Tuesday, June 7, 2016

100th Choosy Kids Blog Celebration: #100ChoosyIdeas to do with Children this Summer

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy &
Marianne Jenkins, Choosy Kids Graphic Designer

We are excited to announce that this is our 100th blog post! And to commemorate this awesome milestone, we put together a list of 100 ideas to do with children this summer. A lot of these ideas can be done for free at home, some cost less than $1 for supplies and others are day events that can be a little pricier (like the zoo, amusement parks, museums and vacations). What we really wanted to do was make sure all of these ideas helped children become choosy and get them up and moving or easily engaged in a project that inspires them to think, use their hands and ask questions!

Our Choosy Kids team is going to try to do each of these things this summer too! As we do them, we will take pictures and either share on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) or we will blog about it here! So keep visiting to see how we do with checking things off the list!
We’d also like you to try to participate too! Think you and your children (nieces/nephews/grandchildren/students/children you watch after/friends, etc.) could complete 10 ideas? 20? 50? All 100? Tell us how many you think you can complete and show us your completions! Share your photos and completions with us on our social media pages (Facebook or Twitter). Remember to tag us (@choosykids) and use the hashtag #100ChoosyIdeas.

So without further ado, let the summer fun begin!
  1. Dance to Music - Plug in your favorite music (we are particularly fond of Choosy music) and dance to encourage active movement. Did you know that Choosy songs can be effective for initiating a discussion about healthy behaviors, signifying transition, or simply allowing children to have fun and be expressive.
  2. Table top activities - Head over to Choosy Kids to download tabletop activities like coloring pages, dot-to-dot exercises, and much more! 
  3. Create your own play props - Create inexpensive play props that can help encourage active play! Check out the video on how to make an inexpensive 2-liter bat. 
  4. Pick berries and learn about healthy choices - Go on a berry hunt and be sure to talk to your child about all of the health benefits associated with eating them. You can even use these berries to make a smoothie. Check out this smoothie blog and recipe from The Choosy Mommy, Be a Choosy Role Model with Fruits and Veggies: Give a Smoothie a Try.
  5. Visit the local farmer’s market and snag all of the healthy produce and learn about healthy choices Eating Well Doesn’t Have to Cost a Fortune, by Choosy blogger Kerry, has a good blog post to read before your farmer’s market visit.
  6. Dedicate at least one day every week to family game night  - Board games are a great way to promote family time. Instead of surfing the internet, dust off the board games and begin playing! 
  7. Visit a museum  - Seek out a local museum and visit their collection. Interestingly enough, NAEYC recently published an article highlighting the benefits of a museum within a child’s life. Check it out here
  8. Visit a zoo (or create your own zoo using inexpensive materials for your child) - Be sure to plan a visit to the local zoo! If you don’t live near a zoo, why not dig out all of the stuffed animals and create your own zoo. This can be a great way to introduce new animals to your child (or children). 
  9. Create a nature walk - Find a local rail-trail or park and encourage your child to identify objects within nature. You could also act out the movements within the song, “Be Choosy Outside
  10. Practice a new skill (jumping rope, balancing, etc.)  - Our recent blog post discusses all about learning to jump rope. Why not visit the post and encourage your child to learn a new skill. 
  11. Plant a garden - Use the late spring and summertime to begin planting and growing your own garden. Remember to water the garden and be sure to let your child participate. Check out this great blog, Gardening for Good, by Choosy blogger Kerry for some ways to get your children involved more.
  12. Create an indoor puppet play - Create a shadow box using cardboard (an old shoe box is perfect) and create puppets using paper. Encourage your child to produce a puppet show. If you are also looking for more durable puppets, why not look into purchasing a Choosy puppet this summer? Paint and decorate the box to make it feel as if you are at a theater! 
  13. Use yarn to encourage movement and learning - Combining music with deliberate movement has even greater impact on early learning. Grab some yarn and ask your child to draw letters, shapes, and numbers on the floor using the yarn. Join in on the fun to ensure they stay engaged. 
  14. Make homemade healthy popsicles - Take a look at some of these super healthy frozen treats
  15. Start a scrapbook - Begin photographing each event and summer idea you complete for your very own “100 Choosy Summer Ideas” scrapbook 
  16. Create a Choosy scavenger hunt - Print off some healthy food options, and scatter the prints throughout the house. Help your child locate each of the items and check them off of your Choosy list! 
  17. Play ‘Choosy Says’  - Start off each phrase of the game with “Choosy Says” then ask the child to “touch a nose, point to a knee, or show me how to brush your teeth.” 
  18. Make and blow bubbles - Check out this excellent blog post on making your own bubbles and wand! Get creative and make the wands out of pipe cleaners. 
  19. Go to the park - Visit the local park and encourage active play! 
  20. Sidewalk chalk (ABC’s, 123’s and pictures) - Grab some sidewalk chalk and begin having fun with your ABC’s and 123’s. Don’t forget to encourage imaginative play and let little hands draw to express themselves. 
  21. Make dinner together - Encourage your child to help create dinner. Perhaps even ask  children to create their own healthy meal to include as part of the main dinner meal. Remember that there are many benefits of eating dinner together as a family. Read more about this on Choosy blogger Kerry’s post, Family Meals for Healthy Kids.
