School is almost out for summer break and the kids are already asking me what activities I have planned. Every year I do things they expect and try to add fun into our routine. It's important to keep kids busy and entertained. It keeps sibling arguments at a minimum and by keeping them entertained, you'll keep your sanity.
This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase products through these links or images I may earn a small commission, it is no extra cost to you and helps support this blog.
Workbook Activities During the Summer
My children love to read and do activity books for their upcoming grade level during the summer. As my daughter says, "I like to keep sharp and get a head start!" Every summer the children ask me if I've gotten their summer workbooks yet and if not, how soon am I going to get them. Maybe it's the continuing education after school ends or maybe it's the $.10 I give them for every correct and completed page I give them.
Here's a list of summer workbooks for your children. We have done many of these and they are easy for children to follow. I usually get one book per subject for each child.
Other than education and preparedness being the ultimate reward, I do give the kids a small amount of money for these workbooks. I turn it into yet another math lesson. At the end of summer they tally up their earnings and I give it to them to put in their piggy bank. They compare how much they earned from year to year.
Go Strawberry Picking
A fun family activity for the summer time is to go strawberry picking. Not only do they taste more delicious than store bought strawberries but they're really fun to pick! The kids really enjoy picking their own and filling their bucket. It also doubles as an educational adventure to teach your children about planting, growing, and harvesting plants and vegetables.
Plant Your Own Garden
This is something new I am doing this summer with the kids. We just planted our own strawberries, a variety of peppers, tomatoes, and sunflowers my son just brought home from school. They're excited to take care of and grow their own food. This summer long activity also teaches an important life skill of being self-efficient.
Library Reading Program
All across libraries in Virginia you will find summer reading programs. Children get a grade level appropriate reading program. After signing up children will receive a handful of goodies such as free ice cream vouchers, etc. Some libraries also team up with area attractions to provide free entries into their establishments on Fridays. You will want to check with your local library and see if they do in fact have an awesome program like this!
Virginia Safari Park
Visiting the Safari Park was so much fun. The kids have asked to go back over the summer time. It's a drive through zoo so it's easy to get through with small children (although they do have a walk-through park that's included in price). The children will love seeing all the different animals and being able to hand feed llamas, ostriches, goats, deer, giraffes, and more! Check out my post on visiting the Virginia Safari Park Drive-Thru Zoo.
Regal Cinemas Summer Movie Express
On Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Regal Cinemas you can take your kids to see a movie for only $1.00! Here's the list of movies they will be showing this summer. It's a great way to add some variety to your summer and also get some down time!!
(image credit - www.regmovies.com)
Take A Drive on Skyline Drive
The Skyline Drive is absolutely gorgeous in the summer. There are so many beautiful spots to stop, take pictures, and take hikes on. There are four different extrances onto Skyline Drive:
Front Royal Entrance Station near Rt. 66 and 340
Thornton Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 211
Swift Run Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 33
Rockfish Gap Entrance Station at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway).
If you happen to be in this area, make a day of it and take a family trip onto the Skyline Drive!
Get Creative in the Kitchen
Get creative by coming up with new and interesting recipes for lunch and snacks. Not only does getting them involved, spark their curiosity about new foods and cooking, but it also teaches them a very important skill. They'll have so much fun, they won't even know they're learning!
Have A Reward Day
If the kids are doing a great day on their workbooks or if they've just managed to get along for awhile... Have a designated movie day! With services such as Netflix and Hulu, this is easy to do! Prepare lunch and snacks ahead of time and lay out blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals on the floor. Let the kids write down movies, put them in a bowl and let each child choose one. That way there's not fights, bickering, and everyone knows they'll get a turn. This is great for much needed down time for both kids and parents.
Have Reading Time
Keep kids sharp this summer by building their vocabulary and comprehension. Have your kids pick out books they want and either borrow them from the library or buy them for cheap at Thriftbooks.com. Orders over $10.00 ship free! It's my number one spot to buy cheap books! I have a reward system for this as well. Not all kids love to read and giving them small incentives helps keep them motivated and on task. Check out my daughter's book list for her summer reading here!
Visit The Green Valley Book Fair
Whenever the Green Valley Book Fair comes around my kids get so excited. There are always new books to choose from and the chances are if you're from Virginia... you've heard of the Green Valley Book Fair! It's a huge two-story warehouse filled with books for children and adults alike. Tourists love to visit and it's a huge hit with the locals. It's not open year-round so make sure to check out their schedule to find out when it'll be open again. You won't want to miss it!
Check Out New Parks
As exciting as parks are for kids there's something even more exciting about playing on new and different equipment. Go on an adventure and find new parks to explore. Even small trips like these seem so big to children and it's sure to make wonderful memories.
Pack a Picnic Basket
Let the kids pick and choose what to have on their picnic and let them help pick a spot to have the picnic. Not only will they have fun packing for it but they'll be anxious and looking forward to eating what they packed.
Get Ready for Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day
Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day is usually in July. Plan ahead and create fun cow costumes for the big day! If you're not sure what Cow Appreciation Day is - you dress like a cow and go to your participating Chick-fil-A and receive a free entree for every one that participates. The kids love doing this year after year!
Free Slurpee Day at 7-11
On July 11th, head into 7-11 to receive your free slurpee for everyone! The kids always love this as well and love to mix all the flavors together. 🙂
Let the Kids Have A Sleepover
Although my daughter loves Summer, she also gets really sad because she misses school and she misses her friends. Plan a sleepover with your child's friends. Keep it easy and simple so that you can relax, too! Plan a quick and easy dinner, snacks, low maintenance entertainment (like playing outside with a ball), and plan a movie right before bedtime. It'll make bedtime go so much smoother! Having sleepovers and play-dates will keep your child secure into going into the next grade and will prepare them for going back to school.