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100 Summer Activities for Kids

100 Summer Activities for Kids - Reading, Science Projects, Volunteering, Making Money, and more.
School is out. The weather is nice. And your kids are… bored out of their minds. While blog posts about letting kids experiencing boredom have gone viral, we know that sometimes they need a little help figuring out what to do. From activities designed to help kids learn and give back to their communities to those focused on making kids a little money and helping them have fun, we’ve gathered the ultimate list of over 100 summer activities for kids. Best of all, most of these activities can be done at home, so you don’t have to spend the summer running your kids from place to place.

Educational Activities

To help prevent kids from experiencing the summer slide, engage them in some educational activities. Last year we shared 15 summer learning activities for all ages. This year, we have a few suggestions to add to that list.

Reading/Writing

1. Create and distribute a family or community newsletter
2. Keep a summer journal
3. Write and direct a play or puppet show.
4. Write letters to family and friends
5. Join a summer reading program, such as one found at your local library or Barnes and Noble.
6. Challenge yourself to finish all of the books on a list, such as the ASLC Summer Reading List.

Science

7. Spend rainy days looking at the resources found on the Ultimate Guide to Teaching Science.
8. Conduct a science experiment
9. Find out what plants are in your yard using a field guide or an app like Project Noah.

Math

10. Take a free summer math course, such as the Summer Math Challenge
11. Grab a measuring tape or ruler and start measuring random plants outside
12. Figure out the perimeter of the local pool
13. Count your steps as you walk and try to get in a certain number of steps each day

Other Activities

14. Plan a trip by getting out a map and tracking where you want to go. You don’t have to go, just pretend
15. Go geocaching
16. Go letterboxing
17. Take a course or learn a new skill, using some of the resources on the Ultimate Guide to Free Online Self-Learning for Kids
18. Visit a museum. Many museums offer free days throughout the summer. Bank of America customers and military families can also get free admission to museums during the summer

Socially Responsible Activities

Summer is also a great time to teach kids to give back to the community through volunteering, taking care of the environment, and other socially responsible activities. Try out a few of these suggestions this summer.

Volunteering

19. Read stories to or play games with residents of a local nursing home
20. Spend time visiting the animals at a local animal shelter
21. Serve a meal as a family at a local food bank
22. Use a service like VolunteerMatch.org to find organizations in your area that need volunteers.

Helping Others

23. Visit with elderly neighbors
24. Offer to do chores for neighbors free of charge
25. Raise money for a local charity
26. Hold a neighborhood food drive
27. Donate items to a thrift store or charity
28. Do random acts of kindness
29. Take snacks to the local police or fire station
30. Offer to watch a friend’s dog or cat while they go on vacation

Helping the Environment

31. Clean up trash in your neighborhood or at a local park
32. Start recycling cans and bottles at home and encourage neighbors to do the same
33. Plant a garden
34. Make bird feeders
35. Go the farmer’s market. Check out Local Harvest to find one near you
36. Pick your own fruits or vegetables. Find a farm using Pick Your Own
37. Practice conserving water by taking shorter showers and watering plants in the evening
38. Start a compost pile
39. Raise butterflies

Money-Making Activities

While most kids aren’t old enough to get an official summer job, they can use the summer to make some extra spending money. Encourage them to earn money to save up for a toy or other item they really want instead of just going out and buying it for them. Some suggestions for making money include:

40. Mow lawns
41. Sell lemonade
42. Make and sell crafts like bracelets
43. Ask parent or neighbors to do chores for pay
44. Bake and sell baked goods
45. Have a garage sale or toy swap
46. Walk dogs
47. Weed gardens and water plants
48. Play an instrument in a public place
49. Sell clothes and toys to a local consignment shop

Fun Activities

Of course, at the end of the day, summer is a chance for kids to have fun. There are lots of ways to have fun at home and in your local community.

