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Kids Playing CatchWith school coming to a close, the usual parent concerns of how to keep the kids busy are on the forefront of each parent’s mind.  To help allay your fears of your ATM card getting squeezed beyond recognition and having to be the taxi driver of endless summer outings, we have a few ideas to help you out.  If you haven’t made a kids activity apron from our DIY project section, this might be the time to check it out.  Or, if you don’t want break out your sewing machine, but do need something to keep the craft spills far away from your children’s clothes, then you can buy a Kids’ Activity Apron from YourLifEvents Etsy store.  Kick off the summer right AND get the kids in the mood for summer fun too.

#1. Here’s a fun way to get your kids to read.

Make a Reading Passport Book.  Include exciting completion stickers or stamps to put in the squares on the individual pages when your child has completed each book in a section.  Your passport pages can be divided into sections of  Adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Classics, True Epic, Westerns, etc. or, leave them blank and let the kids fill them in.  Kids love stickers and if you get different kinds and don’t let them see what they are, they will look forward to seeing what new and exciting sticker comes next.  Be sure to let them put the stickers in the squares to give them even more sense of accomplishment at the completion of a book.  It’s kind of like those cute painted kid bowls where you want to finish what you’re eating to see the picture under the food.  When all the squares are filled with stickers, the last square can be an actual adventure that you write in and take them on. Even if it’s just to Chucky Cheese, the beach or a fun play center they haven’t been to in a while – what makes it all the more special is that you create the story together and then embark on the adventure together.  Click here to go to our Etsy shop to buy the  DIY project templates.

#2. Fun paper crafts are always fun especially when you use recycled objects.

Enter…the “Mad Hatters Recycled Hat”. It is a brown paper grocery bag turned inside out with the edges rolled down 2 or 3 times, all the way around the bag.  First, you will need to cover a table with newspaper secured with tape.  Down the center of the table you will spread out fun, decorative objects such as Pom Poms, Chenille Stems, feathers, buttons, beads, jewels, wiggly eyes, foam cut outs, stickers, stamps, crayons, markers, ribbon, yarn, a hole punch, glue and/or glue sticks, or anything else you have around that would make for a funny hat.  Use your imagination to help the kids’ imaginations really soar.  Place the un-decorated, pre-rolled hats around the table, then let the kids go wild.  Take pictures at the end, you won’t want to miss this photo opp!  Tell them they must wear their hats to the dinner table as a fun surprise.  You can also have all the kids make these hats at a birthday or slumber party, this is good for at least a few hours of fun!

#3. Backwards Parties.

These parties are always so much fun, and you don’t need a reason to have one.  From putting all your clothes on backwards to eating dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, a backwards party can be as wild as you want it to be.  If you’re sending out invites, make it so they open backwards.  You can even write the “When”, “Where” and “Time” backwards, because people are familiar with how invites are supposed to read and guests will still know what they mean.  Put out name cards but write them backwards and see who can figure out where everyone should sit.   Turn the chairs backwards at the table and have them sit straddling the seat.  This works best with low back chairs so you don’t end up with a mess to clean up because your guests couldn’t get the food to their mouths:) Have the kids try to read something funny backwards and see if they can do it without laughing.  If your party is outside, have the kids try and drink water from the opposite side of the glass.

#4. For the older athletic outdoor types.

A game of  hockey with brooms and dust pans is oh so much fun!  The best place to play this game is down at the school yard, and since school is out you should have the play yard all to yourself.  Everyone borrows their mom’s broom and whoever is going to play the goalie grabs the dust pan.  The puck can be a used and cleaned out tuna can.  You can use duck tape to put down as out of bound zones and goalie areas.  If you have any orange cones to place in the corners, this is a bonus.  Have each team wear a different colored shirt and send them off with snacks and drinks in a cooler. Occupied for hours…

Let us hear what some of your summer fun ideas are to keeping your kids busy, there are never too many good ideas!

By: YLE Crafty Chic, Sharon Tittle

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