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Kids Home for the Summer? Check out these fun Novelties, Toys, and Games to Keep them Busy

While you’re kids are looking forward to sleeping in, swimming, zoning out in front of the television, and forgetting everything they’ve learned over the last year, you’re wondering how to keep them busy and wondering how to avoid the whines and wails of “Mom, I’m bored!”  Sure, you can just plug in the video games and let the kids waste away in front of the computer all summer, but why not plan some activities that encourage fun in the sun or keep away the rainy day blues? 

Start out by stocking your outdoor toy chest with plenty of simple toys that all the neighborhood kids can enjoy. 

- Sidewalk chalk is a hit with kids of all ages and has plenty of possibilities, from a quick game of tic-tac-toe to a sidewalk art contest.

- Bubbles will delight anyone!  Dump bubbles in a large bucket and have the kids find everyday objects that will work as bubble wands. 

- Balls of every shape and size are good for organized games like kickball or baseball or just for a quick game of catch or dodge ball.

- Jump ropes are great for girls and boys.  Even if they aren’t being used for their intended purpose, with a little imagination, a jump rope comes in handy for all kinds of pretend play! 

sidewalk chalk

As the weather gets hotter, the kids will be scrambling for ways to stay cool, so search for water activities to keep the kids busy.  If a family pass to the local pool is out of the budget, there are still plenty of ways to stay cool in the summer and have some fun in the sun. 

- Organize water balloon fights between all the neighborhood kids.  Girls against boys or even adults against kids will get everyone’s competitive spirit going and get everyone in on the fun!  Just make sure all the pieces are cleaned up when the fight is over. 

- Stock up on squirt guns and water cannons for everyone, fill buckets with water to make reloading easier, and let the games begin! 

- Cut open some heavy duty garbage bags, tack them down with stakes, turn on the hose, and you’ve got a low-cost, high-fun slip and slide everyone can enjoy! 

- For toddlers, give them a bowl of water and a paint brush, set them free on a wooden deck or cement patio, and tell them it’s time to paint.  The water will change the color of the wood or cement and they can have hours of fun “painting” and getting wet, and aside from a little water on their clothes, you’ve got no mess to clean up when they’re done! 

squirt guns

water cannons

You’ll also want to make sure to have some rainy day activities ready for those days when the weather forces the kids to stay inside and you don’t want the kids to spend their day watching hours of television. 

- Organize a board game marathon with classics like Monopoly, checkers, Trivial Pursuit, Uno, and Scrabble. 

- Stock up on plenty of art supplies, like modeling clay, watercolor paints, and crayons and coloring books.

- Let the kids put on their own play, complete with costumes, props, and stage makeup.  Use your video camera to record their production so they can watch it after their done! 

- Crack out your cookbooks and let each child pick one recipe to prepare.  Let them do as much of the preparation, cooking, and clean up as possible, and when it’s time for the first test, let them have the honors!  They’ll be so proud of their accomplishment! 

- Introduce your kids to the games and toys you enjoyed as a child.  Show them how to use a paddleball, teach them how to play marbles and jacks, help them learn to juggle, and introduce them to your favorite yo-yo tricks.  By the time the sun comes out again, your kids might think you’re cool! 

watercolor paints

juggling balls

wooden yo-yos

With a little imagination and planning, you’ll be able to keep your kids busy this summer, avoid the calls of “I’m bored” and help the kids have plenty of fun in the sun! 

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