Cool activities for the hot summer months

The summer months are the perfect time to reacquaint or even introduce children to the great outdoors. Nature offers an ideal setting for kids to learn and have fun. Try incorporating the natural world into your play activities through these easy, affordable ideas:

Fairy Houses

Encourage kids to use their imaginations by creating fairy houses from found objects.

Start by instructing the children to pick up materials in the yard, such as rocks, sticks, bark and other natural items. After they’ve created a pile of items to build their house, direct the kids to begin building their home – it can be a traditional A-frame shape or they can be creative and build a completely different style of structure.

Prompt conversation among the kids by asking why they chose the items they selected and the style of building they constructed. Why did you use twigs for yours? What made you build multiple rooms?

Ask the kids who they imagine living in the dwelling. Will a magical creature like a fairy live here? Will an animal, such as a squirrel or mouse, call this home? What makes you think that?

(Credit: Red Ted Art)

DIY Bird Feeder

Using basic materials, kids can make bird feeders to attract interesting wildlife. This craft from MessyLittleMonster.com is fun and easy.

What you will need: Cardboard tube (like a clean toilet roll), peanut butter, birdseed, string, scissors*, bamboo skewers, popsicle sticks

*Only adults should use the scissors

1) Using the scissors, the adults should create a small set of holes at the top of each toilet roll tube.

2) Instruct the kids to take the string and thread it through the two holes and tie it in place. The string will be for hanging the bird feeder.

3) Assist the kids in creating a small set of holes towards the bottom of the toilet roll tube. Push the bamboo skewer through to make a resting perch. Here’s where the birds will stand!

4) Direct the children to use the popsicle stick to spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the paper tube. Immediately after applying the peanut butter, the kids should roll the tube in the bird seeds and make sure to press more bird seeds if they miss any spots!

5) You can now hang up the birdfeeders outside in an area where birds usually gather. Next, wait for the birds to visit!

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