Wednesday, June 04, 2008

WFMW: 7 FREE things to do for summer fun

Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer is hosting the "Mom I'm Bored" edition of Works for me Wednesday, where you will find hundreds (literally) of ideas for keeping the kids busy during the summer.

Last week, I listed 20 things that we are planning to do with Hunter. Sadly, we both work full time, but because we do, we only have to plan activities for weekends. Here is an abbreviated list of the free things (or relatively cheap) that we plan on doing:

1) I strongly recommend that you research your area and see if you have an Aquatic Garden around. They are usually free to visit, and have a ton of ponds with floating gardens, cool fountains, birds, turtles, and such -- and they have tanks and tanks of beautiful fish. I particularly enjoy the fact that he can run wild and work off a lot of energy, and then we can enjoy a picnic lunch.

2) We also plan on going for long walks on the toe path along the canal (Potomac River). Dad loves to fish, so we'll pull out a fishing pole and have at it. Picnic lunch would be most appropriate.

3) I can't wait to visit the local Amish Market and Farmer's Markets -- although, that probably won't end up being free, per say -- because we'll probably want to purchase a ton of food.

4) Our town has a city park where they host free evening concerts at their bandshell. Can't wait to see what they have in store this summer!!!

5) Check out your local hobby shop (not the Hobby Lobby kind -- the kind where you get stuff to build stuff). Ours has a cool full-sized indoor race track for remote control cars, and they have races on weekends. They also have a great area set up with three large tables for toy trains, and Hunter loves to sit there and play.

6) Of course, I'll be baking with Hunter, and taking care of our little garden. We will also go to a "pick-your-own" farm, and pick fresh fruit to make jams, freeze fruits, and make yummy desserts and popsicles.

7) Finally, last year I posted about a way I found to capture my child's attention for hours on end. This tip is specifically and only for toddlers, as an older child would find it boring. Anyway, my son was afraid of the pool last year (he's over that now), so I created a water bin and bubble bowl for him. I found a medium- to large-sized storage bin, a huge bowl, some tear-free bubble bath, and a handful of non-destructive kitchen stuff (ladles, plastic cups, Tupperware bowls, etc.) I filled the storage bin with clear water, and I filled the huge bowl with bubble bath and water. He literally spent hours playing with the water, scooping it, sloshing it, spilling it, blowing it, splashing it, sitting in it, and wrinkling up in it. This year, I'll use this same idea if it is a rainy day where he can't go outside and play in the pool or sprinkler (in the garage).Whatever fun thing you have planned ... DON'T FORGET THE SUNSCREEN AND HAT!!!

Oh yeah ... one more thing ... head on over to Rocks in my Dryer for more fun summer stuff to do when the kids are bored!

Below are pictures of Hunter having fun in his water bin and bubble bowl last year, but first, here are some quick water safety tips:

Water Safety: Never, ever leave your child unattended while around any water ... never take your eyes off your child or turn your back on them, not even for one second, and don't depend on flotation devices as a substitute for supervision. One of the biggest dangers is water -- a child can drown in as little as three inches of water, and after 3-5 minutes of submersion, a child can face irreversible brain damage or death. Be sure that you are aware of all buckets, basins, tubs, bins, bowls, or other kinds of containers in your yard. They can hold water in them, and a child can easily topple into these items. Even a puddle can be a danger. Finally, learn CPR.


Donna said...

I loved your list!

We don't have Amish, but we have Mennonites! It's a blast to go there!!! My kids love it!

Your baby boy looks like he's having a blast! Great idea and thanks for the water warnings! It only takes a second for them to get into a dangerous situation!

Julie said...

Thanks for the idea! My 1 yr old would love that! I was picturing it inside, so I'm glad you posted pictures. I bet that would get messy fast. Hunter is a cutie - it looks like he's having a great time!

dixymiss said...

Great tips ~ thanX for sharing. What a clever Mama you are! And your little one is just darling.

Barb said...

Oh my goodness, he's soooo cute, GiBee. And thanks for posting about water safety and especially infant child CPR. Cameron, like Hunter, loves to play in water. And guess what? He had his first swim lesson last night. He's not quite three, but his daddy will be taking him fishing so he's in swim lessons. Water and kids is a wonderful combination. But it can also be very dangerous, so these are all excellent tips.

Overwhelmed! said...

What a great list...I have some of your items in my list. :) Great minds think alike.

Loved the pictures you shared. Hunter is such a cutie pie.

And good job with the water safety reminders. Our son (now almost 3 1/2) has been in swim lessons since he was a year old because we have a pool (gated and locked). And we became CPR certified for our foster licensing. We're doing our best to be safe!

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

As a lifeguard for 15+ years, the best way to get across to a bunch of parents how little water is really needed for a child to drown...

Tell them to put their thumb at the base of the nose by their upperlip and an index finger on the tip of their nose. Now, look at the distance between the two.

That is ALL THE DEEPER the water needs to be for YOU (the adult) to drown if unconscious.

So, imagine a child's nose and a situation where the child cannot right themselves after falling face first into it. It is only as long as your (and their) nose!

Sandy said...

Love the pictures of Hunter! Great ideas - and has anyone told you lately that you are a wonderful Mom? :)

Beth/Mom2TwoVikings said...

In honor of you and this post *wink*: