Monday, 2 June 2014

No Prep Summer Bucket List


The summer's here. Hurrah!

We've a holiday and a few big trips planned ... (Harry Potter Studios here we come!!) ...

... & I've got a whole bunch of last-all-summer-long projects up my sleeve  ...

But this year I've also made a bucket list of simple summer fun that needs NO PREP!!

You can end up faffing for hours prepping the perfect activity, and you know what?

Most kids'd rather you spent that time giving them your undivided attention ... being with them in the moment ... & just playing ..


No Prep Summer Bucket List


  1. Make their own play dough ... there are so many wonderful fancy recipes for playdough but sometimes I just don't need the stress of failed gloop when they are happy as larry outside mixing their own with a bucket of flour and a jug of water ... 
  2. Float eggs ... we love science experiments but some do need prep for special ingredients & aren't guaranteed to work ... all you need for floating eggs is water, salt and some eggs ... put the eggs in the water and see that they sink then keep adding more and more salt until they float
  3. Dissolve shells ... another trusty no prep experiment ... just put an egg or some empty snail shells or seaside shells in vinegar and watch them slowly dissolve over 24 hours or so .. the sea shell will take longest and you'll need to keep topping up the vinegar ... 
  4. Make butter ... yep make butter! ... all you need is some cream & a jar with a lid .... put the cream in and keep shaking it until buttery solids start to form ... you can keep putting the jar in the fridge and then taking it out for a short while every hour for everyone to have a good shake ... and then have it on bread for tea ...
  5. Squeeze an egg into a jar ... this is a brilliant experiment that just needs an egg and a glass jar with a slightly smaller rim  
  6. Create volcanoes ... just bung baking soda (bicarb), vinegar, food colouring & washing up liquid together in a jar or bowl and watch it "erupt" ..
  7. Make raisins dance ... just throw some raisins in a glass of fizzy pop ... the raisins will keep rising and falling within the glass ...  
  8. As long as you've got or can borrow a tent and the weather's fine you can decide spur of the moment to camp out in the garden 
  9. Make a tent from chairs and blankets or sheets
  10. Garden obstacle course ... I remember one gloriously happy Olympic summer when we spent ages building obstacle courses out of everything we could scavenge from the house & shed
  11. Go the market ... a cool one you haven't been to before ... and buy fabulous fruit ... everyone chooses their own ... to make smoothies ... or pancake toppings
  12. And if you usually drive everywhere make it more fun by taking the bus ...
  13. Go to a pick your own and pick fruit ... the strawberries are early here this year so spur of the moment this morning we bombed down the road and came back laden with kilos of yummy berries 
  14. Pick wild berries ... later in the summer when the blackberries and elderberries are out just head off laden with tubs to wherever you know they'll be and pick & eat for hours at a time 
  15. Play hide and seek ... as kids there were a couple of hours every Saturday when both mum and dad committed to stopping everything and playing what we wanted to play ... our most frequent choice was plain old hide and seek ...
  16. Mud kitchen ... just get their pans and pots out in the garden & provide mud & water ... hours of happy fun ... and mud stains come out easily with a bit of dish liquid & luke warm water 
  17. Have a paint fight ... make up watery paint in spray bottles ... get everyone to wear their swim goggles and as little as possible and run around spraying each other ... if you do get paint on clothes just rub with dish washing liquid and tepid water ..
  18. There are all sorts of fab water activities but water blobs and the like do require prep and their not fool proof ... our blob ripped on first use last year ... but all you need for a good old water fight is some spray bottles filled with water 
  19. And likewise you can do some fab things cutting up sponges but actually ordinary old car sponges are all you need for a sponge fight ...
  20. And playing in the sprinkler takes some beating ... 
  21. And actually when you're small washing the car is a good as it gets ... 
  22. Have a toy car wash ... it really doesn't need to be fancy, a bucket of soapy water and sponges is fine 
  23. Go for a family bike ride ...
  24. Play charades ... 
  25. Have a running race ... just hit the park & run run run with the wind in your hair
  26. Have a pancake parlour in which everyone can create whatever toppings they like ... as long as you've got eggs, flour, milk & butter you're good to go ...
  27. Have an outdoor beauty parlour & paint toe nails
  28. Play duck duck goose ... 
  29. Go the library every week ... great to go on the same day every week ... it helps give the week some routine and builds a lifetime habit of library use  
