3 Favorite Sibling or Solo Summer Activities

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Our family finally has a break from packing lunches, getting the kids dressed, and rushing to school to beat the traffic and make it on time for drop-off AND pick-up. But, if you’re like me, summer brings on another kind of challenge: multiple kids at home.

My two oldest will still be in preschool and summer camp three days a week, so all three kids will be home twice a week. When they’re all home, I surprisingly feel like I have more solid blocks of work time because they entertain each other (between the quarrels), and our almost-2-year-old LOVES being around her big brothers. Even though they can spend hours building LEGOs by themselves, I try to encourage group activities throughout their day. Note: These activities are great for solo kiddos, too.

Here are some of our favorite sibling activities that involves typical household items:

  1. Basket Toss
    Telling my kids they can throw things is like giving them candy. Throwing balls or small toys in a laundry basket is a great outdoor activity they can ALL do to get some fresh air. If we need to stay inside, using stuffed animals or rolled-up socks is perfect. Benefits: hand-eye coordination practice, teamwork, shifting eye focus (we emphasize shifting eye focus a lot in our household because our kids are often intensely focused on the intricate designs of their tiny LEGOs).
  2. The Great Toy Dump
    Having toys everywhere drives me nuts. Especially when I’m working from home (usually at the kitchen counter or couch); having toys scatted is like a messy desk space. I find myself constantly picking up toys, or reminding them to clean up. But that’s no fun for anyone, and I believe kids can learn so much from chaos. When I realize they collectively need to switch things up, we have a great.big.toy.dump party. This means emptying an entire toy basket, gathering every single stuffed animal they own, or dumping an entire LEGO drawer on the living room rug. They LOVE the madness. After the excitement dust settles, I sometimes encourage them to sort the various items, make a toy parade, try to build something with every single LEGO piece. 
  3. Water Play
    If you don’t have a water table, no problem. We passed our seven-year-old water table down to a family with a new kiddo, but all of our kids still love some good water play. So, we use what we do have on hand: plastic storage bins, Tupperware, and all the plastic, kitchen utensils, and battery-free toys they want. Bonus: the toys get a good cleaning. I’m not a fan of “water blasters” at our home, so sometimes our water play includes spray bottles. These still have the same effect, without the violent imagery. I also usually keep the nozzle setting on spray or mist, instead of jet stream. I got these colorful little spray bottles in a pack of three on Amazon, linked here (affiliate link).
Toy dump in progress, while I was able to catch up with a friend. Bonus: If you’re at a restaurant, mini animal figures are great purse toys to keep kids occupied. I Iove this set (affiliate link) that includes a fence and plenty to disperse in diaper bag, purse, stroller, car, etc. 

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After earning my Masters in Education, I started working in education technology and most recently found myself at a publishing company. I started working from home after the birth of our first child seven years ago. We now have three kids, ages 7, 4, and 2.