300 Crafts for Kids in 2011 Is About So Much More Than Just Crafts  

Tired of winter? Tired of being inside the house with nothing new to do? Are your kids bouncing off the walls? Gummy Lump to the rescue with a NEW KIDS CRAFT practically every day! That’s right! This year you and your child can join GummyLump.com in making 300 easy kids crafts that will entertain your kids while helping them develop a wide variety of key skills!

As the Mom of two 3.5 year olds I am always looking for creative things to do with my children. More than that, I’m also looking for educational activities that will develop fine motor skills, increase self confidence, develop problem solving skills, express creativity, break the boredom, and allow us to more closely bond during one on one time. My answer came as a result of my New Year’s Resolution to my kids: to spend more quality time with them every day. How?
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Summer Activities For Kids – Fun Summer Things for Kids to Do

Summer is here and parents are spending time looking for fun activities to keep their kids active, busy and physically fit during their summer break from school. What parent hasn’t heard the phrase, “I’m so bored!” shortly after summer vacation begins? Some parents cannot afford to send their kids to expensive summer camps, and are needing ideas about fun, inexpensive and free activities for kids to do this summer.

Having raised six kids myself, I had to come up with some creative and unique summer activities for my kids, otherwise summer break from school would inevitably lead to boredom and fights amongst the kids.

One thing that worked very well with my kids was to have each of my children make a list of fun activities they wanted to do during their summer break, written on separate pieces of paper, and anytime one of my children said they were bored, out came the fishbowl filled with hundreds of ideas of things to do. I was surprised and happy to find several household chores were included on my kid’s list of things to do, which definitely made me feel quite proud of my children.

Sometimes we made a game out of deciding which activity one or more of the kids would do, either separately or as a group, which helped my children feel more in control and involved in the decision of what things they would do during their summer break. Beating summertime boredom can be challenging at times, but having kids do some brainstorming on their own not only helps build self-confidence and self-esteem in children, but it also teaches children how to come up with ideas and solutions to problems on their own.

Things for Kids to Do in the Summer:

In random order, with some activities being free or at least inexpensive, here are some ideas of things for kids to do in the summer to prevent or beat summertime boredom:

Bike riding Jump rope Basketball Soccer
Swimming Dancing Hopscotch Roller blade
Play board games Go to the zoo Go to a museum Play in the sprinkler
Make a lemonade stand Martial arts Create an obstacle course Draw or finger paint
Do puzzles Play card games Do Kids Crafts Play catch with a ball
Play Frisbee Plant a garden Play Cowboys and Indians Play Hide-and-Seek
Mow the lawn Rake and play in the leaves Write and act out a children’s play Get Family Friendly Theater Tickets!
Start a collection: rocks, feathers, colorful leaves Write a letter to grandma or grandpa Play with the pet in or outside the house Do brain-teasers or crossword puzzles
Make puppets and put on a show Do a good deed for an elderly neighbor Play with toy cars or dolls Run relay races
Learn to play a musical instrument Play with building blocks or Legos Play baseball Play charades
Plan a treasure hunt in the backyard Make homemade popsicles Make a fort with popsicle sticks Play tag or touch football
Go to a local or state park Get season tickets to Six Flags! Bake cookies with mom Read Books

With summertime weather typically being optimal for outside play, and believing that children spend too much time watching television, playing video games or being on the computer, I purposely did not list such things for kids to do during the summer. In order for kids to be active and physically fit, during summer or any other time of year, children need to do a variety of self-esteem activities that sitting in front of the t.v. or computer monitor will not provide.

Kids can have a lot of fun building something at The Home Depot and Lowe’s kid clubs, which is FREE to children of all ages. With each store’s kids’ club providing keepsake aprons, tools, safety goggles and kits to build things like birdhouses, bookshelves and wooden toys, children not only have a lot of fun but their self-esteem is improved too. Each time kids complete a project, children are given gift certificates of completion and patches to put on their aprons. Check with your local Home Depot or Lowe’s stores about their kids’ club schedule to ensure space is available for your child.

Do you have any more suggestions of fun things for kids to do in the summer? What summer activities for kids do you have planned for your own children?

