Summer is Here. Organize Your Kids and Activities

Summer is Here. Organize Your Kids and Activities

Memorial Day Weekend marks the symbolic, if not official, start of summer and it’s finally here! After a long, crazy winter filled with snow, sleet, ice, and rain, everybody is ready to haul out the flip-flops and blow up the inflatable pool. We’re lucky to have a stretch of time to relax, but if you have kids at home, you know summer can be as frustrating as it is fun. If you already signed the kids up for camps, swimming lessons, or sports leagues in the Spring, you’re halfway there. Now all you need is to be armed with some sunny and rainy days ideas that don’t require lots of time or money but still keep the kids involved and entertained.

Get out of the Rainy Day Rut:

1. House Movie Party.

Lots of people tend to head straight for the movie theater on rainy days, so why not head to the video store, call up a few neighborhood kids, heat up some popcorn, and have your own movie party right at home. The kids will love seeing their favorite movie with their friends in the comfort of their own home, but you’ll love how much money you saved. Has anyone checked the prices for movie theater popcorn lately?!

2. Fort Fun.

Ok, moms, this is the day to give up on the perfect house and let the kids take out all of the beach towels, blankets, and pillows from the linen closet, bedrooms, and living room. Kids love forts. They could spend hours in them (a bonus for you!). Let them make a total mess of the living room, let them eat in their forts, and even let them sleep in them if they want. One day of a messy house is worth it to avoid screaming and cranky kids.

3. Talent Show.

As you’re drinking your morning coffee and the weather report looks increasingly worrisome, surprise the kids with a talent show day. Let them create the show, make props with crayons, construction paper, and whatever else you may have in the house, and rehearse before the big event later that day when Daddy gets home. Kids love nothing more than being the center of attention.

4. Hit the Web.

There are plenty of great websites that have downloadable crafts, coloring pages, and other activities. All you need is an Internet connection and a printer and you’ll have hours of artistic fun. One of the best sites around is

5. Be a Puddle Jumper.

When all else fails, grab some rain boots and a rain coat and run around outside. Jumping in puddles is truly one of life’s simple pleasures and since kids are usually told not to get wet or they’ll “ruin their clothes” or “catch a cold,” the kids will revel in breaking the rules.

Beyond the Beach/Sunny Day Satisfaction:

1. Reverse the Thinking.

Most people visit museums or nature centers when the weather is cold and rainy, but why go when it’s the most crowded and you can’t really see the exhibits. Instead, go visit on a sunny day and you’ll likely feel that you have the whole place to yourself.

2. Biking.

Is there anything more indicative of summer than hopping on a bike and tooling around? If your kids aren’t big enough to ride alone or can’t keep up, invest in one of those seats that straps to the back of your bike or a little trailer that rides behind. It’s a great way to enjoy the day and fit in a little group exercise.

3. Make your own Popsicles.

Anybody can buy popsicles at the grocery store, but there is something particularly delicious about a popsicle that you made yourself, and there is nothing easier! Pull out your ice cube trays and let the kids fill them with their favorite juice (outside, of course!). They might just have more fun licking the sticky off themselves as they do making them!

4. Sprinkler Fun.

Sometimes it truly is the simple things that are the best. This is as simple as it gets, but kids could spend hours running, jumping, and splashing through the sprinkler. You might even get inspired to run through it yourself.

5. BBQ with Buddies.

Many kids get the chance to have friends over for lunch or an afternoon snack, but it feels like a really big deal to have friends over for dinner. Let them invite as many as you can feed and fire up the grill for a fun summer evening. After dinner, toast marshmallows on the grill or have a firefly catching contest. It is the old-fashioned fun that they’ll never forget.