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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. I love the TP roll bowling idea! My son loves bowling on the Wii, but again, that would involve turning on the TV. Maybe I’ll dig through the garbage today to start a collection and skip buying him a toy bowling set like I’d planned for his birthday.

  2. We ‘try” to schedule EVERYTHING around here for the simple reason if we didn’t the TV would be on WAY more than it needs to be—or even the computer for that reason. I have 3 children–12,13,16,18–the 3 younger are boys! VERY active boys. We are so blessed to have a nice yard and we just put up a pool, but still, they would choose to play on their techno devices first! So, general rule of thumb around here is NO computer before 4 PM, TV is ok until 9, and if you don;t want to play with the things you own, we can certainly donate them the charity! Of course, I know they don;t play with ALL their things over the summer as much as the cold days of wonter, but it really is very important for them to interact with humans!
    I also have the luxury of being a stay at home mom—a rare luxury these days! So *I* need to plan to do things with them as well–we have an inexpensive croquet set, I can mange 3 bikes in the back of the van (if someone is busy with something else to stay home!), paddle ball with 69 cent paddles we found at Sally’s (Salvation Army around here!, and not to mention WALKS!! Also, on super hot afternoons or rainy days, we have Scrabble wars, play Harry Potter Clue, Monopoly, Risk, to name a few longer games! We’ll make popcorn, have coffee together–yes, I allow the kids to drink coffee! it’s something we share :0)! Well, thanks for a few reminders of some other things we can *do*!

  3. Thank you for providing such wonderful activities. Our children need outside play for strengthening muscles to sit and stand with and for developing balance as well as sensory motor skills which tell us where our bodies are in space. Its critical from an occupational therapist’s viewpoint to also provide activities to promote hand development. Unfortunately our technical advances (video games, WII, etc) don’t provide ways to develop the small muscles of the hands for writing. So please keep posting such good suggestions! You can make a HUGE difference in alot of children.

  4. 3 summers ago we decided to stop watching tv (for the kids. we still watch some, but not with them) It was one of the best decisions we ever made. The kids didn’t think so at first, but we resolved to be diligent with it. It also helped with less selfishness and calmed them down too.

  5. This summer, I’ve made sure to schedule enough activity so that even if we have some down time, there’s not enough down time for the kids to turn on the tv. It’s really helped. Some days, we’ve had the tv on all day, but those are a rare treat rather than the norm.
    Whenever my son says he’s bored, I tell him to scrub the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. He ALWAYS finds something else to do!

  6. Building tents and forts with blankets is a favorite activity at our house! We weren’t able to get outside much for the winter and very wet spring so we’ve done most of the things on your list. Now that the weather is warm and sunny my kids are outside most of the time (Yeah for me!!). So I made a similar list last month only most of my activities are for OUTSIDE. We’re having a great time this summer working through the list. I’ve only heard “I’m bored” once so far! 🙂

  7. My daughters are grown women now, but you brought back fun memories of making ice cream in a bag, playing dress up and acting out scenes from Cinderella and Little Women, and playing grocery store or restaurant was a favorite, too, with Monopoly money and empty food packages/boxes.
    We always planned a Christmas craft for Christmas in July, usually an ornament that we looked forward to placing on the tree when the Christmas season finally came.
    They grow up fast!

  8. We used to love to go to Goodwill and buy cheap prom dresses and other things to wear as costumes-provided hours of play.
    My kids also loved painting with water on a hot day (just a big paintbrush dipped in water.) They’d paint the sidewalk or even the house. Sidewalk chalk is fun too.
    We also did lots of old fashioned stuff–sewing cards for little hands and real (simple) sewing projects as my daughter got older. We’d bake cookies and give half the recipe away. The kids loved the excitement of surprising people with yummy gifts!

  9. What a wonderful list! I think I will make a point to do all 20 with my 5 kiddies this summer! We’re having a good ole playdate/sleepover tonight! Sleeping bags, movies, popcorn, make your own pizza! So much fun!

  10. This was a great post. Thanks for the ideas. I’ve already started planning our summer this will definitely help finish it.

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