Homemade play dough dyed with Jell-O packets (off brand or dollar store).
Homemade stress balls using homemade play dough (cooled) & balloons.
Hula hoop obstacle (like a tire obstacle) using different sized hula hoops.
Assign everyone a different colored object (marble, bead, pom, etc.). Whenever you hear one of your kids fill someone’s emotional bucket with kindness, put the appropriate color in a jar designated for them. Have a special activity planned for whoever fills their jar first. Make it harder to earn throughout the summer to inspire creativity.
Dye rice assorted colors using food coloring and water. Use Inside Out as your inspiration and talk about the different feelings we might have when spending so much time together. Ask them to decide which feeling they are ready to work on and give them a baggie (or small container from the dollar store) with that color rice as a reminder.
Shaving cream art using poster paint dripped onto shaving cream. Run a toothpick, fork, kabob stick (the wooden ones, not a sharp metal one) though the paint. Lay paper over the paint and gently tap, then remove and scrape off the shaving cream with a straight edged item/tool (like a spackle knife).
Make homemade bubbles and dye them different colors.
Grow an avocado or other food item that is passed its prime instead of throwing it out.
Go to a fruit orchard in Augusta or Marthasville instead of a huge commercial operation. The kids can have more freedom to run and play safely, without hypervigilance. (Centennial Farms; Theirbach) In Marthasville there is a family owned pizza parlor where the kids can sign the wall.
Ride the Katy Trail and make up a story as you ride. Each person must contribute a new piece of the storyline.
Zoo scavenger hunt. Rarely are all the animals out on the same day, so they must try to find one they did not see the previous visit.
Backyard obstacle course using items from the pool: jump over pool noodles, bean bag toss into diving rings, who can shoot their water gun the furthers, toss water splasher balls into beach buckets, and partner to move a beach ball a set distance without using hands or feet (they really have to talk to each other and problem solve this one).
Roll the Dice. Assign each number an action, then roll the dice. They must do the action associated with that number until the one who rolled the dice says stop. Up the challenge by adding more dice.
Left, Right, Center Shuffle. Circle = forward. Star = backward. They must move in the direction rolled. Start with one dice and add one dice at a time to up the challenge.
Have your child select a white flower and select a dye that matches the emotion they struggle with most. Every time they feel that emotion they put a drop of dye in the water. Talk about how the flower did not change at first but over time the dye overtook the flower, a drop at a time.
Jessica is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Registered Play Therapist who works with women and children to address attachment breach and the effects of traumatic life experiences. Jessica is passionate about help others. This includes providing tools that can be used at home to support parents in their journey to raise healthy, joyful children. Jessica also strives to provide content that helps parents know they are not alone in the often challenging road called parenthood. Jessica's experience also includes helping women and children who have been marginalized obtain resources they need to healthy and supported in their community. To learn more about Jessica's counseling practice go to www.comeasyouarecounseling.net.
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