  30. Pack a ready to go day trip kit ... with first aid, sun cream, wipes, change of clothes, waterproofs, snacks & drinks so at any point you can just hit the road and go
  31. Go for a walk in the nearest countryside you can find ... or failing that the local park ... and enjoy any of these 50 things you can do outdoors for free ...
  32. Make jewellery from anything natural you can find in the garden or park ... herbs, flowers, twigs, grasses, cones etc ...
  33. Play tick / tack / dob ... it may go under many names but this game is universal ... one person runs after everyone else and tries to catch them ... once you're caught out ... last person to be caught is the next chaser
  34.  Play stick in the mud ... like tick but when you're caught you freeze in a star sheep ... you can be unfrozen if someone can crawl underneath your legs without either of you being caugh ..
  35. Play tincanalley ... a variation on hide and seek ... you hide but try to get back to the counting post without being seen and caught ... 3 generations of our family played this for hours last summer and laughed so much ...  
  36. Make up stories ... in the garden, at the park, in a "tent" in the sitting room, wherever ... just sit down for some quiet time and make up stories ... silly stories, scary stories, what happened next in Harry Potter ... whatever!!
  37. Grab some of your clothes & jewellery & make up (!) ... and play dressing up ... clip cloppy shoes and big hats are always winners
  38. Have a football World Cup (soccer) ... just pick your fave teams & play 
  39. Go on a "bad bug" hunt ... go on a bug hunt for all those pesky bugs that eat the plants ... slugs, snails etc ... and see who can find the most
  40. Play skipping or with the washing line ... or whatever else you can find
  41. Play Italian Snap ... each time a card is put down a player says a number when the card they put down matches the number they said everyone slaps down their hand on the pile ... last person picks up the cards ... aim is to get rid of all your cards first ... this is another one that we used to play for hours over the summer ... 
  42. Play Mother May I ... one person is mother and stands about 20 metres from the others ... the others are trying to be the first to reach mother ... mother tells each person at a time to e.g. take 3 giant steps, 2 fairy steps, 4 hops, 5 jumps, 3 spins ... before they take the action the player must remember to ask "Mother May I" ... if they forget they have to go back to the beginning
  43. Paint cardboard boxes ... it doesn't have to "be" anything ... just grab any cardboard boxes you happen to have and put them out in the yard with the paint ...
  44. Have a tug of war ... just grab a rope and pull, pull, pull
  45. Make & write postcards ... don't wait to go on holiday ... just draw / paint your own on some card, write them to say what you've been up to and send them off to grandma, grandpa, friends etc
  46. Play leap frog ... always ends up rolling around the floor in laughter
  47. Make cookies for friends ... make cookies with friends initials on in icing and take them around
  48. If you're really struggling to keep the kids entertained whilst getting everything done that you need to do sign up for a craft kits service like Kiwi Crate ... they send you kits with absolutely everything you need for really fun activities ...
  49. Go on an owl & bat hunt ... stay up until dusk when the bats & owls start moving around and see if you can spot them ... ponds with lots of insects are a good spot for bats ... you might not see any but the adventure is just staying up late
  50. Just leave them to it ... the most wonderful gift you can give any child is to let them learn to entertain themselves ... 


What about you? What are your top tips and ideas for fun no-prep summer activities

Do share them below ...







P.S. If you enjoyed this post do check out my other play posts subscribe to my monthly mailing list in which I share simple tips and ideas for positive parenting and learning through play ...


 



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175 Ideas for Summer Time Fun



7 comments:

  1. Wow what a great list of ideas! I've forgotten about so many of those childhood favorites. And you've reminded me to check when the strawberry festival is coming to town so we don't miss it. Pinning!

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  2. Great list! thanks for sharing and for the link up!! Have a great day!

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  3. What great ideas! Featured this post on Facebook this evening! Thanks for linking up at the Wonderful Wednesday blog Hop. We are so glad you came by!

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  4. Terrific ideas and so clever too! Thanks for putting this together. Stopping by as co-host from Wonderful Wed Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

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  5. Great list, Alice! The "no prep" is key! Pinned!

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