Summer vacation is in full swing. It can be tricky finding activities to keep your little ones occupied during this time off from school especially ones that do not involve electronics. My saving grace has been my Activity Jars. I came up with this idea when I was doing in-home ABA therapy. Now that I have children, we utilized our Activity Jar whenever my children make comments likes “I’m bored” or “I have nothing to do.” The jar is full of slips of papers with the names of activities that I have found on Pinterest or did myself as I child. My kids pull out one slip of paper and we do that activity. Here are some unplugged activities that I have in our Activity Jar:
- Painting Flower Pots
As a child some of my best memories where in the garden with my mom planting our summer vegetable garden, however, as a military spouse I haven’t always had the space to plant a garden. We’ve made due with the resources we have. My kiddos love painting their pots and then choosing seeds to plant.
- Water Balloon Math
I love mixing some academics in with the fun. There are various ways I use water balloons to do math. Sometimes I have my children answer the equations to earn balloons for a big water balloon fight or I have them aim at targets with the answers of equations on them.
- Side Walk Chalk
Hop scotch, sidewalk art and four square!!! My children love when I create life size board games in our driveway. Color rocks and paint a checker board or recreate a game board and have your children be the game pieces. If you’re like me when I was growing up and don’t have sidewalks or a paved driveway a great idea is to paint a wooden board or table with chalk paint. Making chalk paint is also a fun activity in itself.
- Kiddie Pool Day
It’s been extremely hot here in the Carolinas and our kiddie pool has been a great escape from the heat. Splashing around in our inflatable pool isn’t the only thing that can be done with a kiddie pool. For example a kiddie pool can make a great sandbox and I’ve used one to set up an archeological dig site for my kiddos.
- Home Zoo
This activity takes a bit of preparation. I use toy animals, (I really love the ones I’ve gottenfrom Safari LTD) and create enclosures using blocks. With Safari LTD I’m able to get information online about the animals and I write out facts that are at my children’s reading level. My kids absolutely love this activity.
- Scavenger Hunt
This is really can be two activities in one. The children can help make the play-doh and then play with the play-doh. There are so many direction for how to make homemade play-doh, but one of my favorites uses essential oils so that each color has a different scent. My kiddos love a good scavenger hunt and so do I. Whether you have preschoolers or teenagers, whether you are using words, pictures or riddle, scavenger hunts are great fun for the entire family. Pinterest is full of great ideas for scavenger hunts and printable scavenger hunt lists.
7. Homemade Play-Doh
This is really can be two activities in one. The children can help make the play-doh and then play with the play-doh. There are so many direction for how to make homemade play-doh, but one of my favorites uses essential oils so that each color has a different scent.
About the author: Stacie is a military spouse, mom and behavior analyst and shares her journey as a military spouse and autism mom on her blog MilSpouse in the House.