Tween Summertime Fun

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Finding activities to keep your middle-schoolers busy during the summer can be challenging.  They are at that weird in-between stage when they’re too old to go to camp, but too young for a summer job.

Here’s a few free ideas to keep your kids busy this season.

1. Take your kids to the local animal shelter to volunteer. It’s a great way to teach your children about giving back, plus it’s a full-fun day for them cleaning, feeding, walking and playing with the pups and kitties.

2. Encourage your kids to go old school and write a pen and paper letter to friends they haven’t spoken to in awhile. My daughter used to love sending and receiving snail mail from her old camp friends. She’d spend hours writing and decorating the letters. Then peek inside the mailbox every day looking for her responses.

3. Are your kids crafty? How about allowing your kids to go through the old boxes of their photographs. Task them to review the 100’s of digital shots you have loaded onto the computer and let them print their favorite. Then go to the scrapbooking store to get supplies and create a fun new family photo album.

4. Plant a butterfly garden in your backyard. Find a sunny location (5-6 hours each day) but sheltered from the winds.  Plant milkweed to attract Monarch butterflies, Painted Lady’s like Zinnia’s and Tiger Swallowtail’s love Joe Pye Weed. To find out more about which butterflies live in your area and the plants they love click here.

5.  One of my favorite summertime activities with my younger daughter has always been baking. It’s a very relaxing collaborative mom and kid activity with yummy results. However, if your child is lactose intolerant this can be tricky. Fortunately, So Delicious, provides a fab line of dairy free products and a lots of great recipes.