So, we just got back from a lovely trip to Tacoma to visit my great friend Jayme (of Lillipops Designs) for her daughter’s birthday party. (Pssst…I came home with something I can’t WAIT to photograph and show off for all of you!). But..anyway….
a 2.5 hour drive with 2 kids can be stressful. Zoe was great, but Delia was not loving being strapped in a carseat that long. When we got home, I thought a fun activity was in order. It reminded me of what I”ve done in the past to spark new imaginative journeys with my girls.
We put a t.v. in the girls’ playroom. Now..I’m NOT a fan of tv’s in kids bedrooms or even playrooms. I much prefer kids to be engaged in imaginative play. Having said that, it can come in handy…like tonight. I decided to have “Family Movie Night” in the playroom. Zoe sold tickets with her play money. We had fake popcorn in those adorable $1 vintagey popcorn containers you can buy at Target, and the girls got to eat dinner in the playroom with the movie on. We snuggled .It was FUN! Moving the t.v. for one night into the playroom was a fun “reframing” of normal events. It got the girls excited! It got me thinking about all the other “reframing” things we’ve done for free fun on weekends.
First…a pic of Delia, who got ALL dressed up for the movie night. (excuse the quality..it’s a phone pic!).
I’m not sure about you, but even moving existing furniture around makes me feel like I have a new house. So goes it with things for the kids! Moving something around to a new location and it makes the object all new and fun again!
Here are a few ideas for FREE Summertime fun with the kids. They will LOVE IT! I promise. :
1. Put an air mattress in the middle of the living room (or a tent!). Camp out for the night. The kids will go BONKERS!
2. In the same vein……put a tent in the back yard for “backyard camping”. We have a firepit to roast marshmallows, but even if you don’t…..dig a hole and built a little fire.
3. Rearrange your child’s room. maybe even string a sheet from the bed to the dresser for a “fort”. Make it a big deal. They will entertain themselves for hours!
4. Bring kitchen utensils into the bath. My girls ADORE a potato masher in the bath…..or a spatula or measuring cup. Seriously.
5. Put a sheet over your kitchen table and make a “fort”. Eat dinner underneath the table…in the fort. Broccoli takes on a WHOLE NEW APPEAL. I’ve done it. Trust me.
6. Let your kids serve you like waiters. (This TOTALLY benefits us, right???!!). My girls LOVE to play restaurant. Fix dinner and put it on plates. Let them serve you at the table. They FREAK OUT over it.
7. Have a living room picnic. Lay a blanket on your living room floor. Light candles (maybe on tables away from the activities). Eat on the floor. Again..kids ADORE This.
8. Have a random table or dresser? Bring it to the front yard on a weekend and let the kids have a lemonade stand…or a cupcake stand….or a painted rock stand……..
9. Scavenger hunt. Make a list of things they have to find…….they get a prize at the end. SO easy and the kids get SO into it!
10. Science day. Let the kids raid the pantry. Think food coloring…baking soda…water…..salt…..ANYTHING you can spare. Let them use spoon, measuring cups…again..ANYTHING. EXperiments will engage them for HOURS.
Summer doesn’t have to use MONEY. We are all on a budget these days, right? Just use your existing house items and find new ways to engage the kids!
Then..send me photos and I will share!!!! We have done EVERY ONE of these ideas..multiple times. They WORK!