Cooking and Food

50. Make a pitcher of sun tea
51. Make ice cream in a bag
52. Make sculptures using fruits and vegetables
53. Mix whipped cream and food coloring to make edible paint
54. Place different flavored fruit juices into paper cups, add a wooden stick, and freeze to make popsicles

Arts and Crafts

55. Paint or draw a picture.
56. Practice your photography skills by taking close-up photos of animals and plants
57. Host an art show featuring artwork created by kids
58. Make a picture or sculpture using items found in nature
59. Draw with sidewalk chalk
60. Create a sidewalk chalk mural
61. Paint on the house or sidewalk with water
62. Tie-dye a t-shirt
63. Put watered down paint into a squirt gun and spray it on paper outside
64. Collect and paint rocks
65. Gather leaves and create leaf rubbings
66. Dry out flowers by pressing them between two heavy books
67. Mix bubbles with food color to make popped bubble art
68. Paint your feet and walk on white paper outside

Community Events

69. Listen to music. Many towns offer free outdoor musical performances during the summer
70. Go to a fair or festival. Fairs and Festivals highlights many of these events around the United States
71. Attend a baseball game. Many minor league games offer inexpensive tickets
72. Host a neighborhood carnival with simple games such as ring toss and bean bag toss
73. Go bowling. Kids Bowl Free partners with local bowling alleys to let kids bowl free all summer
74. Take a picnic to a local park
75. See a movie. Many movie theaters, such as Cinemark’s Summer Movie Clubhouse and Regal’s Summer Movie Express play free or $1 kid movies during the summer. Cities and towns also often sponsor summer movies under the stars.

Rainy Day Activities

76. Play a board game
77. Make up a new card game
78. Design a new board game
79. Have a movie marathon
80. Visit a fun website, like those found on our Top Free 100 Education Sites
81. Jump in puddles
82. Make a rain gauge and measure how much rain you get
83. Redecorate your room
84. Set up a tent indoors and have an indoor camp out

Water Activities

85. Have a water balloon fight
86. Hold a wet sponge toss where you try to land wet sponges on a target on the ground
87. Run through the sprinkler
88. Buy a kiddie pool and soak your feet
89. Play “Does it sink or float?” in a kiddie pool
90. Fill a tub with water and use measuring cups and other water toys to play with it
91. Fill bottles with different amounts of water and blow across them to make music
92. Fill buckets, squirt guns, and other containers with water and have a water fight

Backyard Activities

93. Make a fort using cardboard boxes, sheets, or tree branches
94. Have a picnic in your backyard
95. Camp in your backyard
96. Make a mini-golf course using plastic tubs with holes cut in them
97. Lay on a blanket and watch the clouds
98. Blow bubbles using different items, such as slotted spoons and funnels as bubble wands
99. Grab glow sticks and play a game of glow tag in the dark
100. Make a stunt track for your toy cars in a pile of rocks or dirt

Fun with Friends

101. Have a neighborhood scavenger hunt and see who can find all the items first
102. Ride bikes around the neighborhood
103. Have a dance party
104. Challenge friends to competitions, such as who can stand on one foot for the longest or who can jump the highest
105. Make up a special summer song or chant
106. Start a game of kickball or capture the flag

Whether it’s Make Something Monday, Wander Somewhere Wednesday, or Fabulous and Fun Friday, there’s plenty of fun to be had all summer long. What do you love to do with your kids in the summer? Share your ideas in the comments to help our list grow!

66 Reasons to Thank Your School Secretary

66 Reasons to Thank Your School Secretary

If you’ve ever worked in a school, you know who’s responsible for keeping everything together. Hint: It’s not the principal. It’s the school secretary. A good secretary has the ability to keep a school running smoothly. From ensuring the copier is always working to checking up on kids who are absent from school, the school secretary plays a very important role in a school community. In honor of Administrative Professionals’ Day, we’ve come up with 66 reasons to thank your school secretary. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a holiday for you to tell your school secretaries how much they mean to your school.

1. The school secretary is often the first person to greet visitors to the school.

2. The school secretary fields phone calls from upset parents.

3. The school secretary has the ability to keep upset parents from visiting your classroom.

4. The school secretary knows how to find an accurate phone number for nearly every student.

5. The school secretary helps manage meeting and conference schedules, which can often be confusing.

6. The school secretary knows when a student is absent and if a student has been absent a lot of days.

7. The school secretary can make last-minute copies for you, even if you’ve exceeded your monthly quota.

8. The school secretary can get the custodian to your classroom in an instant, even though the custodian has been avoiding you for hours.