  22. Make playdough - Here’s a great recipe for homemade playdough. Encourage your child to make a variety of shapes, numbers, letters, and objects. Let creativity take control! 
  23. Go to an amusement park or local fair - The food there is exciting too!
  24. Go camping - This year is also the National Park Services’ 100th birthday! See which national park interests you for camping and explore all day! 
  25. Go boating or canoeing - If you don't have a boat, you can rent one. Being out in the water is a whole new experience! 
  26. Play hopscotch - You can even use sidewalk chalk or old hula hoops to make it more interesting 
  27. Go on a bike ride - Travel on a safe trail or just around the block. Make it a family experience and ask the entire family to participate
  28. Play tag - Gather your friends and family and enjoy a friendly game of tag. 
  29. Lay in the yard and count stars - How many constellations can you recognize? 
  30. Pick wildflowers and give them to a neighbor - This nice gesture could make your neighbor’s day!
  31. Bake cookies on a rainy day - Have a favorite cookie? Learn how to make it at home during a rainy day. You could even take some cookies to your friends and neighbors. Sharing is caring!
  32. Fly a kite on a windy day - Make sure you are in an open field so your kite doesn’t get caught in a tree or on power lines!
  33. Act out a favorite TV show or movie - Then record it into a movie to show everyone. Remember to share it on Choosy Kids social media channels (Facebook and Twitter) or email it to us.
  34. Try a new seasonal fruit or vegetable from your local farmer’s market - You can try these fun summer snacks with the things you buy!
  35. Play in the sandbox and build sandcastles - This is a great hands-on activity that allows for children to understand how sand moves. Add some water and see what happens then!
  36. Go to a playground and make a new friend - All it takes is saying, “Hi, my name is _______.” 
  37. Play in the rain - A little rain never hurt anyone. But stay inside if it is storming. 
  38. Make homemade ice cream - Use fresh berries to create your own homemade ice cream. Here’s a great recipe for the foundation of ice cream.  
  39. Go swimming - Learning to swim is great for everyone. Check out these blog posts about swimming: From Water We Come and Back to Water We Go and Helping Your Child Thrive at the Pool: It’s a Year-Round Event!
  40. Go fishing - Learn about the different fish that are in the water. Remember, catch and release unless you are planning a meal. 
  41. Go to a baseball game - Baseball tickets can be very inexpensive, especially for minor league teams. Put on your favorite ball cap and enjoy the sun!
  42. Play kickball - Gather up a group of kids and play kickball (just like baseball but kicking a big ball!)
  43. Tie dye t-shirts - Make your family matching tie dye t-shirts. They won't exactly match but that is half of the fun! 
  44. Paint the sidewalk with water - Use sponges and other absorbent objects to paint the sidewalk in water. 
  45. Go on a picnic - Be sure to pack plenty of fruits and veggies! 
  46. Play flashlight tag - For even more fun use a variety of colored lights. Or cover the flashlight with colored tissue paper to change the light’s color. 
  47. Read about a local historical fact in your town and visit it - Perhaps a trip to the museum can help locate other artifacts. 
  48. Take pictures of everywhere you go - Don’t forget to add them to your “100 Choosy Summer Ideas” scrapbook and share them with us on Facebook and Twitter. Use #100ChoosyIdeas.
  49. Wash your vehicles together - What could be more fun than playing outside with soap and water and finishing a chore? 
  50. Set up a lemonade stand and donate your profit to a local charity - If you need any help deciding a local charity, use Guide Star’s directory for a comprehensive list. 
  51. Have a watermelon seed spitting contest - Did you know in Texas, watermelon seed spitting is actually a big sport? 
  52. Make a fort - Building forts is a great outdoor and indoor activity. Check out this cool post from Built by Kids about building the perfect fort
  53. Plan a RAOK - Throughout the summer, take some time to encourage your child to help others. Participate in a random act of kindness (RAOK) at least once a month. This could be as simple as helping you around the house, or helping the neighbors in some way. 
  54. Make your own bird feeder - Homemade bird feeders can be as elaborate as you’d like, but we prefer this cool inexpensive bird feeder.  
  55. Make your own pizza - Cooking together can be one of the most enjoyable moments! Check out some of these healthy pizza recipes
  56. Make a homemade movie - Use your cell phone or small recording camera to begin taking footage. Then, depending on your computer, search for movie making software (usually a free version is installed with your Windows computer and on a Mac).  Add special effects and titles to make the movie special to your family. 
  57. Use washable markers to decorate windows - If there is a rainy day, and you have to stay in, why not decorate the windows while you wait for the sun to return? Here are some great markers designed just for this. 
  58. Conduct a safe science experiment - Kids are naturally curious and are scientists at an early age! This summer try some of these kid-friendly science experiments. The Color Symphony is definitely a favorite!  
  59. Participate in a craft workshop - The Home Depot, Lowes, and AC Moore usually always offer local workshops to help encourage children to dabble in the arts. If these are a little pricey, why not check out the local library for even more fun! 
  60. Create your own bowling arena inside - Use old water bottles and a paper ball (or any lightweight ball) to create your own indoor bowling arena our Choosy Blogger, Molly Luke, has shared some great indoor activities
  61. Have a camp out in your backyard 
  62. Mommy and me or Daddy and me date in which the child gets to plan for the day
  63. Create your own post office and deliver/write letters to one another.
