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Fun Summer Activities with Free Materials
A City for Kids and a Game of Life
Are you always looking for new ideas to carry out in the summer with your young ones? It’s important to build up their creative side, encourage them to use their imagination. One way of doing this is build a city with them. Go to your local hardware store and ask for the large appliance boxes. You want to get several in different sizes so that there are a variety of shapes and heights. Then ask them for their miss matched paint. Sometimes they may give it away (especially if you tell them you are using it for your children’s toys) or will sell it at a very low cost.
Once you have your supplies grab the kids go outside on some plastic or tarps and design your city. Plan out what type of buildings they want such as apartments, museums, jails, stores, restaurants, ice cream shop and so on. Turn your boxes upside down and start painting; you may even want to cut doors and windows if the boxes are large enough. Then start your real game of Life. You can use this activity as an educational outdoor game and teach them responsibility on rent, owning a business, and respecting traffic signs. This will start to give them a sense of what the real world is like but in a fun way.
A Stage for a Play
You can also use appliance boxes to create a stage for a play. Paint the boxes into backdrops for each scene. Decide on what type of play to perform, see if the kids want to make up their own or you can download simple little plays off the internet, search for “Free Children’s Plays”. Help them with the lighting by using flashlights, sound with a portable CD player or Karaoke machine for the mike so everyone can hear.
Turn this into a lesson: teach them the different aspects of putting on a play, from selling tickets, to building the set, designing the costumes, directing the play and even putting on the performance. Invite the neighborhood kids over to participate in the play as well. Place yard chairs around for people to sit in, and do it in the evening around sunset. Once the play is over have light refreshments for the actors and actresses. As time goes on you will see your children playing with their city or stage more and more.