Monthly Archives: July 2013

Activities for Kids: Summer Edition!

Let’s face it, summer is an expensive time of the year, especially with kids! With a summer break lasting several months, finding things to do to keep the kids entertained can be harder than it seems at times. We’ve found that the more options you have, the better! Here are some fun ideas to add to the Lazy Days of Summer list:

1. Set up a scavenger hunt
Children absolutely love running around and finding things that you set them. If they’re too young to understand words, draw photos of things to find. A good scavenger hunt will keep them entertained for a few hours.

2. Go Bowling

3. Set up a campsite in your backyard

4. Park
Play in the local park, just sit back and watch your children enjoy themselves.

5. Try Geocaching
This is a new craze where you can visit numerous locations around the world and find hidden ‘boxes’. Check out the Geocaching website for some ideas! There is more than likely some around your area, if not get your children to hide a new box. You will need a GPS device for this. If you own a smartphone you can download the app and do this on the go without a lot of planning. Plus it can act as your PGS.

6. Walk
Find local walking trails around your area.

7. Garden together
Get your children to help tend to your garden, it may be a little late to plant fruits and vegetables by the summer, but they can help put down some flowers.

8. Cook and Bake
Teach your children to cook/bake. This will teach them much needed skills for later on in their life.
Try “Dirt and Worm Cupcakes,” they’re easy and fun to make with kids!

9. Work For Money
Teach your children the value of a dollar. Make a list of chores and get your children to do them, reward them with pocket money.

10. Movie Theaters
Certain movie theaters on occasion offer free or $1 movies for children during the summer. Don’t expect the latest blockbuster, but it will help to keep the children entertained. Check the links below for theaters that have free or cheaper kids movie options!

11. Craft Day
Have an arts and craft day, encourage your children to make something for you!

12. Visit The Library

13. Volunteer

14. Go swimming at a lake

15. Water Fight!
The Dollar Store has water pistols, water balloons and more supplies for you to keep your older kids entertained for hours.

16. Go fishing in a lake

17. Nature Walk
Give your children a little ‘check list’ that they can use to make a note of anything that they spot in the area.

18. Drive-In Movie Theaters
If you’ve never been with the kids the summer is a great time to go when they don’t need to be in bed so early. Grab blankets, pillows and snacks and check out one near you.
Check out this website for a list of NC drive-in movie theaters

19. Make Lemonade
Make lemonade and baked goods and sell it in the street, a good way for your child to make a little bit of pocket money or choose to do as my friend Melissa did last year and donate the money your kids make to children in need and teach them about giving back.

20. Movie Marathon
Dedicate one day to watching movies in the house, try to choose ones your child has never watched. You can of course use services such as Netflix to view a range of movies.  Another idea: Pretend you’re at a drive-in movie theater and have the kids make their own cars out of card board boxes! Have different candy and drink options available to make it more fun.

Check out this site for more ideas for your home-made drive-in movie theater.

21. Board Game Event

22. Picnic In A New Park

23. Feed the Ducks
All you need is a little bit of bread and away you go!

24. Frisbee in the park

25. Playdates

26. Play Sports

27. Play hopscotch

28. Play Dress Up

29. Go Biking

30. The Zoo

31. Forts and Tents
Build a fort in the yard or a tent out of blankets in your living room. They will be playing in it for the rest of the day. Make sure you serve breakfast and lunch in there too!

32. Create a Play
Have your children come up with a play by themselves, record it and cherish the memories.

33. Photos
Give your children a cheap camera that you no longer use and encourage them to take photos around the local area. This will help develop their artistic skills.

34. Read To Your Kids

35. Walk The Dog
If you have a dog take them for a long walk through nature with your children, maybe this is the right time to have a picnic as well.

36. Free Coloring Sheets
Print off activity sheets from the internet that your children can work through.
Crayola has great printable sheets, check out their website here.

37. Hold a yard sale
Hold a summer yard sale and get rid of everything you don’t use or need anymore. With your approval, let the kids decide what toys they’d like to get rid of and let them save/keep the money they make from selling their toys. Even better, give them the option to donate their old toys or the money from selling them!

28. Sidewalk chalk

39. Michael’s Craft Stores
Each year Michaels does something for kids during the summer. It’s called Passport to Imagination and is all about countries. More information here.

40. Visit your local Farmer’s Market

Lazy Days of Summer

Sometimes summer can put a slump in your kids routine. They’re used to going to school and having a specific schedule so when mid-summer rolls around and all the excitement of summer break has set in, switch things up by doing activities that are fun for them but also connect the fun to learning without them even realizing it!

Below are ideas of activities for your kids to do alone or along with you that incorporate fun and learning:

Superheroes, Dolls and Make-Believe
Allowing kids to simply use their imagination is lending them the power to do and be whoever they want.  Playing along with them encourages creative play and also  enhances their understanding of story elements, like plot, setting and characterization.

Kitchen Time
Kids want to do what you do and inviting them to cook with you, even if it’s a simple recipe, helps them practice measurements and fractions. Think of your kitchen as a learning laboratory!

Family Game Nights
Playing any game leads to competition and also counting. Whether it’s a board game, card game or trivia, it usually involves numbers. Children will become more familiar with figures, to add and subtract, estimates and probability.

What are some activities that you and your family like to do in the summer?

National Hotdog Day

In honor of National Hotdog Day, we can’t help but dedicate a post to one of America’s classic summer favorites!

For more interesting facts and info about hot dogs, visit the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council webpage!

Turtle Tails and Snake Scales success!

Today at CMAC we welcomed our friends from CCSB Reptile Rescue of Winston Salem as they brought in various reptiles for an educational reptile viewing and petting show! We learned about reptiles such as pythons, turtles, geckos and alligators as well as their habitats and eating habits. Thank you to CCSB Reptile Rescue and everyone that joined us! We couldn’t have had a better turn out!

A Look Ahead!

Want to plan your visit to CMAC ahead of time based on other groups that are visiting us? Here’s a look ahead at next week’s Field Trip Forecast through the beginning of August so you can best plan for your family!

15 Best and Worst Summer Foods

According to a recent Huffington Post article, despite summer’s great weather and delicious fresh fruit, people actually exercise less and eat worse, especially kids! Studies have actually shown that kids gain weight three times faster over summer than they do the rest of the school year.

Summer is a time when families take vacation and forget about their diets for a couple days, which can often turn into weeks. With so much temptation it’s easy to lose track of what you and your family is eating.

According to the article, here’s the list of best and worst summer foods:

What do you think of the list? What are some of your go-to summer snacks and meals?

Glance at July’s Calendar!

Wanting to bring the kids to CMAC but wish there was a way to tell how busy the museum is before you make the drive? Have no fear, Field Trip Forecast is here! Field Trip Forecast will allow you to know just how many kids are expected to be at the children’s museum with already scheduled field trips. Check out this weeks Field Trip Forecast!

Beat the heat this week and come join us at CMAC!