Ideas come from curiosity
— Walt Disney

So it might be a tad unbelievable to some of you reading this but I have a confession to make. I hate doing projects with my kids. There is a really rare moment where I actually get an idea in my head and go for it. I love my kids but I hate art projects and stuff because I hate cleanup! Cleanup is the worst and I know I will be in charge of it so it prevents me from doing anything on the spur of the moment. I have to plan it out first and give myself ample time for anything. That being said, when the days are too hot around here and I can't just kick my kids outside, we have to resort to other things. That means projects. Ugh.  

1. Science experiments

There is one exception to my above stated confession. I love love love science experiments! I will go bonkers over a cool experiment any day. I think it has something to do with my science background at school but you know- these are just fun! A few years ago I started this with my kids and we may only get around to doing one or two per summer but it's cool. We have a lab book that keeps photos of our experiments and lists the hypothesis "guesses" and results. We can look back on them every year and try new things we haven't done before. Most of the materials you need are stuff you have at home anyways so it is usually fairly inexpensive. You can borrow some great books from the library to get ideas. There are tons of kids science experiments books to choose from. Ask a friend to come over and it adds to the fun.

2. Cooking experiments

Ok by this I really mean- let your kids help you cook the regular meals. My kids don't have a great attention span for cooking and I am a weirdo when it comes to getting things looking right so I have my things I allow them to do and things I don't. Now that my son is a little older I can have him pouring things and measuring. Both my kids love to crack eggs. Sometimes I have to go fishing for shells but it's not that bad. HA! My daughter loves to grate cheese and stir things. There are tons of ways to get them involved. It keeps them busy and even though it may take you a tad longer to actually make dinner it is something you can enjoy together. Life skills are always good to teach! Buy a small apron and they will be set.  

3. Art projects

The dreaded art projects. Like I mentioned before I hate the cleanup but they do look like a lot of fun. I have mastered some ways to make cleanup really easy and so I will give you my tips. I NEVER use glitter or glue. No matter what I do I can't get that stuff out of things for DAYS. Now, if you don't mind it then go for it! For painting I always use washable paints and I sit a brown paper bag down the center and unfold it for a nice placemat. I cut the bottom off the bag so it stays out of the way an I tape the bag to the table. I tell the kids to not go over their paper but if they do go over or through the sheets I am giving them the bag is protecting my table. Then all I have to do is pick up and bag and throw it away. And now that my kids are older I give them the task of washing out the paint cups and the brushes. I check them to make sure they are good before letting them dry on a paper towel and voila! So done. Not too bad.  

4. Movie marathon

If you know my family at all, you know that we love love love movies. We have quite a collection at home and some days when its really hot and we can't go outside we will pick movies to watch all day. My kids love taking turns picking the movie of their choice and I make popcorn for snacking on throughout the day. Don't forget the candy! (Ok I don't actually buy candy for these events because we do them all too often to warrant that. But, every now and then it can be a nice treat!) The best part is that if one child doesn't want to watch a particular movie they just play on their own for a while. I get a nice calm day. Sometimes they even let me pick a movie! I feel so special...yeah right. 

5. Dance-a-thon

To be honest this is not something I am often seeing my son participate in but when he does it is a family event for sure (minus daddy because he for sure will not dance!). We play our music very loud (sorry neighbors!) and we just dance until we are tired. This is a great way to let off steam when you cannot get outside to play.

6. Flash Light Fridays

Ok I know this is six things but I couldn't leave this one out. A bonus activity if you will! I cannot take credit of this activity but I honestly cannot even remember where I heard it. Probably on Pinterest! HA! The way it works is you make a fort or a comfy place that can be in the "dark" and you give your kids a flashlight, a few books and some rules. There will be no talking (unless it's about the book you are reading) and you will read for one hour. This gives me some much needed time to myself or to get some work done for my business. I have yet to actually try this but I can't wait. I hope to do this at least once per day so I can have some me-time daily. Otherwise, I won't get anything done! 

I hope you find these useful and I hope you decide to implement some of them into your summer. They are fun and relatively easy to accomplish. I know for me anyways. I am always looking for some great new things to try! Please leave a comment below with your favorite indoor activity to beat the heat. And as always if you want me to spend the day with you and capture these kinds of memories to last forever, please let me know! Contact me today to schedule your everyday-lifestyle session! I love it!

Much love,

Heather

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Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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