BY DONNA KIRDAHY
It's the lazy, hazy days of summer, but you're about to go crazy because the kids are complaining, "I'm bored. There's nothing to do." Here's a list of 12 simple activities for end of summer fun.
MAKE SUN PRINTS. Place some objects on a piece of dark-colored construction paper and place in the bright sun. After an hour or two, the outline of the object will be imprinted on the paper.
PLAY SHOE STORE. Line up all the extra shoes (and shoe boxes, if available) in the house and play.
COLLECT SMOOTH STONES AT THE BEACH. Take them home and make rock critters by painting them with acrylic paint and adding wiggle eyes, yarn hair, felt paws and feet, etc.
TAKE A HIKE AND COLLECT STICKS. You can make a friendship stick by painting the sticks with tempera paint or wrapping them with different yarns.
WITH YOUR FINGER, TRACE A DESIGN ON EACH OTHER'S BACK. Guess what it is. Try spelling out letters or words.
CUT OUT HEADLINES FROM A NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE. Use a mirror to reverse the words and see if your child can read backwards. Write messages backwards and "decode" them in the mirror.
PAINT THE HOUSE, FENCE OR SIDEWALK WITH WATER. Use different sized paintbrushes and pails.
SING SONGS OR TELL STORIES AND RECORD THEM ON A CASSETTE TAPE. Tape record a letter for grandma or older sibling at camp.
USE MARKERS AND PAINT TO MAKE YOUR OWN FAMILY FLAG. Cut a large rectangle from an old white sheet or pillowcase.
PLAY TABLETOP SOCCER. Pick teams and sit at opposite ends of a table. Use a ping-pong ball for the soccer ball. All players must keep their arms and hands under the table. Players move the ball by blowing it. To score a goal, a player must blow the ball off the opponent's edge of the table.
HAVE AN INDOOR CAMPOUT. Hang sheets or blankets over tables or chairs. Let children nap on sleeping bags in the "tent." Or, put the tent up in the yard.
MAKE BUBBLES. Use a bicycle pump and a pan of soapy water for outside bubbles.
Ideas and information courtesy of:
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County (CCE)
423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 100
Riverhead, NY 11901-3071
631-727-7850, ext. 333