Without school to keep the kids occupied, there's a great temptation to vegetate in front of the television all day. Here are 10 tips to get your kids out of the house and away from the television and create tech-free experiences.
1. Organize a scavenger hunt. Offer the kids a small prize for the first one back with all the items on the list. Then celebrate with treats for all.
2. Go on a nature hike. Take along a field guide from the library and make a list of the various bird, tree or plant species that you find.
3. Pack a cooler full of cold drinks, grab a good book and go to a quiet corner of the yard or park to read aloud. Let the kids lie in the grass with their eyes closed and pretend to be one of the characters in the story.
4. Take a break, on an especially hot day, to visit an air-conditioned museum.
5. Ride bikes or scooters. If your kids are old enough, be adventurous enough to hop on a two-wheeler yourself. If not, put the young ones in a stroller or on trikes and let the older ones ride on ahead.
6. Make a pilgrimage. Locate a church or Marian shrine to visit. Spend a few moments taking in the peaceful atmosphere. Say the Rosary or Stations of the Cross while you're there.
7. Splash! Bring out the wading pool, squirt guns and water balloons, and join your kids in refreshing soak.
8. Go sight-seeing. Plan a short car trip to an area you've never seen before, even if it's just another part of the city or town in which you live.
9. Picnic with a friend. Arrange a simple, impromptu picnic at a park with a friend you've been meaning to see. Let the kids play while you catch up on what's happening in each other's lives.
10. Camp out in the backyard. If you've got a real tent, pitch it. If not, make your own with a couple of old sheets or blankets and a clothesline. Pretend you're living out in the wildness for the day.
For more summer fun tips, check out the Office of Family Life's online resource here.