  64. Alphabet “I Spy” in which you try to take a picture of objects that start with every letter of the alphabet and put them in a journal 
  65. Put on a magic show - Amaze everyone with your skills. Here are some fun magic tricks for kids
  66. Put together a puzzle - Depending on the age of your children (or child) put together a summertime puzzle and use inexpensive puzzle glue to keep the puzzle together. 
  67. Join the local library reading program - Reading is a wonderful way to learn more about things you are doing or places you will be going. Try to check out books that expand upon what you are doing at home too (like some of these ideas!)
  68. Play pretend market - Set up a local market in the backyard with pretend food or even real food to help learn about different fruit and veggies. Ask the child questions about each product to encourage imagination and learning.
  69. Visit your local fire department and police station (you could even take them the cookies you baked!) - Perhaps this could be part of your monthly ROAK? 
  70. Create a rock garden - Find all shapes and sizes of rocks and plant them in a sunny or shady place. You could even paint or color with chalk on the rocks. 
  71. Have a tea party - You can make this fancy and fun! Hot or iced tea works (you could even make your own sun tea)
  72. Have a spoon race - You don’t have to just use eggs! Put a spoon in your mouth and slowly balance whatever object you have on the end of the spoon. 
  73. Outside Tic-Tac-Toe - Make an outdoor tic-tac-toe board with chalk, rope, tree branches, etc. and encourage tossing with a bean bag, rock, ball, etc. 3 in a row wins!
  74. Play outdoor scrabble - Grab some copy paper and using a marker spell out each of your family’s name. Put only one letter per sheet of paper. Then scatter the letters throughout the yard and work together to put the names back in order. 
  75. Nature prints - Use watercolor and items found in nature to make some cool prints. 
  76. Car race ramps - Make your own racing ramp out of cardboard to race toy cars or other items to the finish line. 
  77. Make your own sand decorations - Find some small jars and gather up sand, rocks, flowers, etc. to create your own sand jar.
  78. DIY Aquarium - Grab a mason jar, some aquarium ornaments (or create your own using craft foam) , and some glue. Place and glue all ornaments inside on the lid of the jar , then attach the lid back to the jar for a neat looking glass aquarium. If you prefer not to use a glass mason jar, find or reuse a plastic container. 
  79. Learn origami - This involves paper and patience. Check out this website for some kid-friendly ideas.
  80. Create a nature checklist - Find what lives in your backyard by creating a checklist and scoping out some wildlife.
  81. Make paper dolls and play pretend - You can even find scraps of material to make their clothes!
  82. Make your own holiday cards - Save money and have fun by creating homemade holiday cards. 
  83. Popsicle stick heroes - Use popsicle sticks to put together your own hero. 
  84. Sponge paint - Cut shapes out of dish sponges and dip them in paint. 
  85. Have a summer cleanup of old toys - Donate the toys that you gather to a local shelter, church or charity.
  86. Create your own activity booklet - Visit choosykids.com to download some activity sheets. Simply staple 7 or more sheets together and create a weekly activity booklet. 
  87. Hoopla game - Set up empty water bottles and create small hoops (can use pool noodles) and encourage the child to make the noodle on the water bottle 
  88. Play dress up - Get out some fun adult clothes, holiday costumes, fancy dresses and suits, etc., and just dress up! 
  89. Penny match-up. Use some coins and tape to the back of a sheet of paper, then encourage the child to match the correct coins in order to win the ones matched. 
  90. Make your own desktop organizers - Do this by using party cups or play pots and decorate them to your liking. This is also a great gift for someone’s office away from home.
  91. Create your own countdown calendar - If you are going on vacation or somewhere special, print out a calendar to countdown the days. Use stickers, markers, dobbers, etc. to mark off the days 
  92. Create a table-top football game - Print out or make your own characters to participate in  your very own football game. You will need to create your gameboard and have each side have a character. In order to advance their character, ask the child a question that helps to encourage active learning. If they get the question right, they get to move one space (or ten yards). One question could be, “ What color is Choosy?”  or “Name three fruits.” Encourage your child to ask you questions as well. 
  93. Print off the Choosy activity calendar - Check them out on ChoosyKids.com!
  94. Make a magnet - Buy a pack of inexpensive magnet sheets, and print off (or handmake) your own fruit or vegetable magnets. For even more fun, you can print off some family photos and make your own family magnet portrait for the refrigerator. 
  95. Create your own learning game -  You will need a variety of cardstock colors . Cut a variety of shapes out of cardstock , and help your child organize and sort all of the pieces by color and shape. 
  96. Make your own paint brushes using  cotton balls and clothes pins - Instead of using paintbrushes, you can just clip a cotton ball onto a clothes pin. Makes a great dobber!
  97. Make a paper plate mask - Use whatever craft supplies you have to decorate a paper plate. Cut out eye and mouth holes and punch to holes in the side for the string to tie around the head. 
  98. Make paper plate animals - Grab some extra paper plates and some watercolor paints to create your own paper plate animals. Use extra scraps to create the ears and any other accessories. For some extra pizzazz, use paste on wiggly eyes to add extra life to your animal. 
  99. Create your own storybook - Open up your child’s imagination by writing out a story that they tell you. Then create pictures for the book together.
  100. Play wastebasket basketball - Crumble up that junk mail into a ball and set up a wastebasket a few feet away. You can even put some masking tape on the floor for shooting lines.

