Hi Ruth!
I pray you’re enjoying your summer so far. So ques…what type of activities do you do with your kids (or they do on their own) at home during the summer that are still fun but full of learning possibilities? I want to do fun things with my kiddos but I don’t want them to feel like its the same ol’ stuff we do throughout the year for school. I ask you since you’re a box full of fun creative ideas (and you’re a veteran at this. lol)!!! :)
Love, Mara


Dear Mara,

Great question! Lots of us are asking the same thing! And some of my friends are freaking out a little bit, especially when torrential rain keeps everybody indoors. So how can we have fun, continue to learn, and not resort to eating our children, or worse letting them spend the entire summer in front of a screen of one size or another?


1. Arts and Crafts — Check out the new Kid Made Modern sets at your local Target store, most are under $15 and great quality. Designed with boys in mind too. Dinosaurs, aliens & duct tape are popular crafts. While you’re there, replenish your art supplies. At home, gather all left over bits and pieces from the school year and new stuff too into one location. Now, you’ve got a “craft corner!”

I find that once my kids start creating, the ideas just keep coming. Art projects easily last all day. Question I hear most, “Mommy, can I paint some more?” Answer: “Absolutely!” If you need help getting the creative juices flowing, check out these sites for super ideas:

Kiwi Crate

Deep Space Sparkle

Made by Joel

Homeschool Share Blog

(Plus, later this week my 13-year-old JoJo will share a new art form she came up with during last week’s rainy deluge.)


2. The Great Outdoors — Kick your kids (especially your sons) outside. Do it everyday. Rain or shine. Hot or humid. Don’t give him an agenda or project. Just tell him to find something to do. Why? Because it teaches him to figure stuff out on his own and because it is good for him. Remember our moms telling us that?!? Well, it’s true, but most of us have allowed our own kids stay inside way too much.


My son Little Rooster spent his outdoor alone time last week whittling wood chips into knives, finding a secret fort, getting stung by a wasp, and raking up wood chips. He started asking by week’s end, “Mommy, can you please kick me out of the house now?” Seriously.

Need more convincing? Check out the Be Out There website for great outdoor ideas. And add Nature Detectives to your bookmarks. I LOVE their discovery ideas and fabulous printables!


3. Housework — Give your kids work to do around the house. My grandmother ran a nursery school back in the 1960s. She played with the kids all morning, but everything (and everyone) would come unglued each afternoon. Fussing, fighting, crying. . . sound familiar! So she came up with a novel approach. After lunch and rest time, my grandmother and all her little charges would set to work cleaning and straightening the school area. As a reward, she read the children their favorite books. Her daycare became known as the “School Where Kids Worked.” And kids loved it!


So this summer, I’ve gone old-school too! After lunch, the kids work together to clean up the kitchen, fold and put away laundry, and straighten up the house. I inspect their work, correcting and training as needed. Reason: No matter what else they do in life, our kids will need to know how to take care of a home.

We tackle big jobs together. Last week, organizing the garage and putting together IKEA furniture. This week, I’m planning to put price tags on organizing some of my closets. The first kids to grab the job, get the money! Hello, Employment Lesson!


4. New Swim Spots — Go somewhere different than the beach or backyard pool. Mara, you live in Central Florida, like I do, so we can explore the amazing natural springs that bubble up all over this region. DO IT! For moms in other areas, find creeks or lakes. Check out state or local parks you’ve always meant to visit, but never have. Park fees are commonly $5. Making swimming in nature a great bang for your buck! Plus, you are playing IN a science lesson, rather than doing a worksheet about nature!

Last summer, our family hit a milestone — we spent more time in natural bodies of water than in man-made ones! I’m pretty proud of that. We’re on track to do the same this summer. Here’s a story with links to our favorite Orlando-area springs.


There’s lots more to tell you, but we’ve got to run. This morning we’re off to Mrs. Miller’s art camp. I hope these ideas help, Mara. I’ll write you again soon!




P.S. Any of you other Frizzle Chicks have ideas? Share ‘em and help the Mommas out! Here’s what my friend Kim has to offer — The Ant List!

About the Author
I'm one frizzled momma finding adventure and delight everyday...and writing about it! My chicken coop is full of six chicks, lots of friends, tons of books, and plenty of work. Stick around, I've got loads of stories to share.


  1. Mara says:

    Thank u so much for the ideas!!! I’m definitely going to start with these as a jumping off point. My kids really have the creative gene (thanks to my husband) so they’ve already started drawing, writing books, and making crafts on their own so I know the ideas you listed will truly get them going. Plus, I’m looking forward to getting them out into nature this summer or as you said “kicking them out of the house” so they can explore and discover on their own, without many guidelines, just letting them find their way. Thanks again and have a blessed week…

    1. Ruth says:

      Sounds like you are off to a great start, Mara! Can’t wait to hear about the adventures you and the kiddos have together!

  2. Thanks for all the great ideas! Can’t wait to take my kids out camping for the summer! My wife may not enjoy it as much, though… Hehe…