Thank you to our guest blogger, Raven Green!
It’s getting hot and school is out. How do you have fun with your kids without breaking the bank or suffering in the heat?
- Reminisce through Photos- Mom LOVE to look through old photos and now is the time to share that with your kids. Photo albums, digital photos, whatever you have open it up and share. Tell the kids stories about the people, their family and them when they were younger. The will remember this time and those are the memories you will pass on to them about their family and childhood.
- Cooking with Mom- Kids LOVE to cook with mom or dad. Help them pick an easy to make AND clean up meal or dessert. Go to the store together and teach them to write a list plus pick out the items. Let them do as much as they can cooking and setting up. It’s a learning experience and FUN!
- Makeovers- FUN, FUN, FUN! Haul out the cosmetics, hair curlers and flat irons. Style your hair, do your makeup and nails together. Top it off by dressing up really fancy and taking lots of pics. To have even more fun, do a “funny” makeover and make each other look silly plus add costumes (or mom’s clothes.)
- Fashion Show- Great to pair this with the makeovers! Make a runway with brown craft paper (those big rolls) or a sheet or whatever you have on hand. Put on some music and turn down the lights while adding a spotlight (lamp)! Video it and take pics of your fabulous models on the catwalk.
- Art Gallery- Kids love to paint! Lay a tarp or old sheet and line up some easels or other painting surface. Hand out water colors and brushes and let them go at it. If you have some cute little white coats/shirts that it won’t hurt to mess up and some berets than all the better for the artist look. After their masterpieces are dry and they are cleaned up set up an art gallery! Dress them up and have an “art show” for the family with appetizers, conversation and “fun” art.
- 20 Questions- Love this! Hand out clipboards, notebook paper and pencils. Little ones can just tell you their questions. Have everyone write down 20 questions to ask each other (funny, series, doesn’t matter because they are their questions). Then everyone hand their questions to mom or dad and have them anonymously read the questions while everyone answers. It’s a great way to get to know each other and have fun.
- “Drive-In” Movie- Pop their favorite movie into the DVD player, pop some popcorn and make hot dogs! Make some “cars” out of large cardboard boxes and decorate for the movie. Turn off the lights and watch the movie from your “new cars”.
- Dance! – Dancing is always fun. You have so many options for this. Make a play-list with your kids and just freestyle together or if you have an Xbox Kinect you could have a dance party with one of their great kids’ dance games. Either way its exercise, quality time and free.
- Action! – Who doesn’t like making movies? I know my girls love to take my iPhone and direct each other in little home movies. Decorate sets, write a script, and wear costumes or just improv! Don’t forget to have a “premiere” to let their other parent watch.
- Indoor Picnic- Great fun! Pack a picnic lunch, get a cute picnic set with the dishes/blanket and everything already in the basket, pick some flowers to put in a vase near your “picnic” and enjoy a lazy, casual lunch together.
- Spa Day- Moms and daughters this is perfect for a summer day. Manicures, pedicures and maybe face masks? Even little ones can get involved with your help. Buy matching robes and slippers for a bonus (though not free).
- Fancy Tea Party- Dress up in your fanciest clothes, do your hair and makeup and get ready to have tea! Set the table with the best (or just pretty) plates and glasses (or cups), unlit candles, nice tablecloth and have tea (or juice) and little finger sandwiches. Make sure you take photos to remember such a great day.
Ideas for Daddy & Daughter Time!
My daughters LOVE spending time with their dad! But he sometimes needs help coming up with ideas that the girls will enjoy.
- Build Something! My girls, especially Blondie, LOVE building things. Legos, Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, it doesn’t matter because she will build something. She gets this from her daddy so this is perfect for them! It’s great for the summer since it’s free, indoor and fun! Although, it’d be extra special if Daddy and daughter head to the store and pick out a new set to build together for the first time.
- Go out to eat! Just daddy and daughter! In my case, my husband is the cook in the family. So, going out to eat with the girls is both a break from cooking AND quality time with the kids. Find a place you know your picky eaters will eat, a kid friendly environment and don’t forget to send a “busy bag” of things to keep the kids (and maybe daddy) busy while waiting.
- Climb trees! or something similar that you yourself might not be the best to teach. My girls love rough housing and “tom boy” things but I’m not exactly the expert on those areas. Riding a bike, hiking, climbing trees, fishing, etc. The list is endless of things daddy can teach his daughter.
- Be a Gentleman! Show your daughter how a gentleman should treat a lady. Dress up nicely, have good manners, hold doors and at the same time show her how a lady behaves. This is a great opportunity to show her what a nice guy does and teach her not to settle for less. Daddy is the BEST example and the one that she remembers the most.
- Share What You Like! What does daddy like to do? How does he spend his time? For example, my husband is a HUGE gamer. XBOX is his BFF. My girls are SO ready to learn how to play. An afternoon of picking out a game at the store and having daddy teach them on HIS XBOX is a huge deal in my house. Find what works for your family and plan a day of it.
- Pay it Forward! How do kids learn to give back? From their parents of course. My girls know it’s important to give back because we do it as a family. Gather items around the house to donate and take your daughter to drop them off at a local organization, shelter, etc. Call ahead and make sure you arrive a good time and know the process beforehand. Maybe you can arrange a tour, visit with residents, etc. Showing not only how to give back but why is super important. Kids need to see that other people are not all privileged and they need to be exposed to how other people live and survive.
What are YOUR best ideas?
Live, Love & Learn,
Raven Green aka Ms. MommyHH6
Raven is a military spouse and mom of two. She is a freelance writer and advocates for special needs military families. Her oldest is diagnosed with ADHD, SPD, speech & language delays, adjustment disorder and is on the Autism Spectrum. Raven is the author and editor of Ms. MommyHH6, a contributor at Mom-Spot and Special Happens and has been featured on NextGen MilSpouse, Homefront United, Military OneSource and more. She was named to the Top 25 Military Mom Blogs of 2012 ,Top 25 Military Mom Blogs of 2013 by Circle of Moms, Top 25 Parenting Blogs of 2013 by UKnowKids and 2013 Fort Lee Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine. She resides in Virginia where she is a wife, mom, blogger, writer and advocate. You can reach Raven through Facebook, Twitter or email.
For more ideas on how to give back, please see MilitaryOneClick’s Charity Page.