Stephanie Peterson with The Utah Mama’s Handbook shares fun activities to do with your family during the month of June.
Take a half hour to sit down with your calendar and plan what great June activities you want to participate in. You don’t have to do it all, but pick things that you think your family will enjoy.
Week of June 1st- 6th
Craft: Garden Markers
If you haven’t already make markers for your garden, this is a great project to let the kids help with. For ideas on how to make garden markers check out Make and Takes
Read Fishing Books
Adventures with Jonny: Let’s Go Fishing by Michael DiLorenzo; Wishing I Was Fishing by Eva Wells; Trout, Trout, Trout:! A Fish Chant by April Pulley Sayre; Granddad’s Fishing Buddy by by Mary Quigley and Stephane Jorisch.
June 6th: Free Fishing Day
If you’re looking for a fun activity that’s close to home and doesn’t cost much, mark June 6 on your calendar. You won’t need a fishing license to fish in the state that day. Make plans now to get out with your family and enjoy a free day of fishing. For ideas on where to fish check the Division of Wildlife Resource fishing guidebook.
Week of 7th- 13th
Family Summer Reading
Settle in a hammock or blanket on the lawn with a good family book. Start with a classic like Stuart Little or Harry Potter or ask your local librarian if there’s a new release to dig into.
Service Project: Lemonade Stand
Let the kids earn money for a favorite charity by having a lemonade stand.
• Choose a Cause- help your kids decide where to donate their cash.
• Attract a Crowd- Put flyers at the neighbors’ front doors. Make bright eye-catching signs.
Craft: Hiking Sticks
This is an easy and fun project to get the kids excited about hiking. All you need is a variety of colorful electrical tape, scissors, and some feathers. After you’ve collected the sticks, add the tape and feathers in whatever design is appealing. They look so cool and the kids love using them.
June 13th: Take a Hike
Hiking is one of the most popular and enjoyed outdoor activities for all ages. Children love the outdoors and they love to be active. Hiking provides a great deal of quality time with your children and also a wonderful place to teach them to love, enjoy and respect nature. Here are a couple tips to keep it fun:
• Start out with short hikes and slowly build up their conditioning and endurance. Hike are supposed to be fun, not forced and upsetting. Don’t expect them to go as far or as fast as you can. Five miles for any child is the maximum.
• Make sure they have the proper footwear. This is as important for them as it is for you. Nylon liner socks and a heavier sock are also a must to avoid getting blister.
• Leave plenty of time for your hike. Be prepared to stop often. Kids love to touch everything they see. Plan hikes near boulder fields, waterfalls, streams and other attractions to keep them interested and to build their anticipation. Take time to identify things along the way. Look for wildlife. Teach your children to explore and touch…not to destroy or collect. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures for their scrapbook.
• Teach them good outdoor ethics and to respect nature and other people. Stay on the trail and don’t allow them to take shortcuts. No yelling or loud noises. Don’t throw rocks or break tree branches. Don’t pick flowers or write on rocks. No running on the trails. Respect other hikers space. No littering. Remember–pack in, pack out.
• Keep kids away from steep cliffs and other drop off areas. Watch them closely when climbing on rocks and around water.
• Bring plenty of water and snacks.
• Don’t forget the first aid kit for those unexpected accidents.
• Infants can be carried in a baby backpack.
• Engage your child’s mind and body. Make the hike fun. Sing songs. Identify items. Play games such as I Spy, twenty questions or cloud pictures etc. Have a scavenger hunt. See if your kids can find a red leaf, acorn, pine cone, berry, feather, curved stick, caterpillar,, ladybug, ant and dandelion.
If you’re not sure where to go you can check out www.utah.com for a list of hikes in your area.
Week of June 14th- 20th
Craft: Fathers Day Gift- Mini Tackle Box
Make Dad a little tackle box to keep his hooks and lures organized.
Mini plastic case with compartments
Foam letters spelling dad
Blue and green foam or under the sea foam stickers
Black permanent marker
Cut water out of blue foam and fish out of green foam. Glue on the lid of a small plastic organizer. Use black marker to make eyes on the fish and draw a fishing line. Glue on the letters “DAD”.
