How many times have you driven past your local historic house without stopping in? Now is the time to visit all the local tourist attractions right in your community. Check with your Chamber of Commerce or tourist information center for a free list of local must-see spots. You’ll probably learn history and fun facts you never imagined. Take photos and make a scrapbook filled with local facts and legends that your child can share with her class after vacation.
Nursing Homes: Visit a nursing home and bring a stack of paintings your children made. Bring toys to a homeless shelter or deliver food to a food pantry. Kids will learn to help others and to not think only of themselves.
Local Library: Take out a week’s worth of story books, videos and books on tape and have a marathon. Kids can start a book club with a few friends. Make a reading log to keep track of all the books they’ve read.
Make stuff at home: Help your child cut a window out of an old TV or refrigerator box and hang a curtain. Then decorate it and paint on a name like “Zoe’s Puppet Theater Playhouse.” Create puppets out of old socks or use ready-made ones. Leave them in a basket near the theatre for spontaneous puppet shows when the mood strikes.
Sometimes, just hanging out together is the best. A nice walk, a bike ride or a long meal around the table are the times that make a difference in a kid’s life.