Rock legend Alice Cooper recalled the joy of the last day of school in the band’s ubiquitous 1972 hit, “School’s Out.”
With no school to fill the youth’s final weeks or summer days, it’s up to parents to figure out how to keep them busy and out of trouble. Start planning now to stretch your creativity muscles with fun activities.
Here are 10 to make memories.
# 1. Broadway Babies.
Have the children write, produce, and put on a play. Find books from the library about plays and plays, and ask them to encourage their friends to participate. If your kids are tech savvy, let them make movies.
# 2. Memory creators.
Start a scrapbook. Let the young people take pictures of anything they want with a child’s disposable or digital camera. Have them work on scrapbooks of their work each week. In winter, they will have a keepsake that will capture tons of memories.
# 3. Freebie Frenzy.
Visit the website for your local Convention and Visitors Bureau. Look for possibilities like free movie nights or free or low-cost museum tickets.
# 4. Throw a pirate party.
Gather your little Blackbeard for a pirate-themed party. Fill a treasure chest with sweets and other goodies, and get the kids to dress up. Draw a treasure map and have the children complete the tasks before receiving the following clues. Consider activities such as doing puzzles, solving puzzles, or competing in cake-eating or gum-blowing contests.
# 5. Go global.
Each week, check out a book from the library about a foreign country. Learn with children about different cultures, foods, and clothing. Declare “(Country Name) Day,” when everyone prepares typical foods, learns phrases, and plays popular games from that nation.
# 6. Super Savers.
Set up a coupon clipping contest and have your kids help you find savings. Put them in charge of coupons for alternate weeks and keep an up-to-date tally of what was spent each week. For Halloween, the one with the least amount of dollars wins a prize.
# 7. Freezing time.
Build a time capsule for the summer of 2008. Have your children collect all their memories and photos from the summer and make a CD with a mix of their favorite songs. Next, secure the items in an airtight container and bury it. In 10 years, they can dig it up again and laugh at the fun times they shared. Bury it at least 4 feet underground, but check with your utility companies before digging. Mark the spot and record where you have buried the time capsule.
# 8. Wet and wild weather!
When the meteorologist predicts hot and humid weather, throw an old-fashioned sprinkler party. It’s fun, inexpensive, and always fun. Ask neighbors, friends, and family to bring different types of sprinklers, squirt guns, and slides, and fill water balloons. It will be a great way to keep the neighborhood entertaining and fresh.
# 9. Children’s kitchen.
Have your children create fun meals on their own. Start with a cookbook like “There’s a Chef in My Soup” by Emeril Lagasse. Let the kids do everything from setting the table to seating your guests and serving the food. Be prepared for disaster, and for some great time and great photos. But always make sure that you or another responsible adult is available to supervise kitchen activities.
# 10. Karaoke, anyone?
The next rainy day, try a karaoke DVD for kids. They can set up a stage, make costumes out of old clothes, and rehearse. They will be ready to give a concert in the late afternoon or evening.
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