Last week on Fresh Living (click to watch the actual segment) Jamie and I shared some fun ways to make sure you actually DO those fun things on your summer list. I always have great intentions and have lots of ideas floating around in my head about things I want to do with my kids and family during the summer, but it’s easy to forget things as the summer passes by too quickly! Here are a few simple and inexpensive ideas to help you keep track of kid-friendly activities and pack your days with fun. Easy and cheap, my friends.
Summer Activity Jars
Daily Activity Grab Bags
First I’ll start with the Summer Activity Jars. I’ve seen this general idea around blogland and have always wanted to make them for my family. (Check out Stephanie’s I’m Bored jars, so cute! Or this awesome post at The Daily Digi–Jar of Fun) My spin on it is a little bit different, however, with an idea I heard of from my friend Leslie of GG Digital Designs–color coding!
This was a no-cost project because I had everything on hand already! I love projects like that!!
You will need to grab some empty containers. I used three empty (and clean!) spaghetti sauce jars. THREE jars, because I divided up my activity list into three different categories which I will talk about in one second. See, projects like this give me good reasons to keep “useful garbage” in my craft cupboards, lol!
You will then need to make your list of activities you want to do this summer and either print it out or write it down on paper. It was fun to sit down with my family and find out what is on our kids’ “wish lists” for summer. I got more ideas online as well. The fun part of this is that I color coded the categories. I printed out activities and games on YELLOW paper, treat ideas on BLUE paper, and outings or fieldtrips on ORANGE paper. I am a visual person, and I love seeing the different colors! My kids are the same way!
Cut your paper into strips and then fold them into smaller pieces.
Then stick the folded up paper strips into the jars, separated by color/category. Look how pretty!
I whipped up some very simple labels to go on the jars, as you can see below, using a circle paper punch and a scalloped circle paper punch on matching paper. Oh, and I spray painted the spaghetti jar lids black too.
“Activities and Games”= fun things to do such as jump on the trampoline or play freeze tag or go on a scavenger hunt or make giant bubbles
“Let’s Eat!” = ideas for delish treats to make or anything having to do with FOOD. For example, make cupcakes or build fruit kebabs or have a fondue party
“Oh, the Places We’ll Go!” = outings to local parks, swimming pools, museums, hikes, the dollar store
If you want, you can download a file with my activity lists! You will probably want to personalize it to fit your family and your local spots, though. Download my lists as Word Documents here:
It’s a zipped file, so you’ll need to extract or unzip it to have access to the documents.
Have your kids draw out a piece of paper from one or all of the jars and see what exciting activities await you!!!
Daily Activity Grab Bags
This is another super easy idea, it’s like a weekly summer advent calendar! This will give you a little bit more control and planning over the activities you do during that particular week, because YOU select the activities/treats/outing options and put them in each bag—then let your kids “grab” from 3-4 options that day. I like having some semblance of control when planning my week, even when school’s out!! You could even put a small treat or stickers in the bags as well, just for fun.
Just take 7 small bags (found at the craft store) or even envelopes or lunch sacks could work. You can have your kids decorate them however they like, I just kept mine plain. I used a clothespin and a simple paper label glued onto the clothespin, one for each day of the week. Stick your activity or outing or treat choices on slips of paper into each bag. Or you could have one of each category each day and do them all if you are ambitious!!
Then hang each bag with the clothespin on a string or ribbon, like a garland, and hang it somewhere.
Kids love that little element of surprise, and by spending just a little bit of time preparing these jars or grab bags, you will be ready for an entire summer of FUN with your family!!
If you’d like a PDF of the labels for the activity jars and the days of the week labels, feel free to download that here:
For personal use only, please!! Just print out on cardstock, cut out into strips or circles, and mount on cardstock.