A few years ago in a thrift store aisle, a friend and I dreamed up the idea of a Summer Treasure Box to add some spontaneity and extra fun to our days with our kids.
The basic idea was to choose a special, out of the ordinary activity to do with your children once a week. It need not be expensive or time-consuming, just something simple to get you to spend quality time together.
Here’s how it works – once you’ve landed on an activity, put a clue for that activity in a “Treasure Box.” The Treasure Box can be a shoe box, a picnic basket, or any old box that you decorate together. Hide the Treasure Box somewhere to surprise your kids – either place it at the breakfast table the night before, or develop a tradition of hiding it somewhere around your house.
Here are a few ideas for your Summer Treasure Box:
- Make your own lemonade…from actual lemons
- Spread shaving cream on the kitchen table and make tracks through it with plastic animals, small toy cars, or even combs
- Make paper bag puppets and put on a puppet show
- Gather a variety of supplies and make kites, then see if they’ll fly
- Put a new twist on sidewalk chalk and provide a bowl of water and large paintbrushes to use with the chalk
- Ice blocking – you can often find these ice blocks at gas stations
- Hike together and fill a vase with wildflowers (or even anything in nature…beautiful arrangements can be made from sticks and branches)
- Grab a flashlight, turn off the lights, and make shadow puppets
- Find a special tray to hold meat, cheese, crackers, and fruit, and have a picnic beneath a tree
- Go on a bug hunt around the yard and capture, photograph, or draw what you find
- Purchase a few new sand toys, or repurpose items in your home as sand toys, and go to the beach
- Go for a rock walk and bring along an ice cube tray to display the special rocks you find
- Make a massive blanket fort and read together inside it
- Choose a movie from the library and make popcorn to transform a rainy day into a movie day
- Purchase a new game from the thrift store (or find an old one in your closet) and play it together on a blanket outside
- Bubbles. More bubbles.
- Explore a new park together, one that you’ve never visited before.
- Use toy cars and a few two-by-fours or cookie sheets to experiment with ramps and angles on your front steps
- Give your kids bowls of ice cream and instead of spoons, give them other utensils to use for eating such as spatulas, serving spatulas, wooden spoons, and tongs
- Make nature prints – grab a few items from around the yard, paint them, then press them onto a paper to see what shape or texture they make
I can’t wait for summer to arrive to begin my Summer Treasure Box. In fact, I’m so excited I may even start early! Will you join me? Comment with your ideas, photos of your Summer Treasure Box, or stories of activities you did with your kids.