In Memphis, the weather likes to tease us a little bit. It’s a little warm, then it cools off, warm again, snowstorm … you get the picture. But around mid-June and early July, Memphis weather settles into its sweltering heat and stifling humidity for the summer.
The kids are out of school – well, some weren’t in school to begin with – and it’s hot. So here are a few fun indoor activities (without screens!) to keep your kids busy. And the best part? Each one costs little to no money. Yay!
Bass Pro Scavenger Hunt
My kids love, love, love this activity. We’ve only done it once, and they talk about it all the time. The idea is simple: make a list of things to look for, and head downtown to Bass Pro on the river. The facility really is gorgeous inside – lots of things for kids to look at … and look for. I’ve included a simple list of things here, but if your kids like it, you can do it several times with new lists.
Favorite Things Poster
Grab a poster board and some scissors and glue; it’s time to do an art project. You can use a plain poster board or tape a couple of them together and have your child lay down so you can trace their outline. Once you have your canvas, have your child fill it up with pictures of their favorite things. If you have magazines to cut up, great! If not, you can print pictures off and let them color them, cut them, and paste them on. Work on it for a few hours, and have your child present it at dinner that evening.
Travel Around the House
Go on a vacation around your home by turn each room into a new destination. Pick cities that mean something to you and designate four or five rooms in your house as those cities. Decorate as much as or as little as you’d like by putting your city memorabilia in that room and creating a “Welcome to [City of your Choice]!” sign. In each room, you can put a list of five fun facts about that city so as your children travel to each city, they can learn about it.
Some ideas for creating your cities:
- Memphis: Gather all your U of M or Grizzlies memorabilia. And, of course, if you have a room with Memphis in May posters (like so many Memphians do), well, that’s your Memphis room! Play some blues and watch Blue Hawaii!
- Destin: Create Destin or any beach town by using blankets to delineate sand and water. Use blocks to build a “sand” castle, and serve your kids’ favorite beach treat.
- St. Louis: I know from experience that a pool noodle wrapped in aluminum foil looks JUST like the arch.
- Louisville: Gather your toy horses and your T-ball sets and learn about the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville slugger.
- Washington, D.C.: Grab an American flag and create your own D.C. room. Activities here could be signing the Declaration of Independence or going in a “voting booth” to vote.
- New York: Serve some thin crust pizza and watch a Broadway show on Netflix. It would also be fun to grab a flashlight and a sheet for a toga, and dress your child up like the Statue of Liberty.
Classic Color Sort
A classic color sort never gets old, and it’s great for younger kids to learn their colors! If you have a bunch of plastic balls, you can label paper bags with colors and have your children sort them. Or, get a few baskets of toys and have your children sort those by color. Then, the super-advanced version is labeling five or six rooms in your house with a color. Then, take about 10 toys of each color and mix and match them within those rooms. Have your kids race to get all of the green toys in the green room, and blue toys in the blue room, etc.
Sometimes, you just need to get the kids out of the house … but when it’s 97 degrees, it feels a lot better in the car’s air conditioning. Maybe time for an alphabet ride? Just start driving and have your kids spy objects with each letter of the alphabet in order. The first child might see an airplane, then a blue house, then a car, then a dog … you get the picture. When your children get all the way through the alphabet, you can reward them with their favorite treat! Ice cream, anyone?
Have other fun indoor activities to do with your kids in and around Memphis? Please share by dropping a comment on this blog. Inquiring moms want to know!