This weather is not fooling me. Mid-sixty degree weather at the end of April. I know the drill, mother nature. You goad us into wearing hoodies and jeans... and them BAM! HOT! SO SO HOT! During the winter, we frequent parks, go on walks, etc. That is our summer. When actual summer hits, we lock up the doors and turn on the a/c. 115 is no joke. So I look for indoor activities pretty far in advance. Because unless you are willing to outfit everyone in spf 80 sunscreen and strap on swimsuits then dash directly to the pool, it is no fun to play outside in the summer. I've been collecting some good ideas. (Mostly thanks to Parenting Magazine) Here are some of my favorites.
Molto Penne! Give the kids some ribbon and dry pasta to thread. Make pretty necklaces, or just let em fall to the floor!
Head to bemboszoo.com, for an alphabet zoo. Or the switchzoo.com, where kids can make their own animals. (and gain some computer skills too!)
Sing some songs! Buff up on your children's tunes on bussongs.com. (Mostly, I like to just listen to my music, and let the kids dance to it- but in a pinch this could be a life-saver. Especially when you're called to the Nursery and all you know are tidbits of rockabye baby and that one farm song that goes with a quack-quack here...)
Bear Hunt! Make a list of animals that need to be found around the house. Anything's fair game: the puppy on the toilet paper package, the hippo drawing in your baby's board book, the barnyard set. Older kids can get creative searching for a llama; you can help steer toddlers toward the stuffies in the toy box.
Head to your local pet store and watch all the different fishies, ferrets, lizards, and snakes! (Just don't take any home... and pick up some dog food while you're at it)
For a few extra minutes of mommy time, hand your toddler a pot and a ladle, and tell him to make you some different kinds of "soup": alphabet-block soup, toy-car soup, stuffed-animal soup...
Play pasta peekaboo. Turn a colander upside down and show her how to slide spaghetti into the holes. Lift up to see where they went!
Print out some fun coloring! HaringKids has some funky stuff, Jan Brett has more traditional kids artwork, and Parenting itself has some fun Sesame Street pages.
Sew fun! Punch holes in an egg carton with a pen, tape on a string of yarn, and let your child thread it through the openings.
A quick hide-and-seek game: Stick rows of Post-it notes on a piece of paper, put a sticker under one, and let your child guess where the sticker is. Then hide another!
Declare your floors "hot lava." Your child can move around the house only by hopping on "islands" (paper taped to the floor).
Play mix and match. Give him a few empty plastic bottles or jars and their caps, and let him figure out which go together (just keep an eye on him).
Now we're set for summer... whenever it decides to arrive...