life on the funny farm

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Tip for Tuesday

On a rainy summer's day,
a couple of years ago,
when all the kids were crying in unison,
I sat their little behinds down and we made an activity tree.

On the trunk of the tree, there are two "Family Fun" knots: one for local things like going for walks or mini-golf and one for big trips, like going to the beach or an amusement park.
Each branch represents a different type of activity, and
each branch has leaves with specific suggestions of things to do.
For instance, on the "Table Top" branch, there are puzzles, rock-painting, and fabric pens.

On the "Kitchen" branch you can find suggestions for making brownies or water ice or crepes, as well as website suggestions for recipes.

There are also a few prompts for imagination activities, like running a doll hospital or a store,

as well as plenty of ideas for fun things to do outdoors, such as butterfly catching, building tree forts, and running a lemonade stand.

On the bottom, we decided to add a few flowers representing charitable acts, such as visiting an elderly neighbor, or collecting toys to donate to charity.

I also wrote down some chores they could help out with.

Just in case, you know, they forget. Ahem.

Anyway, the kids are a bit older now, and we don't use it as much anymore, but it was nice to have a "menu" of sorts, to help them break down the boredom and figure out what in the wide world there was to do on those longggg summer days.

What do you do when YOUR kids complain of summer boredom?


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  1. This is such a great idea. I need to make a version with my boyfriend to keep US entertained!

    Amanda Rose

  2. Nuts, forgot to vote for you while I was in Quebec for a few days. Sorry about that. I love the tree idea you designed. The kids and I always spent summers in Europe for as long as I can remember and they kept summer journals. At first it was a struggle and an argument each June, but after a while it became habbit. We always bought Clairefontaine journals with pocket page inserts. Now that they are 32-210, they still keep some sort of journals. It’s wonderful to look back now at the shelves and shelves of journals here at my house. My children aren’t settled enough to want to have them in their possession yet, so I’m lucky to have them here for safe keeping.

  3. @Nest: Thanks!
    @Amanda: Hmmm, that could be an interesting list!
    @Veronica: The journal idea sounds wonderful! I know my sister keeps journals and she has dozens upon dozens at this point. If she ever wante to write a book, she's all set!



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