13 Fun things I did with my kids when they were little:
1. Ate dinner at the park.
There was a favorite park of ours and during the summer we often packed up the car with food and headed to the park to eat it. Sometimes we cooked our food there, in the BBQ's the park provided. It was relaxing and fun. The kids would play on the big toy while adults set it up. We would eat our dinner and then go walk around the little lake and sometimes up the hill and down again. Then the kids would play on the big toy while I read or visited with my husband or a friend that often joined us with her kids.
2. Played charades.
I know this seems like an old game that has gone out of style, but we loved it. The kids enjoyed acting out the words and we all enjoyed trying to guess the answer. It was fun and educational for all of us.
3. Went to the beach. (ocean).
At least once every summer and once every fall we would travel to the ocean beaches and picnic and play. We always built a fire, roasted hot dogs and ate them with chips and fruit and then made s'mores. We would take kites and fly them or just walk on the beach and look for shells and rocks.
4. Movie night.
The girls went to their dad's house every weekend. The boys and I would cuddle up on Friday night and watch a movie or television show together. If they lasted through that, I would read to them and then carry them to their beds or sometimes just cover them up and leave them in the living room.
5. Skate park.
The boys all got into skating. The older ones had skateboards and Jeren had rollerblades. We would go to the skatepark and they would practice skills. It was always fun and enjoyable and I enjoyed watching their progress.
We used to go to the waterfront here in town. The sidewalk went on forever. I would walk while they skated or skateboarded. We would go out on the fishing dock and watch the people fishing. We usually did this at sunset so we could see the sun set.
7. Went to visit my friend in New Hazelton, B. C.
Ruthie lives on 83 acres. Her house runs on twelve volt batteries. (Nine of them). Her fridge is a box over a creek. Her husband gave the boys some saplings, nails, clear plastic and told them to build a fort. They built a two story fort in the woods. It was a fun trip for all of us. I don't have the picture of the fort scanned into my computer, yet.
8. Took them to Barkerville, B. C.
The first time we went to Barkerville it was free admission. The second time we paid 10 dollars(family rate) for a two day visit. We camped nearby. This is a fun place to visit. It is an old restored mining town with authentic buildings. The residents dress in the style of the period and re-enact little bits of mining town life. You can go in some of the buildings and only look in others. There is a stagecoach that provides rides and also a horse drawn wagon. There are lots of things to look at and plenty of souveneirs. We thoroughly enjoyed it both times.
9. Hiking, climbing and hanging out on Mount Rainier.
We used to go up to the mountain and take some of the day hikes. Sometimes we went to Paradise and sometimes we went to Sunrise. Either way there were plenty of trails and sights to see and a nice, scenic drive to get there.
10. Park hopping with Susan and her kids.
My friend Susan and I and our kids had several favorite parks that we visited in the summer. These visits usually included lunch or sometimes dinner. One of the parks was actually a school yard with a play area that the kids called the castle. It was quite a structure. They called it "Castle Park". We let them. It was win/win for all of us. The kids always had fun playing with each other and using the park equipment and toys. Susan and I got to visit uninterrupted while they played.
11. Building forts in the house.
Ahhh yes! The fun of a fort in the living room or a bedroom. Sometimes my boys would build forts in the bedrooms that would take up the whole room. Blankets hung from closet doors and dresser drawers, cardboard boxes to crawl through, blocks to hold things down. Yes, it was messy, but it was sooooooooooooooo much fun. I still can hear the question, "MOM! wanna come see our fort?"
12. Rubber bands.
What a cheap toy. I would buy two or three big bags of rubber bands from the office supply store. They would make rubber band balls, rubber band ropes, rubber band shooters. One time they stretched a rubber band rope from our doorknob to Grandma's doorknob across the street. One time they made a huge "slingshot" and used it to send the basketballs flying across the yard.
Cheap fun for boys!
I took my kids to the library once a week, minus one or two along the way. We all looked forward to library day. We spent at least an hour there, just enjoying the library. They learned to look things up on the computer as soon as they could read. They all checked out books on their own library card. They got library cards as soon as they could scribble their "name". Jeren got his at two and a half. He was very proud of that library card. I still have it in his baby book. They had to carry whatever they checked out. I had to make the rule in order to keep some of them from taking the entire library home. haha. We had a special place in the house for the library books so that they didn't get mixed up with our books. We also checked out videos. One or two per child. (With five boys it got out of hand otherwise.)