Summer is great for fun but some kids’ activities could harm the environment – like water balloons. The following ideas from Margaret Hyde of Huffington Post would create the best Eco-Friendly Summer Fun for Kids without hurting Mother Nature:
1. Grow a garden play area
- Plant sunflowers to create a maze or a beautiful natural playground in your backyard. Planting a “pizza garden” (tomatoes, oregano, basil) is also a great idea. Harvest them with your kids at the end of summer and make the best homemade pizza.
2. Create a natural art box mobile
- Materials: box, translucent contact paper, string, pebbles, rocks, small twigs, flowers, and some homemade paint (egg white and red ochre blush and charcoal). View some ancient cave art pictures with your child for inspirations.
3. Make toys and crafts from boxes
- Big boxes make great puppet theaters and tunnel playhouses. Medium boxes could be made into train tunnels or matchbox car highways.
4. Add some scent to Play Dough
- Create an “Around the World” Play dough and add different spices like lemongrass and ginger for an Asian smelling clay, or cumin and turmeric for an Indian scented play.
5. Make your own water sponge toys
- Instead of water balloons, why not play with water sponge toys instead? It’s easy to throw around and leaves no rubber trash behind.
6. Do some finger painting
- No brush use but only fingers. Use non-toxic finger paint [cornstarch, water, and food color] for a fun messy activity.
7. Colored rice and pasta (using non-toxic coloring)
- Use food color and some (quick drying) rubbing alcohol for your colored rice and pasta . The kids could use these in spatial relationship play and/or crafting. Let the kids pour them into cups or use to make necklaces or to glue onto their artwork.
8. Sand box treasure hunting
- Buy some inexpensive environment-friendly toy pirate ‘loots’ (“fool’s good” pyrite) and bury them in your kid’s sand box. Have the kids dress up into pirates and let them dig up their gold.
9. Make a toilet paper tube bird feeder
- Take a toilet paper tube and recycle it by covering with peanut butter and rolling in birdseeds. It’s a worthwhile activity for kids.
10. Create a backyard beach
- Buy several bags of sand from the hardware store or local garden shed and spread it out in the kiddy pool or just anywhere you can enjoy it in your own backyard. Next, place some sea shells, sand dollars, and even driftwood you’ve collected from your previous trips to the beach. Then, take out the beach umbrella and sand toys.
Let your kids engage with fun and nature in these activities. Which of these green summertime ideas you’d be trying with your kids?
The sky is great and beautiful this summer – Why don’t you take out your kids and have some fun outside – right in your very own backyard! Natural Parents Network suggests 5 Activities for Summertime Fun that both you and your kids can enjoy:
1. Creating a growing play pot ‘fairy garden’
- What you do is plant a sturdy plant on an extra large pot (a good height for children’s play), cover it with moss or other soft touchable ground covers, and then let your kids decorate it with small stones, pebbles, small animals, toys and trucks, and fairies!
2. Setting up a sensory playground
- To set this up, you will need to use your wading pool (without wat er). Place it outside on the grass or on the porch, or you can take it inside your living during cool or rainy summers. Now dump it with beans, rice, pillows, balls, packing peanuts, and duplos and other colorful blocks and toys. No need to fill it all the way – just a small layer on the bottom and your kids will be ready to dive in!
3. Rock painting and garden decorating
- Go on a walk to where you can find large rounded stones or river rocks you can use for this project. Wash and dry the rocks with the kids. Heat up the rocks in the oven for just a bit, at 225 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel some crayons and let your kids melt the colors away on the warm rocks! Decorate your garden steps or windowsill with your creations.
4. Making a homemade sidewalk or driveway paint
- Mix equal parts of water and cornstarch and add food coloring. Let your kids do the stirring. You can use painbrushes or just let your colors drizzle and drip. You can now paint the ground with your kids!
5. Painting with water
- How about painting with water? Yes, you don’t have to use paint. Your kids’ imaginations are what matters. Best of all, they can paint anything outside with this – the porch table, trellis, the fence, walkway, or even the wall and the entire deck!
What other warm weather activities can you suggest? Have fun this summer!
Kids grow up so fast! And because they do, don’t you think you should start planning to spend more time with them? Having fun with kids is one of the best rewards of being a parent. So take your time and enjoy activities with your kids this summer.
Child and Adolescent Therapist Signe Whitson from Huffington Post shares 45 Ideas for Summer Fun with Kids that parents could do with their fast growing children. Her summertime with the kids ‘to-do-list’ includes making stepping stones, having a car wash, running through a fountain, organizing a block party for the neighbors, making homemade icecream, selling lemonade at the park and donating the money to charity, catching fireflies, looking at the stars, swinging ‘so high we think our feet would touch the sky’, making swirly designs with sparklers in the night sky, roasting marshmallows and hot dogs on long sticks, wearing glow bracelets and running around after dard, planting flowers, going to a museum, blowing bubbles, swimming a lot, just lying in the hammock, and just enjoying being young spending time the kids!
Remember, children are only young once so make the most out of it. Enjoy the time with them while it lasts, especially while it’s summer. You household and professional tasks can wait. Enjoy the no-school no-hurry mornings, savor the staying-up-late-past-bedtime, and just become a kid again with your kids!
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