Safe and Fun Summer Activities - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Safe and Fun Summer Activities

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Well it's almost that time of year again, where you hear the sweet melody of your children's summertime chorus, chiming in all together in a rousing tune of "I'm Bored!" This summer time favorite is the dread of all parents who don't have the luxury of a full time entertainment committee for their children. So what are you, as a parent, to do about keeping those little darlings from moping around the house after the first days of summer vacation have passed? Well, having been there and done that, I have a few summertime activity tips you can use to occupy some of your children's boring days.

As much as both parents and children would love the idea, it simply isn't possible for the family to be on vacation the entire summer break. Those pesky bills insist on being paid every month, so it makes holding down a job, even through summer vacation, a necessity rather than a hobby. If you're like most parents, you also cannot afford to send your child to summer camp all summer long, especially if you live in a home with multiple children. In order to defeat those summer boredoms, you just have to get a little creative and let the children do the rest.

Since we want our children to be out of the house and as active as possible, we won't even discuss using video games as a method of entertainment. They definitely have their uses, like on rainy days or in case of sickness, but extended game playing is not in the summer plan. Well, at least not in my plans.

Water games have always been a huge hit with my family. I'm not talking about being pool side, I'm referring to the type of water games which can be played safely with minimal supervision. A trip to your local dollar store will open up a world of fun water toys which your children can use all summer long. They're very inexpensive, safe, and lots of fun.

One such toy is the water ball. They come in a variety of different names, but once you understand what they are, you'll know them on sight. These little devices are very soft, sponge like items which soak up water... and lots of it! If you've ever had a snowball fight, then you'll know what to do with one of these water balls. They do not hurt when they hit you, and in fact most of the water is flung out on its way to the intended target. However, it does make a satisfying splat when it hits the target.

Buy a few of these and a couple of regular water buckets and you have a game kids eat up. You'll want to watch them, even if from behind a window. Each time we've used these, the kids make up their own games with their own rules, which is quite entertaining. Kids of all ages, and even adults tend to enjoy this activity.

Depending on your child's age, there is another inexpensive activity which can be fun and involving for your child for several days, and weather willing, maybe even a week or two. Do you remember watching your child unwrap a gift when they were small? Usually after the toy was unwrapped and out of the box, it received a precursory glance before being quickly discarded in favor of the box it came in.

Children do not lose their love of boxes until they get too big to actually play with them. This gives you the perfect opportunity to give your kids hours of fun play in the back yard. Your local grocer will happily give you large cardboard boxes, and you can get really big ones from an appliance store. Grab some poster paints, painter's tape and sponge brushes from the dollar store again, and you have a guaranteed hit.

I've witnessed large boxes being mixed with varying sized boxes to become a submarine, tall buildings, a clubhouse, dollhouse, and of course the all time favorite: the fort. Children usually have no problems coming up with ways to play with cardboard boxes. They are viable to play with until it rains or the play turns to a catastrophic event such as a dinosaur attack. When the kids are finished playing with the boxes, the materials can be recycled, which makes this activity environmentally friendly.

These two activities are very safe and inexpensive play time favorites I'm sure your kids will love. There are many other ways to keep kids active and entertained during the summer break, all you need to do is mix some imagination with inexpensive materials, and you're on your way to a very energetic and fun filled summer vacation

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