I can get so focused on my own projects and household needs and the kids generally are so self-entertained that I found, after just the first week of summer, that we needed to have something specific to do with the kids that was 'fun'.... and also we needed to pick up the playroom at least once a day or I would go crazy. So we started a Summer Activity Jar. Alec and I came up with lots and lots of ideas of free and fun things to do together at home and wrote them on strips of paper and stuck them in a jar. Each day, as soon as the playroom was clean, each of the kids could pull out a slip and then vote on which activity to do. Alec put in "watch 2 movies" and "watch 4 shows" so most days they would get all excited and try really hard to pull one of those two out. (Once or twice I MAY have pre-pulled those out so they wouldn't even be an option)
Heres two pictures from the first week of summer that show how crazy the playroom can get after just an hour or so: Also, aren't those motor-home duplo creations awesome!? My older kids still love playing with duplos.
Painting with pudding:
Stomping in the rain:
Visiting the library's Summer Reading Program (Not specifically in the Summer Activity Jar, but still a fun activity we did this summer)
Making home-made Play-do:
Picking Blueberries: (Again not actually in the jar)
Make a volcano:
Paint with our feet:
Run through the sprinklers:
Make card towers: (not in the jar, but the kids LOVE to do this.. then they'll flip dominos or matchbox cars at one another's tower and see how many it takes to knock it all down)
Eventually the kids did pull the watch 2 movies and watch 4 show strips. They were in heaven.