.

Summer Activities for Middle Kids

Plan and create the perfect wildlife-friendly backyard.



Make Pencil Rockets from NASA
Grow your own crystal garden.
Open your own worm hotel!
Check out these exotic art activities from the National Gallery of Art.

More Science Fun from ZOOM...make Rube Goldberg machines, electric gelatin, and much more. Creative and fascinating!

Have a writing hour now and then, where everyone writes instead of talks.
Play this fascinating Art mystery game online. Beware...it's a bit spooky, but really creative and enjoyable.

Have your child keep a one sentence diary for the summer on your family calendar. This is especially good for those children who aren't fond of writing.

Make a family history timeline, starting with the births of grandparents (or great-grandparents, if your family records are good enough.) Draw the timeline, then add dates and pictures of family events.

Put drawing things,art books, paint, glitter, fancy paper, etc. on the table. The kids will find them!!

Make up a "Bored List" of things to do the next time you get bored! Or make one up for a younger sibling...

Plan an imaginary trip to the moon. Get as technical as you like...or not!
Try cartooning with this Flash animation tutorial.

Summer Activities for Teens

Create the ultimate bottle rocket!

Volunteer at the Red Cross, or in a local shelter or food bank.

Take a babysitting class online or from your local Red Cross.

Make your own inuksuk

Hold a tournament of a game that you like...darts, table tennis, Yu-Gi-Oh, whatever...and invite friends to compete for a silly prize or two.
Hunt for bears in your backyard...with a microscope!
Check out NASA to discover how to make your own 3-D pictures.

Check a book of difficult thought puzzles out of the library and discuss them at dinner.
Experiment with quilting.
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