Summer/ Road Trip Fun: 9 Links to get you ready…

It’s the official countdown–7 6  5more days of lunch-making. It’s gotten bad–I was actually standing in front of the open refrigerator the other night with baggies in my hand, looking for anything, just anything to drop into them that I could call “lunch” for the girls. I’ve depleted all of my frozen lunch items, sandwiches have officially been banned by order of the lunch crew, and my brain is officially fried and paralyzed from making, hmm, let’s see, oh, around 375 377 lunches so far this year. Luke keeps telling me to make them eat in the cafeteria, but they balk at the idea. And I will say, I sat with Julia at her lunch table last week and had a hard time watching the other children scarf down literally trays full of jello and what we as kids used to call “slum gullion.” I kid you not when I tell you that at least three sections on each of their trays were full of jiggly jello, and to make matters worse, they thought it was fun to shake their seats and the table to see if they could get their jello to swish. Julia was trying to convince her friends that the jello was sugar-free so they shouldn’t be all excited about it, but they could care less.

So, the time has come to start thinking about what the kids and I are going to do all day long every day this summer. I’m looking forward to it for sure, but I know that all too soon there will be talks of boredom going on around here, and if the rainy weather persists, swimming will not be an option. So I have to put my mind to at least having a handful of ideas to give these kiddos, and maybe a few book ideas (I’m most excited about snuggling on the couch and reading to them). But I will say this: Pinterest is sort of for the birds. No offense, but really people, all the cute little pictures of summer time crafts people put up are missing the pictures of dis-interested kids and all the clean up, and the grumpy faces everywhere. I’m going for a much more simple, good ol’ days approach.

But first, we are taking a two week long road trip in June, so I have to muster up some creative mom juices for that as well, or we will all go crazy before we even celebrate July 4th…

In all my research, which is not exhaustive to say the least, the following things are some of the things I’ve found that looks promising for hours upon hours in the car when we are traveling like crazy people all over the country, because I’ve already told the kids we will not be watching movies all day when we are driving, and that they WILL be forced to day dream out the window and not be entertained for every single minute by technology. Many a cloud or tree has been made into an image by children of the past, and my children will not miss out on those time-tested ancient traditions. I’m already prepared to say things like, “YOU WILL DAYDREAM WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT!”

Some of these ideas for the car and some are for lazy summer days at home. And I’m fully aware that you could just as easily have done the same google search I did, but I will still share what I found anyway.

1)    knot games–learn to tie cool knots

This is a deck of cards with individual knot tying patterns to practice–it comes with a cord, instructions, and to other short little poles which I’m assuming are part of the knot tying process. It seems to be a good self-contained project to keep hands busy. I’m imagining this would be best for my older two kids since they can actually read, and this would likely be a great car activity. It’s $5.50 at REI, and something similar might be found on Amazon, since that seems to always be the case.

This book looks really cool and is not quite 4 bucks. It’s full of facts about each state and games and pictures. The reviews say it’s great for kids older than 7 or 8, but I’m sure it’s something my girls could read to us on our trip.

3)    old school travel auto bingo
I know I had these as a kid, and it comes in a set of three which is perfect since I have three kids…so the $6.50 isn’t that bad when you divvy it up.

4)    road trip spot it!
Have you discovered the game Spot it! yet? This game is super fun for kids of all ages, and it comes in a handy tin can for safe keeping. I think my kids would enjoy having a new one for the car with different items to search for. For a time, Chic Fil-A had smaller versions of this game in their kids meal, which were also great for the car.

5)   free printables for a super fun travel folder
Umm, this is definitely something I could never come up with by myself, but I sure am thankful for moms who do and who share it! These ideas seem so cool, and she provides the pdf files to print off some of her pages, and then you can just laminate them and purchase some dry-erase markers or those window crayons which wipe off well. I’m definitely gonna consider doing this for our road trip! Seems to be good for all ages.

6)   36 great links to free printable travel games
Once again, thank you to those who love sharing ideas! Some of these links are great and make me excited to put together packets for the kids to pull out during our trip. There’s even a super cute link to adorable paper dolls to print out…Julia will love that one!

7)   kid science experiments
Landis spent like an hour with a volcano experiment the other day, so I’m thinking we might be doing science experiments this summer (easy, non-complicated ones). These are ten videos of seemingly easy little experiments that could keep kids busy for periods of time…I’m imaging Landis wanting to blow up 100 sandwich bags, for instance. More videos can be found at kidspot science (and on this same website there seem to be other resources as well that might be good for keeping kids busy this summer).

8)   The Village Church Summer Family Activity Book
This seems to be a great resource for keeping our kids and family in the word and focused on Christ throughout the summer months, with interesting ideas on observing God’s creation throughout the summer months and being intentional about loving others in your community. It looks like you can download a free digital copy of this book and print it out yourself, and work through it this summer.

9)   Man Vs. Wild
A friend of mine recommended this series to me–an adventuring man Bear Grylls gets dropped into different wild situations and has to figure out how to get back to society…Different, but seems captivating, especially for long car rides…

So there you go, my simple list of ideas…please feel free to share any ideas you have that will enhance everyone’s summer…and soon I will try to post of list of book ideas for reading aloud over the summer…(and I do plan to get back to my public school talks, but when I went back to edit some of what I’ve started to write, I was pretty much snoring by the end…so I’ll save you the boredom too…)

(a few more ideas….)

a huge container of elbow macaroni to play in

yard soccer, or rip sticking, or pogo sticking

collecting roley poleys and creating a maze for them to race through

serious roley poley collecting

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