Read Books about Dads
Gather your little ones around and read these fun titles. My Dad, by Anthony Browne; A Perfect Father’s Day, by Eve bunting; and You Are My I love You, by Maryann Cusimano.
Family Fun Night: Hold a Backyard Campout
There’s no better place for the first summer camping trip. Test drive your camping equipment in the backyard. Build a fire in the pit and cook up some tin foil dinners. Camping is not camping without marshmallows and s’mores cooked over a campfire.
Here’s a list of fun activities for the rest of the night.
• Storytelling. Make up your own or read short stories from a collection. If they can take it, a few ghost stories can add to the exictement.
• Singing ’round the campfire. Corny as it may sound, it’s still fun, especially if you sing group-oriented songs.
• A nature walk with flashlights, either in your yard or in your neighborhood.
• Stargazing. Tilt your head heavenward or lie on the ground and gaze at those bright lights in the sky.
Week of June 21st- 27th
Kids love bugs, help them learn and explore by building a worm farm together. For instructions on how to build a worm farm look here. http://science.preschoolrock.com/index.php/Preschool_Entomology/preschool_insect_activities–building_a_worm_farm
Lady bugs are another bug that kids are attracted to. You can buy 5000 at any nursery and have your kids release them in your garden.
Read Bug Books
These are great titles that teach as well as engage. I Love Bugs by Philemon Sturges and Shari Halpern; Bugs (I love) by Steve Parker; Bee & Me by Elle J. Mcguinness and Heather Brown; Diary of a Fly by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss.
Game of the Month: Splash Tag or Flashlight Tag
Take a good old fashioned game and add a twist. Who doesn’t love tag, plus a little exercise never hurt anybody.
You’ll need a big soft sponge, like the kind you use to wash the car, and buckets of water. One person is to be “IT”. “IT” tries to tag running players with a wet sponge. Once tagged, that person becomes the new it. No denying who’s been tagged… The wet mark on their back is a dead give away!
Party of the Month: Summer Solstice- June 26th
Welcome in summer with a party designed around lawn games. Make dinner easy with shish kebabs, corn and a fresh salad. Set up croquet, badminton, and bocce ball and let the games begin.
Week of June 28th-30th
Family Cooking: Orange -Banana Smoothie Pops
Your kids will love helping you make these chilly treats.
Puree one 7-ounce container Greek yogurt, 2/3 c thawed orange juice concentrate, 2 large bananas, and zest of 1 lime plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice in a blender. Pour into small paper cups with Popsicle sticks. Freeze until smoothie pops are solid, about 4 hours. Peel away paper and Enjoy!
Journaling for the Month
You probably have a huge pile of your child’s artwork from the year taking up space. While eating your Smoothie Pops have your child tell you about any drawings that need to be labeled, take pictures of his artwork to make into a book and toss the rest or use for one of these projects.
• Laminate art at a copy or print shop to use as place mats or bookmarks.
• Buy a blank craft calendar and add a piece of artwork each month to make a unique Christmas gift for a relative.
• Store the favorites in a portfolio your child makes using a pizza box that you let them decorate (your local pizza parlor may donate a new one to you).
• Scan your child’s work into your computer to print out your own note cards. Don’t forget to put the artist’s name and title on the back of the card.
• Devise a rotating art gallery. Each relative interested in participating gets to have a piece of art for a month, then it rotates to the next recipient.
Mama’s Helpful Tip:
The two words a mom dreads to hear when school’s out is “I’m Bored”. To help remedy the situation, have you and your kids sit down and come up with ideas of things they can do when they become bored. Put all the ideas in a jar and your ready to go.
Utah Mama’s provides personal, professional and parenting resources designed to foster a greater sense of identity, empowerment and connection for women and mothers everywhere. The Handbook covers what, where and how to be the best Mama in town by collecting all the top Mama secrets. From community services and school information, to places to do and things to see-it’s a book packed with information that is compiled into 25+ in-depth chapters.
To order your Utah Mama’s Handbook, and for other great mothering information and advice, visit www.UtahMama.com.