By Belinda Willmoth
Alrighty folks! ‘Tis the season for kids to come home from school and moms and dads to wonder what to do with all the extra time and energy suddenly on their hands! I’ve put together a few easy and inexpensive ideas for keeping the kids busy until the school bell rings once again.
- Go to the library and let them pick out 5-10 books.
- Of course, they will have new games/toys to play with for a few days (until they grow tired of them)…
- Have them make dinner (or at least help you).
- Older kids: Make a word puzzle based on one of the library books: character names, places, etc.
- Teach them to do some laundry… You will be SO glad you did this come summer!!! And yes, They CAN do it! For little ones, just take it a step at a time. Even draw them a little picture. Teach them how to put away their own clothing and their younger brother/sister’s as well.
- Read/recite Luke 2, 3-5 times per day until they have it memorized. It won’t take long and you can make a game out of it…
- Last winter we did a “snow scene picture” using the Scripture “Wash me and I will be whiter than snow.” I’m pretty sure it was a snowy day when I found the idea but we had some leftover craft paper that was a pretty blue and white with snowflakes, used some snowflake stickers, and of course, cut up our very own snowflakes from white paper. You can expand on this however you’d wish. The Scripture is easy for kids to memorize. Just say it together as you make your craft. Our “scenes” included snowmen assembled from the craft paper.
- Put on a Puppet Show!!! Remember those library books you checked out? Viola! Let the kids’ imaginations go. They can create the scenery and dust off the forgotten stuffed animals and use them as their puppets. Be sure to record the finished performance!!!
- Board games!!! (And don’t be a stickler on the rules!) Make up your own way to do it… maybe each player gets to come up with a “rule” or direction of play.
- Leftover wrapping paper can make AWESOME ornaments for the Christmas tree! Need ideas? Heavy-duty paper plates or cardstock cut into Christmasy shapes is a good template. Then just use the pretty paper pieces and glue in a mosaic-style. This is a TIME saver for me when I’m homeschooling my oldest and little hands need busy-work! A glue stick and paper scraps can go a verrrrrrry llooooooong way! Punch a hole in the top, tie a string or thread through with a needle. I ALWAYS add the date (and their age) to my kids’ creations!!
- Build a “city” from blocks (any kind will do) and if you have an old sheet, lay that down on a large floor-area first. Then, with masking tape, create roads. Mark/label “locations” on the backs of old business cards with crayon. Again, refer to the library books for some ideas. In children’s picture books, there are a WEALTH of great geography/civics lessons!!! If you find some topic within a book that interests your child – say, it’s a cute little story about a giraffe and your child begins asking about giraffes, go back to library for more books on giraffes! 🙂
So there you go – a few ideas to help you pass the time and have a lot of fun until the school bell rings again.