Sunday, July 5, 2009

Summer Fun Ideas

With summer in full swing, you might be asking yourself, “What can I do with the kids today?”

Today Amy Bevins, Assistant Editor for Washington FAMILY Magazine, was on WUSA9 to share some ideas for places to go and things to do with your kids this summer.

Here are a few of her favorites?

This year, money is on everyone’s mind, so why not take the kids to see where money comes from. At the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, kids can see money being printed, stacked, cut and examined for defects.

And while you are in DC, be sure to check out the National Aquarium. It is tucked in the bottom of the Commerce Building and is home to over 200 different species including alligators, piranha and sharks. Her kids love exploring all it has to offer.

Looking for suggestions of things to do if you are looking to keep costs down this summer? There are so many low-cost or no-cost options in this area.

Amy suggests spending the summer going on a playground hunt. Whether you search out neighborhood parks, mall play places or regional playgrounds, involve the whole family in seeing how many new play places you can find. Try packing a picnic lunch once a week and having a playground adventure. You can even set up a rating scale for the playgrounds you visit and vote for your family favorites at the end of the summer.

Do you have kids fascinated by history, science or nature?

Here in the DC Metro area we have nineteen National Parks and Monuments that offer kids ages 6-14 the opportunity to earn a Junior Ranger Badge. At places like the C&O Canal, Manassas Battlefields, Great Falls National Park and the Korean War Memorial kids complete activities, games and projects that teach them more about the park or monument so they really get an in depth knowledge about the park.

If your kids are in to science or dinosaurs or just spending the day in the outdoors, they might love hunting for prehistoric sharks’ teeth. Amy’s family found dozens of sharks’ teeth at Purse State Park in Maryland. Both there and at the more well-known Calvert Cliffs, you can find sharks teeth and ray plates along the shore that are millions of years old.

If your kids are in to sports, we’re so lucky to have several options in this area. We have three minor league baseball teams in the Metro area where you can get all of the enjoyment of a ball game with a reduced price tag. We are also home to the Washington Glory, a women’s fast pitch softball team and Washington Freedom, the new professional women’s soccer team.

And what if, even with all these great things to do, your kids still hit you with the classic, “I’m bored!”

Amy suggests, “Let them be bored.” Set out a few puzzles, craft supplies or books and let them learn to entertain themselves. They may even surprise themselves with the creative things they come up with.

You can find more summer things to do and places to go on the Washington FAMILY Magazine web site Amy’s article, “50 Days of Summer Fun,” lists places to go and things to do.

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