August is family fun month and it’s the perfect opportunity to try new activities that are fun for the whole family! Ranging from places to explore with your family, to crafts, Rebecca Green’s Banish Boredom is full of great family fun ideas everyone will enjoy (not just the kids). Having fun at home is easy too; with a little imagination the possibilities for family fun are endless.
Get started on these fun things with your family today – whether at home or away!
Fun at Home
· Medium-weight paper
· Squeezable tempera paints (if you can’t find prepackaged squeezable paints, small condiment bottles make great paint containers.)
Have the child fold the paper in half lengthwise so that a crease runs vertically from top to bottom. (This also helps children visualize the line of symmetry.) You can also prefold paper for very young kids.
Open the paper to lay it flat again, and allow kids to squeeze paints into whatever pattern they’d like. Sometimes ours try to make matching patterns on each side of the fold; sometimes they paint all over the whole paper randomly.
Fold the piece of paper closed, using the prepainting fold for guidance. Let your child squish and smooth the paper shut. Then open to see the finished design!
· Add accessories, such as eyes or mustaches, to make monsters, dragons, animals, silly faces, and more!
· Spend some time examining a dried painting with your child and try to pick out shapes and pictures. Use a dark marker or pen to outline the shapes.
· Use the paintings as background art pages to write your own storybook.
Family Obstacle Course
· Set up a backyard course using simple outdoor play items, such as hula hoops, skipping ropes, toy bins, and more.
· Introduce water play into the course by adding an inflatable kiddie pool. (You can include a slide too!)
· Head to an outdoor workout circuit at a local park and race each other around the trail, using the circuit stops in the race.
Fun Places to Go
Art Museum/Sculpture Gardens
· Bring a small sketchbook and drawing tools (probably colored pencils and not permanent markers) and give your kids an opportunity to sketch in front of artwork. You can ask them to draw what they see, or you can just see what they come up with on their own.
· Ahead of time, draft a list of descriptive words to use in discussing art. While you’re at the museum, use them to talk about the works of art and encourage your kids to use them also. You don’t need to get fancy or technically advanced; words and concepts as simple as happy, fast, or bright get the conversation going. Or just ask them what they see- you’ll be surprised at what they say!
· If your kids are reticent to give their own ideas or are having a hard time getting interested in the art, suggest a game of I Spy. In modern art museums, we play the game by looking for colors, shaped, techniques, or media (such as collage, sculpture, or painting.) In more traditional art museums, we look for subjects in artwork that match up to our children’s interests.
· Whether you live in the middle of a big city, further out in a suburb, or on a giant rural farm, making time to spend in green space is a must. Frankly, with so many different types of green spaces to explore, you have no excuse not to. A park, arboretum, botanical gardens, nature preserve, or simply an open field can all provide a great space for kids.