We’ve made it! Whether we have been homeschooling, hybrid learning, virtual only, or learning face-to-face, our kiddos have earned a summer to relax and enjoy time with their families. Having fun and creating memorable self-care in our kids this summer doesn’t have to be expensive. There are many affordable opportunities available right in our own neighborhoods that provide ways to tap into our child’s creativity and imagination! Here are my Top 5:
1. Visit the local library.
Many of our county and city libraries are opening up again with options to listen to guest readers, watch a puppet show, participate in activities, and create arts and craft projects. Check the website of your local library for more information, or call if information isn’t clear. If no activities are available, but your library is open, try bringing your kiddo with a scavenger hunt or reading list to help them find books in their interests to foster the love of reading within.
2. Visit a farmers market.
Healthy living can never be fostered too early. Giving your child exposure to fruits or vegetables you don’t typically buy is a great way to build their palate and support local business. Oftentimes, your local farmers market will provide live music or entertainment. This is an opportunity for your child to experience the arts for free! Be sure to check guidelines on masks and social distancing before arrival.
3. Take a walk or a hike.
Movement is so key to keeping your child healthy and active. If they are mature enough, give your child a list of local parks (preview safety ratings ahead of time) for them to research and/or vote on visiting. Creating a parks “bucket list” is a way to give your child autonomy, while also fostering a love of their local parks. If you live near a National Park, research entrance fees, peak times and safety guidelines. Pack a picnic and plan to explore what your park has to offer.
4. Try a new recipe.
Have a picky eater? Are you a parent of a kiddo with food allergies? Raising a kid who loves cooking shows? Have them create a list of recipes they’d like to try, or give them a list of options you’ve previewed. If they are mature enough, allow them to create the budget and shopping list for the meal they’d like to create. Chances are, this is something your child will never forget! You can even have someone be in charge of decor, and someone in charge of service.
5. Outdoor Fun!
Bubbles, chalk, water “painting” and ice play is an underrated goldmine! Bubbles and chalk are typically available at most dollar stores. Water painting is always a hit in my kindergarten classroom. Give your child an old paintbrush and a bucket of water. Anything can be a canvas, such as a fence or brick wall, and the creations will dry for them to create again and again! Using ice cubes, kids can create buildings (much like with building blocks), or can also “paint” on the sidewalk. Sometimes the simplest activities are the most fun, and you can stay cool doing so!
Erin Perry is a 9 year Kindergarten teacher in California. She loves Disney, cheetah print, and fostering self-care, creativity and independence in students. She is an auntie to two nephews and a niece.
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