Last year about this time one of the urchins was concerned that she might be bored over the summer. So I made her a list of 100 possible things to do when she was tempted to use the B-word. This year no one is using the word, but the natives, who insisted upon taking a hiatus from regular schoolwork this week, are becoming restless. So I’m making another list, mostly cribbed from a selection of my favorite blogs.
Yes, we’ll be doing plenty of math this summer, but a Saxon lesson a day only takes about thirty minutes to an hour. And even I can only read for most of my day. Then what?
1. Build fairy houses in the backyard.
2. Start a nature scrapbook.
4. Play chalk games. or draw pictures with chalk on the sidewalk.
5. Make mud pies and have a tea party.
6. Have a real tea party with some friends and tell stories.
7. Play with rice.
8. Make a yummy salad and eat it.
9. Paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
10. Work a jigsaw puzzle.
11. Copy a famous painting.
12. Get your bicycle out, clean it up, and get it ready for summer.
13. Practice folding a shirt.
14. Make a poster collage.
15. Make some playdough.
16. Preschool Paper Crafts
17. Mix 2 cups water with a little food coloring, add 6 cups of cornflour/cornstarch to make goop. (I hate it, but my urchins love it.)
18. Cut out and play paper dolls.
19. Watch a familiar DVD dubbed in a foreign language.
21. Volunteer to help a neighbor for free—just because.
22. String beads on dental floss to make a necklace.
23. Listen to Peter and the Wolf and act it out.
24. Make a milkshake or a smoothie.
25. Start this “childhood in a jar” project.
26. Make a lapbook.
27. Learn to sew.
28. Take one of Carmon’s writin’ suggestions.
29. Watch a Shakespeare play on video. HT: Buried Treasure.
30. Have a backyard carnival.
31. Make up a math scavenger hunt game or a treasure hunt for a younger brother or sister or for a friend.
32. Learn the alphabet in sign language.
33. Make sand pictures.
34. Make birthday cards for all your friends and relatives for the year. Date them and file them in date order to be ready to send.
35. Make a kite and fly it.
36. Plant a flower bed.
37. Write an old-fashioned, hand-written letter to a friend.
38. Go for a bike ride.
39. Try origami (Japanese paper-folding) or make a paper airplane and fly it.
40. Make a collage.
41. Play store—or library–or school—or???
42. Spring/summer clean.
43. Play a card game.
44. Play in the rain.
45. Play a map game.
46. Put on a play.
47. Open a day spa.
48. Build with LEGOS.
49. Learn a few magic tricks and produce your own magic show.
50. Give yourself –or a friend –a pedicure.
51. Take a long, hot bath.
52. Play hopscotch.
53. Swing. (“Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing ever a child can do.”)
54. Go camping–or stay home and camp out in your own dining room.
55. Create a new word. My new word for this month is semicolonic. I’m now trying to popularize it.
56. Start a lemonade stand.
57. Make and walk on tin-can stilts. We read about these in Ramona and Her Father.
58. Make a summer snack.
59. Blow bubbles.
60. Play with water guns.
61. Play scoop ball.
62. Laugh 400 times today. Keep count.
63. Visit a playground. But don’t go to the park on an August afternoon in Houston. There’s a story there that I’ll tell someday when I get over the trauma of it. It may be a while yet because it all happened about fifteen years ago. We’re talking Houston heat, sand, buried shoes, lots of tears and one exhausted, hot mother. I should have laughed. Not a happy memory.
64. Practice your Morse code— or your tap dancing.
65. Create your own Roxaboxen.
66. Arrange some flowers for a centerpiece.
67. Watch a movie based on your favorite children’s book.
68. Go to the library.
69. Memorize something meaningful: a psalm, a poem, a passage from the Bible, the Gettysburg Address.
70. Pop some popcorn.
71. Climb a tree.
72. Bathe the ponies. Or your dolls. Or the dog. Not the cat.
73. Practice tying knots.
75. Wash the car, or wash someone else’s car.
76. Collect some canned goods for the food bank.
77. Dance to whatever music you have available.
78. Iron some clothes while listening to a recorded book.
79. Paint a picture: use watercolors, tempera, oil paints, acrylics, what ever you have on hand.
80. Organize your own marching band.
81. Draw a map of your block or of your town, or trace a map of your country and fill in the states or cities or other features.
82. Get a haircut. If you’re really adventurous, give yourself a haircut. (Has anyone ever done this—as an adult? I’m much too klutzy to cut my own hair.)
83. Find a joke and tell it someone else.
84. Practice playing a musical instrument. If you don’t play an instrument, try learning to play one, maybe the recorder or the harmonica.
85. Shoot baskets or play tennis.
86. Interact with nature.
87. Make your own fireworks for the Fourth of July. Engineer Husband really used to do this when he was a young adolescent, and I can’t believe his parents let him. He tried to make nitroglycerine once, but he got scared and made his father take it outside and dispose of it! Maybe you should just read about how fireworks are made and then imagine making your own.
88. Read another list of 101 things to do in the summer. You could stay busy reading lists of things to do and never really do anything!
89. Use fabric paints to decorate a shirt.
90. Walk around your block and pick up all the litter you can find.
91. Visit a nursing home. Bring handmade cards or pictures you drew or something to give away.
92. Read the book of Ruth in the Bible. Or another book of the Bible.
93. Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom.
94. Clean out your closet.
95. Make up a scavenger hunt.
96. Make a macaroni necklace. Or string beads.
97. Water the yard or the houseplants or the flowers you planted.
98. Write each of these activities on a separate piece of paper and fold the papers and put them in a jar. Choose two or three papers out of the jar whenever you need a suggestion for something to do.
99. Run around the block 3 times.
100. Make your own list of things to do when you’re bored.