It seems that God has always had us in “tight times” so we were always motivated to make the most of our situation and to enjoy the simple things.
Here are some things we have done that are very inexpensive or even free.
Play with Flour- Go outside with a cheap 5 lb. bag of flour.Sift it, pour it, mix it, throw it.
Sock wars- Save your old socks and roll each into a ball and throw them at each other
Run through the Sprinkler
Water balloons and guns
Mustard and Ketchup finger-painting – (to keep this from being messy, you can put a few squirts of mustard and ketchup in a baggie and seal it with tape and then press it around in the baggie)
Play dough – Just for fun or let children illustrate with play dough something from a story you just read
Goop (non toxic) –Mix 8 oz. of white glue and 6 oz. of water.Separately combine 1 tsp. of borax and half cup of water.Pour borax mixture into glue mixture and mix with hands until all liquid is absorbed and texture is smooth.
Lava pit–Take all the pillows in the house and place them around on the floor and you can only get from one place to another by stepping on a pillow.
Avalanche – Take all the pillows again and build a high tower, then take cover as it comes toppling down on everyone
Nature walk – Take a walk and discover some of God’s toys like Maple tree seeds or as we called them twirly bird seeds.
Build tents inside and out with sheets and blankets
Camp out in the backyard
Picnicking with cookie cutter peanut butter sandwiches in backyard or at a park or under a sheet draped over the kitchen table
Play with Cornstarch – Mix one part water with one-and-a-half to two parts cornstarch, adding a bit of food color for fun.It is like a thick liquid; you can sink your hand into the mixture slowly, but it will not give if you punch it quickly.
Rubber band guns – Nail a clothes pin to a stick of wood to make the gun and use rubber bands to knock down army men or whatever.
Create with masking tape – Use masking tape on the floor to make roads for cars or use it to make a pretend boat for you all to get in…just use your own imagination.
Popcorn in the backyard – If you have an electric popcorn popper, take it outside and place it on a sheet.Start it popping with no top on it and watch the popcorn fly.
Invent your own fun –Just recently our family invented a new twist to playing catch…every time we caught the ball, we had to say a movie quote.
Don’t be hesitant to make a mess.Sure there will be a lot of clean up, but you will be making memories together.Last year when my oldest son turned 30, he gave me a card for Mother’s Day with 30 reasons he was glad I was his mom; one was that I always let them make messes.
Don’t ever get too old to have fun as a family.Our children are all adults now but we still enjoy acting like kids.Jesus said that we must come to Him with the humility and faith of a little child (Luke 18:16-17, Matthew 18:1-4)…I think He wants us to approach all of life with the wonder and enjoyment of a little child.
Side Note: Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says to speak of God and His word as we go:
“And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are away on a journey, when you are lying down and when you are getting up again.“
Everything doesn’t have to be related to a Bible verse, but as you play with play dough you could share, “God tells us ‘work with your hands’ (I Thessalonians 4:11).”Or while discovering things on your nature walk you could say, “Think of the wonders of God” (Joel 2:25, Job 37:14, Psalm 40:15)
HAVE A FUN FILLED SUMMER!