9. The school secretary knows all of the juicy gossip.

10. The school secretary knows and can easily access nearly any form you need to fill out.

11. The school secretary gives students a talking-to while they wait for the principal.

12. The school secretary often gets paid much less than the value she provides to the school.

13. The school secretary often has to work during the summer (and during some school breaks).

14. The school secretary helps make sure every student has a schedule at the beginning of the year.

15. The school secretary makes sure the crossing guard and flag raisers get their job done every day.

16. The school secretary makes sure buses arrive on time and finds out where buses are when they’re late.

17. The school secretary makes sure announcements are delivered at the proper time.

18. The school secretary helps control the fire alarms and announcements during safety drills.

19. The school secretary serves as the PR firm for the entire school.

20. The school secretary comforts kids who are sick, feeling sad, or just having a rough day.

21. The school secretary listens to teachers who just need to vent.

22. The school secretary often puts together and sends out the school newsletter.

23. The school secretary helps ensure a smooth transition for students transferring into the school.

24. The school secretary can answer nearly any question about the school that people call to ask.

25. The school secretary can tell you where your elusive principal is at nearly any given moment.

26. The school secretary knows who’s a walker, bus rider, or going to after-school care.

27. The school secretary takes important messages all day long and knows which ones to mark “urgent.”

28. The school secretary has to listen to the ringing of the phone all day long.

29. The school secretary often has to eat lunch while sitting at her command post.

30. The school secretary is a master multi-tasker.

31. The school secretary makes sure the copier is always working, whether she fixes it herself or calls the repairman.

32. The school secretary has the ability to magically find the supplies you forgot to bring for your classroom.

33. The school secretary keeps the school calendar updated and lets everyone know of any changes.

34. The school secretary schedules substitutes when teachers call in sick or need a day off (and can often get the sub you really want).

35. The school secretary makes sure the vending machines in the teachers’ lounge are working and well-stocked.

36. The school secretary signs for important packages, such as approved grant applications.

37. The school secretary fills teacher mailboxes with important mail and announcements.

38. The school secretary serves as an in-school communication system, passing messages between teachers.

39. The school secretary serves as an in-school postmaster, putting stamps on letters and making sure they get out in the mail.

40. The school secretary often sends around a card or organizes a group gift for birthdays, funerals, and other life events.

41. The school secretary often spends the entire day in the office, rarely getting to move around.

42. The school secretary has access to tons of data on students and teachers and manages to keep it all confidential.

43. The school secretary has the ability to ward off bill collectors and sales people when they call looking for teachers.

44. The school secretary often serves as a mediator in conflicts between staff members.

45. The school secretary is in charge of ordering key supplies for the school.

46. The school secretary often has a stressful, hectic day and still manages to keep a smile on her face.

47. The school secretary helps students get instruments, lunch boxes, and other items their parents drop off because they left them at home.

48. The school secretary knows where every student is supposed to be at a given moment.

49. The school secretary has the ability to determine whether a student really needs to call home or is just trying to get out of class.

50. The school secretary writes late passes for students.

51. The school secretary often serves as the first point of contact during an emergency.

52. The school secretary makes sure all visitors sign in and are issued visitor passes.

53. The school secretary knows when to call 9-1-1 during an emergency.

54. The school secretary is usually one of the first to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave at night.

55. The school secretary is often responsible for making sure students get medication when the nurse is out.

56. The school secretary helps arrange field trips.

57. The school secretary can often find a lost pair of sneakers or discover which student stole something from a backpack.

58. The school secretary knows how to use Power School or whatever new system the district adopts.

59. The school secretary helps coordinate room assignments for teachers before the school year starts.

60. The school secretary keeps meticulous files of all important paperwork and other key information.

61. The school secretary often helps handle many of the school’s financial accounts.

62. The school secretary helps compile the endless reports and sets of data requested by the district office.

63. The school secretary helps get your money back from the vending machine when it malfunctions.

64. The school secretary helps organize and distribute items related to school fundraisers.

65. The school secretary makes sure everyone gets his/her picture taken on picture day and distributes the pictures when they come in.

66. The school secretary makes everything she does look like a piece of cake.

Do you have more reasons to add to the list? Share why you love your school secretary in the comments.

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