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The summer is here!
Which means a daily array of fresh activities to entertain the kids doesn’t it?
Well of course it’s fun to have a summer bucket list and do stuff you don’t get a chance to during school term time.
But kids do actually need to learn … shock horror! … to entertain themselves.
If they don’t, they’re in danger of never developing the independence, persistence and initiative they need for so much of life.
My sister teaches at a top UK University and constantly complains that her students … all ‘high achievers’ … totally lack initiative.
They’re used to being told what to do every single step of the way.
How to get kids to entertain themselves
So as you’re planning a summer of fun do leave your kids time to do their own thing.
One way to do instigate this is to get the ball rolling in week one of the summer holidays.
Make it the starting point for summer long projects that kids can dip in and out of all through the long summer vacation.
Most importantly, kids can immerse themselves in the projects without constant input from you – or any other adults.
It may be that you need you to get things going either by talking about cool things you did when you were a kid, or by asking your kids for ideas for the projects they’d like to do.
Then you can help them get the stuff they need so that they are all set up.
But after that, it’s down to them to get on with their projects and to enjoy the freedom of having their own project that is nothing to do with anyone but themselves.
There are so many long summer vacation projects that kids can take on.
But if you are in need of inspiration, check out the list of summer vacation project for kids ideas below.
Summer Vacation Projects for Kids
- Read Harry Potter … will take all summer because once you start one you have to read them ALL … warning Harry and his friends will be ever present for the rest of the summer! We’ve got a post on How To Keep Kids Reading Through The Summer.
- Learn to ride a bike, roller skate or skate board …
- Sow vegetable seeds … radishes only take three weeks, lettuces 8 weeks … take responsibility for watering, weeding and seeing off bugs.
- If it’s too late to sew seeds, plant pumpkins or sunflower plants
- Keep a diary or online journal and write something up every day.
- Create a family picture wall diary of the summer on a big sheet on the wall to which drawings of summer activities can be constantly added.
- Keep a summer scrapbook and stick in momentos of everything done.
- Learn how to use a camera and photograph the summer.
- Start a nature collection e.g. shells, stones.
- Set a sporting target to hit e.g. number of keepie uppies, 100m speed
- Write a story book and write a new chapter every week
- Build a den from salvaged wood & decorate it
- Raise caterpillars and watch them transform into butterflies … we had the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden last year which was brilliant for this
- Raise tadpoles and watch them transform into frogs
- Create a terrarium and raise snails
- Grow crystals …
- Create a summer long scavenger hunt …
- Start a business selling cookies, lemonade, crafts
- Raise money for a local charity … set a target to hit and try and beat it
- Hold a kids jumble sale encouraging kids to swap the toys they no longer want
- Create a local kids newspaper and keep everyone informed of summer news
- Research family tree by talking to grandparents
- Create a star chart of what can be seen across the summer from your house
- Building a go cart from scavenged wheels and wood
- Write and film a movie
- Keep a nature journal … recording all the creatures and plants seen
- Volunteer for someone elderly throughout the summer e.g. watering plants, helping pick up shopping
- Sew own dress … after choosing fabric and a pattern, there are loads of free patterns on Craftsy they can choose from
I hope this list gives you and your kids some brilliant inspiration for summer vacation projects to keep them inspired and absorbed in their very own thing all summer long.
Want more summer holiday entertainment ideas?
Check out our Outdoor Water Play Activities For Kids post for a roundup of some brilliantly fun and cooling ways for kids to water play through the summer.
Don’t forget to check out our How To Plan Summer Holiday Fun For Kids post too, with plenty of great ideas for planning summer holiday fun that won’t break the budget and won’t cause you to lose your marbles!!
Plus pop over to our 50 Fun Outdoor Things To Do For Free post – for some brilliant outdoor fun ideas that will have the kids occupied and entertained for hour after hour at no cost to the family budget.
And just one more post to flag up (for now!) it’s our No Prep Summer Bucket List post, choc full of fabulously fun no-brainer ideas for keeping the kids occupied during the summer school holidays.
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