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Creative Summer Fun (Frugal Fun Tip, June, 2002)

Shel Horowitz's Monthly Frugal Fun Tip for June, 2002, Vol. 6, No. 2

THIS MONTH'S TIP: Creative Summer Fun With Kids (third in our series on kid fun)

School's out and camp hasn't started yet--and the kids are already restless! If you're a parent, grandparent, babysitter, or teacher, this tip is especially for you: harness children's natural creativity to do amazing things.

A few among many examples.

On Rainy Days:
* Write and perform a play together
* Create a "serial story." One person tells the first part of the story, and then someone else picks it up, and then another person, until everyone has a turn (if the last person isn't ready to end the story, it can keep going).
* Start a found-object percussion marching band, using spoons and pots, jars of dry beans, pencils and cans, or whatever other unbreakable objects happen to be lying around
* Get everyone to act as if they were playing a character in a book--make it more interesting by using characters from different books in the same scene.

When the Weather's Nice
* Family bike ride with fantasy play
* Hike or nature walk
* Evolution games: find things in order going up the food chain from plankton to plants to small mammals to predators
* Bird-watching, animal spotting, and the like (bring binoculars--and don't forget easy- to-find animals like salamanders in my part of the country, or lizards in the southwest, and chipmunks anywhere).
* Swimming
* Berry picking
* Gardening (both my kids each have a small garden plot)
* Explore a cave together (give a safety lesson first)
* Visit an educational nature center, butterfly conservatory, unique zoo exhibit, etc.

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