My family lives in a part of the country where most schools are already over for the year and the temperatures are soaring. Summer has officially arrived. Some days are perfect for getting outdoors and playing to our hearts' content. Other days are too sweltering to be out there. We want to have fun, not risk a heat stroke. I tend to get all errands and outdoor play completeted early. Then, it's indoors for more playtime and perhaps a movie. I like to have things on hand for both indoor and outdoor fun. I use two separate containers for these purposes. You could use beach totes, reusable grocery bags or anything that will suit your space and needs. Obviously, if you have a huge supply, you need a larger container. I look for things all year long so that I'm not scrambling for things to do at the last moment.
**1** Bubbles, giant bubble wands, inexpensive bubble machines
**2** Sidewalk chalk. Little ones just like drawing, big ones can get quite artistic
**3** Water sprinkler
**4** Frisbee, ball, outdoor gaming toys
**7** Bug inspection kits
**8** Buckets, shovels
**10** Water bottles
**11** Empty dishwashing detergent bottles and spray bottles for water fights
**1** Markers, crayons
**2** Coloring books, puzzle books, sketch pads
**3** Jigsaw puzzles
**4** Tiny games from kiddie meals
**5** Play Doh
**6** Tub toys (yes, for the middle of the day. Why not?)
**8** Board games
**9** Glue, construction paper, popsicle sticks,etc
**10** Stickers for the little ones
**11** Movie (think clearance, yard sale)
You probably have quite a bit of these things already on hand. So did I. The key is to make it feel summertime special. I looked through my secret stash for the kiddie meal toys. I rotated out some of the little toys and games from storage. I picked up the rest for a very small amount of money at those Dollar Bins at the front of many stores. Some things were just 'leftovers.' For some reason there is just something funny about putting together a Christmas jigsaw puzzle when it's 95 degrees outside. It was a leftover from a kids holiday gift basket I made last year.
It doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to have variety and presented in a fashion that lets your wee ones feel like it is special. Perhaps it's something you use every day or maybe it's something you pull out on days when the kids are bored. Your kids will think you are awesome.