Sometimes, even our most creative and self-reliant kids, get bored during the summer break. Taking time to imagine and create is wonderful for growing brains, but there are moments when we need to light the fire of their imagination to help start the process. Here are a food ways to get the juices flowing!

Insect holder/magnifier

My four year old has an insect collector that looks like a watch with a stout little cylinder on the clock face. He calls it his “big watch”. This little toy has supplied hours of fun and up close—yet safe—insect observation. I’ve seen these in all shapes and sizes.

Bubble Science Kits

You can DIY these or buy them as a set in most stores that carry books or toys. Include different shape bubble wands (or parts to make their own wands), shallow containers to hold the bubble mix and a beverage dispenser’s worth of bubbles and you’ve got yourself loads of fun for individuals or parties. Stash all these things in a plastic tub and you’re set.

Ice Fun

When you’re up late one night, freeze some plastic dinosaurs or barnyard animals inside of a big block of ice. You can put anything (that can withstand freezing, of course) in there—a few silk flower leaves, pinecones you found in the yard, marbles, Legos, or other fun things. Set your kids up with the iceberg and some safe kitchen spoons and let them at it! They will cool off and spend a good deal of time (depending on the size of your iceberg) chiseling out the discoveries. You can kick this up a notch and match the items you freeze with a story your reading or other fun event.

Homemade Sprinklers

Encourage the big kids to raid the recycling bin and create their own sprinklers. Armed with duct tape and other resources from the garage, the kids will be able to design a number of ways to spray the water around. You can even add a cheap hose to the mix, as they tend to crack easily and provide soft mist.

Backyard Drive-In Movies

If you own a projector (or care to let the kids follow the online instructions to making their own smaller version), you can easily set up your own outdoor drive in movie. Hang a white sheet and you’re ready to enjoy a fun movie. Feel free to add s’mores for a viewing treat.

Summertime fun doesn’t have to be expensive or hard to create. Just gather a few items that you might already have around the house and set things up.

Lindsay Banton is a caffeinated mother to three great kids. She never expected to homeschool, but has found that it is a wonderful addition to their lifestyle and wouldn’t change it for the world. In addition to homeschooling, Lindsay works alongside her husband in campus ministry at a large university in Connecticut. She grew up in Virginia but has settled into life in New England, learning to love the long winters, cool springs, green summers and gorgeous autumns- and has built a boot collection to meet all the demands. She is currently blogging at

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