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It's that time of year – what are you planning to do with your kids this summer? I'm a work-at-home homeschooling mom of 5, which means I'm busy working in the early morning hours and (of course) my littlest wakes up at 6am. That leaves a lot of free hours during the day, and a lot of “getting into trouble time” if I don't keep the kids busy! It seems like I'll be helping one child with something, and before I know it, the little ones are drawing on the walls, or squabbling with a sibling, or eating 3 apples, 2 carrots, and 1 banana, and a string cheese out of boredom (yes, just one kid at that much, and it just happened yesterday!). I made a list of my top 5 meaningful and worthwhile summer activities for kids, and I wanted to share it with you!
This summer, I have a plan in place! And my plan involves a much-needed family break from the same cartoons they've watched multiple times on Netflix. Here are my top 5 meaningful summer activities for my kids:
- Outdoor activities – my kids will spend as much time playing in the back yard as possible, and we'll also be heading to the park and pool as much as we possibly can before the Colorado weather turns on us. I know spending time outdoors can be educational, and I also firmly believe in children learning through play. Playing outside might be simple, but it's definitely worthwhile for their growth and development!
- Strewing – this is a very basic concept that is incredibly beneficial. The general idea is for mom to leave items of interest strewn about your home to entice your kids and get their creative juices flowing. My favorite items to scatter are good books, construction paper and chalk, interesting rocks, craft supplies, recipes, or printed craft ideas from Pinterest. The idea is that these fun items will catch your child's eye and help them to get immersed in a fun project. My kids LOVE to find what I've put out around the house for them, and I love knowing they'll be doing something productive with their time!
- Jelly Telly – this is a new family favorite! My kids have seriously needed a Netflix break, and I'm SO thankful we found Jelly Telly instead! During the school year, we try to only allow them to watch TV on the weekends. When summer starts, they're allowed to watch more (because…well, it's summer!), but I still don't like to let TV time get out of control. After some content popped up on a pre-teen show that I didn't find especially appropriate, I started hunting for something more family-friendly and trustworthy. Enter Jelly Telly! Jelly Telly was created by Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, and has hours and hours of excellent quality family-friendly videos. Our current favorites (besides Veggie Tales) are “Buck Denver Asks…What's in the Bible?” (my kids have learned so much from this one) and “Hillsong Kids.” Plus, there's a great 5-minute family devotional. I found a special offer to pass on to you if you want to try Jelly Telly for your kids! You can access a 7-Day Free Trial PLUS a free coloring book download. This is a great way to start the summer off on the right foot, and a great way to help your kids learn and watch quality entertainment.
- Doing something for others – this is a big one! My kids are more mission-minded then I am (they are such a great example to me!), and come up with projects every summer to help people in need. My 10-year-old daughter has been putting together packs of Dollar Store toiletries and non-perishables for homeless people we drive past on freeway off-ramps. They burdened her heart so much that she felt led to do something. My oldest (12 years old) has become a pro at selling baked goods to raise money for persecuted Christians overseas. I keep praying that our eyes will be open to people around is in need, and my kids have found many creative opportunities to be the Lord's hands and feet. Doing a project as a family to help others is a great way to make a meaningful investment in your summer months.
- Last, but not nearly as much fun, is school work – I keep the kids working on math and language arts throughout the summer so they stay on track and aren't falling behind when we start school again in August.
Those are my top 5 worthwhile summer activities for kids – what are yours? If you have meaningful ways to spend time with your kids this summer, I'd love to hear about them in the comments!
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