20 Ideas for the Momma With the “Stuck Inside Summer Blues”

Do you have preschoolers or young elementary age kids?

Are you feeling stuck at home with the summer heat? (BTW I am convinced that late July/Aug and late Jan/Feb are some of the hardest weeks as a young mom….b/c you are either out spending money you don’t have to kill time or you are stuck at home b/c of the extreme weather)

Maybe some of my all time favorite “kill an hour” tricks will bless you!

Instructions: Read list, choose one, close your laptop, turn off your iPhone (did I just say that?..yes I did) and spend some time PLAYING! I promise the few minutes you spend playing with your kids will pay you back. You can change the “tone” of you house in a moment by pulling out a few tricks!!!

  • shaving cream on cookie sheets with little cars, dolls or animals
  • corn meal in cookie sheets with funnels, bowls, spoons, little cars, dolls or animals – it feels like sand to them
  • tape paper to bottom inside of cookie sheets,  drop poster paint on it, then put marbles or match box cars in the paint and tilt the pan and allow the them to run through the paint and it makes a fun picture
  • home-made “slime”  – mix water and corn starch in a bowl with some food coloring…makes a huge fun mess and they can play with it on cookie sheets with cars or animals
  • let you kids paint with water-color paints in the bathtub…paint themselves, the walls, toys etc… then just wash them off
  • use chalk or washable paint to draw a road on you driveway for your kids to ride their scooters or bikes in
  • play “I spy” with a small object in your living room
  • set up a tent with sheets in the living room and let your kids have snack inside
  • eat lunch on the kitchen floor on a sheet – an indoor picnic
  • go rock hunting and then let your kids draw on them and make “rock pets”
  • read a story to them while they eat lunch – that way they are busy eating and they will sit still =)
  • roll out large butcher paper and trace their bodies on it – then let them draw themselves
  • draw a large road/town on butcher paper and let them play with cars, trains or animals on it
  • BOXES —-we LOVE boxes in my house!!!!!  You can make dioramas – which are small scenes inside boxes….like ocean scene, jungle scene, horse stable, car repair shop…the list is endless!!! You can also make large trains by connecting the boxes together and let the kids play in them. Make doll houses, treasure boxes, lunch boxes, beds for animals or dolls. The list is endless!!!!!
  • recycle projects – the kids make something new out of your recycle bin items. Things like robots or machines
  • finger print animals – color the end of their finger with marker and make a finger print on paper (or many) then use felt tip markers to make it into a person, bug, car, animal, or anything else you can think of
  • I love printing off coloring sheets off the internet. I let the kids tell me what they like then I print off a few pictures and they make their own “themed” coloring book by stapling them together
  • magazine collages – let them cut up old magazines and glue the pictures onto paper (also great to use in dioramas mentioned above)
  • make an “abc” book – do a letter per page, have them draw a picture for every letter, or print off a letter sheet from the internet
  • make binoculars by taping two toilet paper rolls together and taping string to the ends – then go on a “hunt” around your house looking for shapes, colors, letters, or numbers

Hope these quick and cheap ideas help you get through some hot summer days!!!! Remember to ENJOY and embrace your kids where they are!!!

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