We hate the words and are out of ideas. Pinterest? Sure, but 15 minutes later I have lots of ideas, no real plan and someone (including me) is either frustrated, crying, fighting, or has completely lost interest in the proposed “project.”
Having fun, quick activities prepared at a moment’s notice can be an overwhelming task. With a little collective effort, creativity, and planning you can assemble a collection of ready-to-roll “ACTIVITY KITS.” These have been a big part of our summer fun for years and our kids love it. Now that they are older, they help with the selection and preparations.
1. Select a group leader.
This person will coordinate efforts to prevent duplication of activities. The group leader will compile a list that identifies the participating families, how many boys and girls per family, and the total number of children participating.
2. Determine the ages and number of children who will participate.*
You can plan for similar age groups or for a wide variety of ages. Older children will simply exercise more creative license for a project targeting younger children. Likewise, younger children will adapt or create to their level of ability when a project is geared for the older children. When the focus remains on the process rather than the product, most children will naturally adapt with guidance.
3. Get creative! Select 1 Activity Per Participating Child
- These could be baking kits, science projects, crafts, story-telling activities, indoor or outdoor games…anything!!!! When age appropriate, include children in brainstorming ideas to determine their areas of interest. The activities can be simple or elaborate…it’s up to you. Resources: Google, Pinterest, Family Fun Magazine, Science for Kids books.
- If you are receiving kits for 3 children, then you will plan and duplicate 3 activities based on the number of participating children.
4. Email activity selection to your group leader.
Activities are first come first serve basis so email your group leader before purchasing. This avoids duplicates.
5. Stock your Household Basic Supply Kit:
Glue, Paint, Paintbrushes, Markers, Crayons, and Scissors.
6. Plan and purchase.
- Each activity kit should include ALL materials needed to complete the activity.
- Only one instruction sheet with specific directions and/or photos is needed per family.
- Highlight any materials from the “Basic Supply Kit” and household items, like a kitchen bowl or hammer that every household has “at their fingertips,” on the front instruction sheet.
- You are creating one kit for each participating child. If you have 12 children in your group, then you are purchasing materials for the activity to be duplicated 12 times. If you have 24 children in the group, then materials for 24 kits are purchased. If an item can be shared among family members, only one needs to be included for each family.
7. Divide and Package
- Divide the materials for each activity proportionate for the number of children in each family. When helpful, pre-measure and individually package supplies. Gallon Ziploc bags work great and are easy to store.
- Label the kit using the family’s last name.
8. Set a Time and Place to Swap Kits
Have a party! Bring a laundry basket or box to carry your kits home.
We have 10 children total in the group. I have 3 children. I choose three activities: making play-dough, Minute to Win-It games, and Jack and the Beanstalk Story with planting activity.
- Play-dough: I will supply the materials for 10 children to make an individual batch of play dough. Each family will receive a kit per child.
- Minute to Win It Games: The finished product will be 4 family kits, with adequate supplies for each game based on the family size.
- Jack and the Beanstalk Story and Planting Activity: I will include one copy of the story for each family then package 10 planting kits to distribute based on the number of children.
Family Name Number of Children
Family A 3 2 boys, 1 girl
Family B 2 2 boys
Family C 1 1 girl
Family D 4 2 boys, 2 girls
Total Kits: 10
*Note on selecting activities for multiple ages: If participating children will be between 3 and 10 years old and you are responsible for 2 activities, select one appropriate for 3-5 yrs. and another for 6-10 yrs. If you are making more than 2 kits, then you choose the age group for the remaining activities. Not every activity will fit “perfectly” for every age, but that’s okay.