School’s Out For Summer…Now What? [Part 2]

12 Things to Do at Home and Around Town For FREE [Or Almost Free]:

School’s out for summer, and now that you have that song stuck in your head, you’ve got to find something to distract yourself…and your kids! (You’re welcome, in advance.)
Did you totally miss Part 1? Fear not. Click here.

1. Camp in your backyard!
Don’t forget the bug spray! And the s’more fixings, because: s’mores. #staycation

2. Make a fort inside.
Whatever age you are, this is a fun one. Make sure you’ve got some snacks and some good books to read. Want to make a more serious version than the traditional blanket, pillow and chairs-fort? Check out this awesome DIY indoor-fort.

3. Go on a scavenger hunt!
Make a list and split up into groups! This could be a fun thing to do at a public park. Be sure to equip each team with a way to photograph/capture the items on their list! Here’s a sample list to use.

4. Get your library card and start checking out books to your heart’s content!
Libraries have air conditioning. And that fantastical piles-of-books smell. Need I say more?

5. Make popsicles!
Get some fruit from a local farmer (hit up the Thursday night or Saturday night farmer’s markets!), bake/roast it or blend it up raw, and pour it into popsicle molds! Just be sure to start making them in the morning, since you’ll definitely want these by 2pm when the heat peaks!

6. Write letters to grandparents or far-away relatives
The long-lost form of letter-writing doesn’t have to stay that way. Help your kiddos with their penmanship, creative writing and social skills all while under the guise of sending Grandma a nice note. Be sure to leave some room for a drawing, or enclose a photo! This is also a great opportunity for them to learn how to address and stamp an envelope.

7. Learn origami
Get out the paper and start looking up easy origami folds / patterns here.
The quietness that ensues will be utterly worth it. But be prepared to hop in and help out on some of the trickier folds. Our favorite? The paper crane of course. (Don’t have origami paper? Get it here. Or: try some dollar-bill folding!)

8. Bring your dog to the dogpark!
Ol’ Fido is getting restless, and fetch in your yard just isn’t enough. Time for some socialization! Head to a dog park in Visalia or nearby, and watch as dogs “say hello,” chase each other, bark at each other and do other doggy things.

9. Draw portraits of each other
You could even try a one-line drawing, where you don’t pick up your pen/pencil. Or, try using different mediums! (We recommend starting with pencils. Pencils that have really big erasers…)

10. Picnic!
Head to the grocery store, pick up some yummy cheeses, meats, fruit and some French bread (or whatever your kiddos like to eat). Don’t forget water and a blanket! There are tons of local parks in the area. To find one near you, click here.

11. Go for a walk or bike ride
During the scorching summertime, this activity is probably best relegated to the hours of 6:30-9:30am and 5-8pm. Be sure to wear bright clothing if it’s dark out, and wear a helmet if you’re biking! Walking is especially fun if there’s a cold treat on the other end of the walk / ride. (ice cream, frozen yogurt, slushie, etc.)

12. Try cooking a new food for dinner
This one can be fun for everyone! Narrow it down to a type of food (pasta, casserole, personal pizzas, new ethnic recipe) and look for highly-rated recipes online. Go to the grocery store to grab ingredients, and cook it together as a family! Have adults handle the chopping / cutting but ask children to sort items into prep bowls for easy cooking.

And there you have it! Twelve things you can easily do at home or around town that hardly cost anything at all. Just remember: your children will remember the time that you spent with them and the experiences you share.


Have something you love to do during the summer, but don’t see it on the list? Let us know in the comments!


Speaking of experiences you share with your children, we’d love if you joined our Christian community at Central Valley Christian Schools! Start your application for CVC today! We’re happy to serve pre-K through 12th grades, and to create an educational Christian community for our families that values academic excellence in every way. Interested in a private tour? Just ask! | 559-734-2684

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Paper cranes at CVCInterview with Karl Rosenberger