In a recent poll you described outdoor, creative and community activities that your kids especially enjoyed over the summer. We've listed some that could work year-round. See which ones you might want to try—even as the school year gets underway.
Results of the Poll
1. What sports, movement, or outdoor activities have worked especially well with your kids.
- Our family loves to go camping for a weekend at a state park. State parks offer trails to hike, playgrounds and shelter houses. Fees are very inexpensive—especially if you use a tent instead of a camper.
- A trip to the zoo is great. Some offer free admission and let you bring your own food and drinks.
- We take nature walks and talk about the animals, plants, and trees along the way.
- We make a campfire in the backyard and roast hotdogs and marshmallows.
2. Describe any crafts, art, or cooking activities that have been fun for you and your kids.
- We make fresh fruit kabobs. The kids make their own by choosing whatever fresh fruit is available.
- Our kids draw, paint, and create collage pictures to tack to the walls of their bedrooms. Children's art is an easy, inexpensive way to "wallpaper" rooms.
- I put some paint drops in a cardboard box with paper taped to the bottom. Then we roll things like marbles, golf balls, and oranges through the paint to make designs.
- We let our kids work as a team to redecorate the refrigerator. They have to use things we have, they can't buy anything new. We change the theme every 2-4 weeks.
3. Tell us about programs and resources in your community that you use.
- We go to the library—to reading clubs, and other library events.
- We visit state parks for the nature programs and nature trails.
- We enjoys going to museums—art and science museums and historic homes.
- Our local state university offers adaptive swimming lessons. There are also programs and lessons for kids at the local community college.
- We go to Minor League baseball games.
4. What else makes summer special for your family?
- Just spending time together.
- Extra family time, to relax and have fun.
- Weekend camping trips are fantastic for quality family time, and they are a great opportunity to learn about the outdoors. Except for electricity and a radio, we do without modern conveniences, so entertainment includes things like playing ball, fishing, playing at a beach, going for walks, playing cards, reading books, sitting around a campfire talking, etc. No one has to get up early for work or daycare, there's no laundry or housework to do, no junk mail or phone solicitors to interrupt our time, and it's nearly all fun and relaxation!
- Reading with kids at night!
- It's a time for visits to and from grandparents and other relatives.
- Camping in the backyard with friends.