- Science is fun: check out the website for National Geographic Kids:
- Draw on the sidewalk with chalk. No chalk? You can 'write' with a paintbrush and water.
- Or if you're up for a messy project, make some Ice Chalk: A day before your activity, mix equal parts cornstarch and water, plus food coloring. Freeze in ice cube trays, then take it outside to create masterpiece art.... Definitely a time for clothing that's washable-- or swimsuits-- but easy to spray off when you're done:
- Have a picnic, whether in a park or your own back yard. Let the little ones help pick the menu, get everything ready, and clean up afterward.
- For any age: write letters to friends and mail them. Yes, letters: write something on paper, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it. We've forgotten how fun it is to get something personal in the mail.
- So what if you're not vacationing somewhere exotic? Send a postcard from your hometown to someone who lives far away, or even someone who doesn't. Postcards are usually sold close to greeting cards and can often be found in drugstores---and they cost a little less postage, too-regular mail is 46c for a stamp, postcards cost 33c for a stamp. That stamp will get your mail anywhere in the continental U.S.: from Minnesota to California, Maine, Texas, New York, and anywhere in between.
- Hide some treasures in the yard and see if the younger ones can find them.
- Free bowling is available at these bowling centers:
FREE STUFF ALERT:
The Walker Art Center is free the first Saturday of each month and all Thursday evenings
The Minnesota History Center is free Tuesday nights from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
The Minnesota Children's Museum is free the third Sunday of every month
The Minnesota Institute of Arts is free all the time
Theatres at Mall of America offers free movies on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m.
Muller Family Theaters offer free movies Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.
Teens and Up:
- Try building something. If you like, build some kind of a machine that does something. Otherwise, try a birdhouse or a storage box. Perhaps the world's largest something out of Legos.
- Take an idea from elementary schools and make a Flat Stanley. Mail him somewhere and ask the person to take a picture with Flat Stanley, send you the picture, and then send Stanley on to someone else who will then take a picture with him. Ask that they send the pictures to your phone or post them on Facebook. See how far he travels!
Cut out a person something like this, about the size of whole sheet of paper. Fold him so he fits in your envelope and send him on his way to adventure......
- The Coon Rapids Dam holds free concerts all summer: http://www.ci.coon-rapids.mn.us/GeneralInfo/SummerConcerts.htm
- Learn something new, or get better at something: What about photography? Do you know all the features of your camera? Can you take pictures in the dark? Can you make videos? Maybe you could post something on YouTube and become famous.
- Collect pop tabs from cans, bag them up, and drop them off at McDonald's--they take the money from recycling them and give it to the Ronald McDonald House in your area.
- Do you know how to use PowerPoint? Teach yourself, have a friend teach you, or get a book about it from the library. Make a slide show---your life? A song you like? A made-up story?
- Ask at a local senior center if they would like someone to teach basic computer skills, as well as how to use Facebook to connect with people who live far away. *Note--a Senior Center is a place for people to drop in for activities and socializing. It's different than a nursing home. Many communities have senior centers-check with your city offices if you aren't sure where the closest one is.
- Check out a park close to you: is it in need of cleaning up? Grab some garbage bags and get it done!
- Do you have a band? See if someone would like to have you play at their party for free---it may lead to paying gigs. Have someone take pictures or a video of it.
- Start a donation drive----new or like-new books for kids (they must have no notes or damage in them), as an example. Post your plan at Facebook so all your friends can help. Tell them what you're collecting and how to get the items to you. Donate the books to Head Start, Ronald McDonald House, a shelter, or somewhere else that can use them. This can be for a limited time or an ongoing project: every time you have 50 b0oks, let's say, you deliver them somewhere.
an archway of books
- Or how about a penny drive? See how many you can collect, take them to a bank to exchange for paper, donate the money to a cause you are interested in.
- Another idea is to collect new makeup and hair products for women and donate them to a womens' shelter; often they have left their homes with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. *remember to keep cosmetic items in a cool place in the summer months to avoid them melting.
- Start a blog. It can be about anything, including your experiences, your observations, a hobby, or a volunteer effort in which you have become interested. Be sure to write in it on a regular basis. If you aren't sure of your writing skills, have someone who is a good writer check it over before you publish. A blog can also be valuable to refer to on a college application, when appropriate.
- Make up your own Summer Olympics, picking the competitions and the 'medals.' You can medal in Hopscotch or Weirdest Hair Color.
Have Fun, and Be Safe!