When my children wake up on Saturday mornings, one of their first questions is “what is today’s adventure? “

While my husband and I could easily burn a few hours reading, catching up on our favorite shows, cleaning and taking afternoon naps, we’ve made a deliberate decision to make the most of our weekend and spend quality, focused time with the kids.

Most days, we explore the world around us but there are some days that call for days at home. Regardless of where we are in our world, we make sure to listen to their questions, comments and concerns while maintaining eye contact – even small children notice whether you are “there” or checked out. So my best advice to fello moms and dads… be present.

Here are some of our favorite things to do with our mini-me’s:

“Away from the home” activities:
Local “You Pick” Farm – this is a recent addition to our list of adventures and we are in love. It’s a great learning experience for kids and you can rest assured in the origin of the food. When they realize how much effort it takes to pick a handful of blueberries, they seem to become a little less wasteful. If you choose the “you pick” option, the produce costs less per pound. Bonus.

photo of blueberries Free Picture: Blueberries
ID: 171595
© Andrew Kazmierski | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Local classic car shows – we love taking our children to classic car shows. It shows the history of automobile innovation and design and it also teaches them how to respect and take care of things that are important to them. In addition, it’s a good place to meet a wide array of people from different generations and listen to stories worth passing on.

little boy next to classic red truck

Local historic landmarks – a great opportunity to explore, learn, and take cool family photos. Our family enjoys a local train station that still provides train rides and has a rail yard of “vintage” trains to explore. It’s also a great photo op!

photo of young boy with his little sister standing in doorway of old historic train

“Adventures at home” activities:
Squirt guns – a family favorite. Get a Tupperware tub, fill it up with water and throw out your favorite squirt guns. Have a dirty car? Let them help get it wet, add your desired car soap and then ask for help rinsing it off. It’s fun and time efficient.

young boy with squirt gunFree Picture: Summer Fun
ID: 153851
© Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Making cards for friends and family members – this is an activity that makes people feel good about others and themselves. Taking the time to make a custom card is, in a way, a lost art. Take it a step further and send it via snail mail. It will outshine the bills, sales postcards and political propaganda in the mailbox on any day!

home made birthday card

Making homemade play dough – it’s a way to practice listening and carrying out instructions, as well as working on fine motor skills. Then, kids can use their imagination to create something with the finished product. Here is all you need for this activity:

  • large mixing bowl
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of cooking oil (we used Canola)
  • 1 1/2 cups of salt
  • food coloring (we used red and blue to make purple)
  • glitter

Instructions can be found here http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/no-bake-play-dough/ OR you can watch the video:

I hope you enjoy some of our favorite things and build memories with your children! Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

-Lis

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