Related Posts:

MORE Fun and Exciting Things For Kids and Families to Do During The Summer

Building Self-Confidence in Children with Self-Esteem Activities
Technology and Children: A Wake-Up Call For Parents
A Child’s Ten Commandments For Parents
Child Safety and Prevention: Jobs For Teens
The Lines That Divide Us: Surviving High School
Are You An Enabler? Identifying Early Warning Signs of Enabling Behaviors
Staying Connected to Your Teenager: How to Keep Them Talking to You and How to Hear What They’re Really Saying

Building Self-Confidence in Children with Self-Esteem Activities

When was the last time you yelled, screamed, criticized or punished your child? When did you last hug, encourage, praise or say “thank you” to your child? If these parenting behaviors were placed on a weight scale side-by-side, what would the results be in determining how you fare in building healthy self-esteem vs. low self-esteem in your children? What would your self-esteem look like if roles were reversed and you were the child being parented by someone just like you?

Parents may not think about or realize how their words and actions impact their children’s self-worth, their ability to feel good about themselves, and how it follows children well into adulthood. The overall independence, happiness and success of children depends largely on parents building healthy self-esteem in their children and teens.

Family communication research confirms that parents spend very little time actually communicating with their children, and when parents do speak to their child it is most often to complain, criticize or reprimand them for something they’ve done wrong. Studies show that younger children are often criticized and yelled at throughout the day, whereas older children and teens report receiving more encouragement and praise as they got older. Something is terribly wrong with that.

In a previous article, I talked about the importance of building self-esteem in children by considering how they view the world through their young eyes and ears, keeping in mind the importance of giving loving encouragement and genuine praise to children. Promoting self-confidence in children means that parents must evaluate and re-evaluate their parenting style, making needed changes and improvements in order for their children to grow up feeling loved, appreciated and wanted.

Young children tend to hear things like:

  • No!
  • Put that down!
  • Stop doing that!
  • Stop hitting your sister!
  • Don’t throw the ball in the house!
  • If you do that one more time I’m going to…!

Parents need to look for opportunities and situations to encourage and genuinely praise children when they are cooperating, being nice to their brother or sister, helping with household chores, following the rules or just being good, remembering not to expect perfection with each task.

  • I like the way you helped set the table for dinner.
  • Thank you for playing nicely with your sister/brother.
  • I appreciate how you picked up your toys and put them away.
  • I like the way you made your bed all by yourself.
  • Thank you for helping me fold the laundry.
  • I appreciate how well you behaved at the store today.

Promote self-confidence in children by teaching them positive Self-Talk. Psychologists have found that negative self-talk causes depression and anxiety in children, so it’s important to teach children to have pride in their abilities and accomplishments.

I can still remember when my children were about 3 years-old and trying to get them dressed for the day. My son didn’t want me to help him put his shirt on and said, “I can do it myself!” I allowed him to get dressed by himself, and even though he put the shirt on backwards, the smile on his face told me he felt good about his ability to do things without help.

Children need to be allowed to make age-appropriate choices and decisions, such as deciding what outfit they’ll wear or what they want to eat for breakfast or lunch, as well as helping with chores and responsibilities in the home, in order to learn how to deal with the consequences of their decisions.

  • Would you like to wear the blue outfit or the red one today?
  • Would you like peanut butter and jelly or a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch?
  • Would you like to clean the kitchen or clean the bathroom?
  • Would you like to mow the yard or sweep the sidewalk?
  • Would you like vegetable soup or chili for dinner tonight?

Children need to be given self-esteem activities in order to feel good about themselves. John is the father of two children, a 9 year-old daughter and an 11 year-old son. From the time his children were five years old, John and his wife began taking the children to homeless shelter’s over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to help feed and serve the homeless.

John’s kids are some of the most compassionate and empathetic children I’ve ever known, so much so that when a family vacation was being considered one year over the holidays, both children said they “need to help the people at the shelter’s” rather than go on vacation. The vacation trip was postponed and the children were thrilled in being allowed to contribute to the final decision.

Children also need to be shown proper discipline from their parents, along with parents setting limits regarding how they talk and behave. Undisciplined children cannot grow up with healthy self-esteem and tend to be more dependent upon others, feeling they have no control over their own lives. Children need emotional and physical protection provided through rules and limits in order to have high self-esteem. I’ll be dealing with the issue of giving proper discipline to children in an upcoming article.

When was the last time you had a real conversation with your child or teen where you truly felt connected? What are some things you recommend parents do to help build high self-esteem in children and teenagers? Do you have a question or personal story you would like to share about building self-confidence in children? If so, please leave a comment below.

Further Reading:

Books on Building Self-Confidence in Children and Teens
How to Build Self-Confidence in Children and Teens
A Child’s Ten Commandments For Parents