So much to do, so much time! We know that summer break can sometimes feel like an overwhelming (and expensive) adventure and then other times we wonder where the time went. Our staff at 211info Family has compiled a sample affordable activity schedule, with many ideas that could last you the rest of summer. Are these a good fit for your family?
7:30 am Morning Routine: Make bed, get dressed, brush teeth!
8:00 am Breakfast: Make a healthy affordable meal with help from this recipe site from OSU
9:00 am: ACTIVITY!
Craft Time at Home
Use an app like Vroom for activity ideas at home.
Practice inspiration and maybe make a little mess with an activity like Painting to Music
Tip: Collect free newspapers to spread out and keep your floors clean(ish) and make cleanup easier!
Visit your nearest library for children’s story time and summer reading programs. While you’re there, check out books to read at home. Summer is a great time to boost your child’s literacy skills!*
Scavenger hunt in a natural area near your home! Make a list of things for your kids to find and collect (yellow flower, circular rock, fern leaf, stick that looks like a fork, etc). Take small items home to use for an activity later in the day. Find parks near you: Portland Metro, North Clackamas, Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec, or Oregon State Parks.
Visit a local farmer’s market to get groceries for meals or snacks. Encourage your child to ask farmers questions! Munch on free samples provided by the vendors. Markets participating in the Fresh Exchange Program will match a certain amount of SNAP benefits spent to increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables you may purchase. This link provides a map of the participating Markets!
Tip: Don’t forget healthy snacks. Hungry or sugary meltdowns* are no fun for anyone.
At some point while the kids are busy, find the closest FREE LUNCH AND ACTIVITIES at a park, school, or community center near you.
All children are welcome, no application or proof of income is required. In addition to free food for kids 1 to 18, sites often have activities, games, or crafts available. Enjoy your time outside!
Tip: Did you pick a site with a Splash Pad? Don’t forget towels!
11:00 am Walk/travel to the summer meal site!
12:00 pm Free Lunch and Activities at the Park
Lunch at home! Food Hero has ideas for even picky eaters.*
You can print a placemat-style worksheet from stORytime Oregon!
Check out storytimeoregon.com for more support for early literacy.
Ask your child to draw or build a sculpture of the place you went earlier. Older kids can journal.
2:00 pm Nap* or Quiet Time: This is a great time for older kids to read books from the Library Summer Reading Program.
3:30 pm Snack: Smoothies are a great option for a cool quick energy boost! You just need a blender and a couple of ingredients.
4:00 pm ACTIVITY: Chores
If you finish early...
Create an ice collage with the scavenger hunt items you found earlier this morning.
Pick out a recipe for dinner: Go through your fridge or cupboards together and see what ingredients you have: naming things in the house is good brain exercise. Brainstorm a list of their favorite ingredients or see how many foods they remember from the grocery store or farmers market.
Activity of their choice!
5:00 pm Make Dinner: Have kids help find a healthy recipe to make or cook. There are some awesome recipes by kids from First Lady Michelle Obama’s Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.
6:30 pm FAMILY ACTIVITY
Watch a FREE Concert or Movie in the Park in the City of Portland , North Clackamas, or Tualatin Hills.
Bring a blanket or pillow in case someone gets sleepy, cold, or needs a place to take a time-out.*
Tip: Invite other families or adults and you can help watch the kids together.
Dress-up dance party at home! Having a small costume box with cheap accessories or hand-me-downs encourages imaginative play, keeps kids occupied, and makes for great photos!
Read out loud! Kids who are read to will want to learn to read themselves and on average have a larger vocabulary when they start school.
Tell the story of your day! Encourage your child to remember and share what happened during their day. It will help them remember the good parts and process through challenges.*
BEDTIME! What’s your routine?* Do you have things you say every night? A kiss, a hug, “butterfly kisses,” nose rubs, three minutes of back scratches?
*Picky eaters, meltdowns, building routines, helping around the house, assessing literacy and learning differences... We can help you brainstorm solutions at 211info Family!
How to reach a Early Childhood and Family Services specialist:
DIAL 211, ext. 5
TEXT the keyword children to 898211