Today is the start of summer vacation for children in our neck of the woods. (My own children, on balanced calendar, have a week still to go. They're doing their best to keep a stiff upper lip about it.)
I thought a fun way to start the summer off -- before everyone resorts to their PlayStations and Wii consoles -- would be to give a list of our favorite summer toys. These ones are super-fun and don't require batteries!
Jump Ropes and Hula Hoops - great exercise!
Sports Balls - soccer, basketball, football are classic favorites
Baseball/T-ball Mitt, balls & tee - The backyard is a great place to teach the game.
Frisbees - A nice big field can make a game of Frisbee more athletic. Give yourself room to run.
Bubbles -- Giant bubble makers or bubble machines are really fun!
Magnifying glass and Bug catching container - for your little scientist
Big Wheels - There's nothing like that cool Big Wheel sound. We have our own neighborhood Big Wheel motorcycle gang -- the Ankle-biters.
Bikes - I remember whole summers where I only got off my bike to eat and sleep. We take family bike rides in the evening. They're a great way to cool off.
Roller Skates/Blades - Fisher-Price makes a great beginner skate that fits over a child's shoe.
Super-soaker - The key to a good water-fight is the element of surprise (and plenty of ammunition.)
Skateboard - Have plenty of band-aids on hand... and a helmet & pads don't hurt either.
Scooter - This is like skateboard, Jr. Still very fun.
Sidewalk chalk - Sometimes some quiet fun is in store. So keep a ready supply.
Beach Ball - A gentle alternative to hard core sports for little ones. There's something about how big it is that is extra fun.
Sprinkler - Splashy fun to cool you down (and water the lawn in the meantime...)
Inflatable Pool - Great for younger kids (and older ones when no one is looking.)
Baby carriage/Playhouse - Pretending to be a grown-up is so much more fun than actually being one.
Gardening tools & a place to dig - for the kid that likes to get dirty (what kid doesn't?)
Tonka Dump Truck or Loader - Rocks or a loose pile of dirt make these ten times more fun.
Shovels, Pails, and Sand toys - Oh... and some sand would be good.
Pinwheels & Kites - For those windy days. My kids put pinwheels on the front of their bikes, too.
Tennis Racket & balls - Summer is a great time to teach tennis. It gives Mom a workout as much as the kids.
Golf Clubs - You're never too young to learn, and trips with Dad to the driving range can be special time.
Many of these toys -- especially the sporting equipment -- may require that Mom or Dad do a little bit of teaching. But that's part of the fun.
So, get out there and have a great time. And if you have a favorite I've left off the list, add it in the comments! (And keep this list tacked to the fridge for when summer boredom strikes.)
Enjoy your summer break!
- Midwest Mom