About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master and The Choosy Mommy for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her children: 3 year old daughter, Capri, and 1 year old son, Cam. Click here to learn more about Christine.









About the Author: Marianne W. Jenkins is a graphic designer for Choosy Kids. She is multi-talented and has skills in graphics design, photography, videography, web based technology, and electronic game development. She graduated from West Virginia University with a Master's in Integrated Marketing Communications in 2016 and from Fairmont State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphics Technology with a minor in Communications in May, 2014. Click here to learn more about Marianne. 

21 comments :

  1. 100!! So many good ideas here. My daughter is really getting into games do I loved the idea of a designated game night.

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  2. It is amazing how you were able to come up with 100 ideas!My children are all grown ups now, but these will be great for my grandchildren.

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  3. So many great ideas! Congrats on your 100th post! We will definitely be doing a lot of these...camping in the backyard, making our own pizza, making new friends at the park, and painting rocks. I love all the creative and learning activities.

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  4. Congrats on your 100th post and for putting together such an amazing list of activities. There's no way any kid or parent can claim boredom or not knowing what to do this summer.

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  5. This is one long and awesome summer list. So many great ideas for kids. I might have to print it for after school lets out.

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  6. Congratulations on the 100th blog post! That truly is an achievement! Thanks for putting together such an awesome list, these are all very fun to do!

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  7. These are some amazing ideas. There's so many fun things to do and so little time.

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  8. congrats on your 100th post! This is such a fun idea! I love this list!

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  9. Oooo congrats I your 100th post!!!!!! These are definitely some awesome ideas :):)

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  10. Wow! Now this is THE list! Congrats on your 100th post, by the way!

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  11. Congratulations on your 100th post! Keep on posting, I love your blog. You have great ideas.

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  12. Appearance is important for everyone, even a baby. Parents just love dressing up their babies in cute little outfits that would make them look like a celebrity baby.

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  13. This is what I call "lesson learned" in a good way. Or should I say "lessons", I find it hard to believe that any kid would pass for all of them!

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  14. Congratulations! You have inspired many parents with your blog posts, happy 100th post! Hope to hear more from you.

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  15. What a long list! Thanks for putting this all together, I am so excited to see more of your posts. Congrats!

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  16. Congratulations on your 100th post! I have to say that you complied a great list for keeping busy this summer. I never could understand how someone could be bored especially during the summer.

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  17. That is such a great list! I love all of them. My girls love to do a lot of these activities already. We'll have to make sure to do many more off this list.

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  18. Congratulations on your 100th post. That is a huge blogging milestone. I can't remember when I hit my 100th post on my first blog but we celebrated.

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  19. Congrats on your milestone woop wop 100 posts it takes one post a ta time to build a solid blog. Keep building :) and thanks for the activities!

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  20. Congratulations on reaching a wonderful milestone of 100 blog posts. And I love you came up with 100 different idea to celebrate it. Such a big list that you have done a great job to put them together to help many around.

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  21. Such a great list of things to do this summer. I know that my kids will be dying of boredom. This list will keep us going!

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