If you have been reading my posts, you know about our summer time rules for our house. This year, I have decided to devote one day out of the week to not saying no to my children.  Hold on! Hold on! Just listen.  Our kids hear the word no more than any other word. I like to think that I use it for safety reasons but sometimes (or more than sometimes) it's because I just don't want to do what they are asking.  I'm either tired, or working or (AUGH) I'm trolling social media.  Then, of course, sometimes, I just don't want to watch another episode of Clifford or play one more game of Go Fish. This summer, if 52 games of Go Fish is what it takes to make my 5 year old's day, if when my kids are in their  30s and say, "Mom, remember that summer when you didn't tell us 'no'?", then it is totally worth it.   

There are some rules for No, No Day. 

  1. The request can not be dangerous.  No direct safety violations.  No running around naked, or jumping of the roof.
  2. No breaking the Law.  That included our house laws and...well...government laws too.  No all day long TV (unless a prescheduled marathon is in place). No refusing to do chores. No punching, kicking, biting, etc. 
  3. The activity must be FREE.  Yes!  I mean, come on!  Can you imagine some of the requests that you would get if you didn't say no? Just don't have the time or the extra funds to head tot he beach once a week, or Disney, or Kennywood, or where ever these munchkins feel we should go.  PLUS, this isn't about spoiling the kids.  This is about spending time with them on their terms and making memories.

So let's talk FREE.  Your free things to do will be different from city to city but I tried to keep this generic.  However, if you are interested in finding free things to do where you live, Google: Free things to do in ______.  Everyone loves free and I guarantee you will find something.  (We are going to assume that you have items in and around your house already.  Please do not think you have to go and buy everything on the list)

Free Stuff to Do With Your Kids.

  1. Have a picnic (inside or outside) This doesn't have to be elaborate.  You don't even need a picnic basket.  A blanket and some food and you are golden.
  2. Make a crazy meal. Have breakfast for lunch, dinner for breakfast, dessert for dinner.  Do something crazy.
  3. Bubbles
  4. Chalk.  We chalk the crap out of our sidewalks.  Drives my dad crazy when he comes over.  Takes away from the 'curb appeal. Personally, I think it looks awesome. 
  5. Bike riding
  6. Hiking
  7. Geocaching. Don't forget a pen! (We already paid the one time fee of $10.00 for the app.  I know! $10.00!! but it has been worth it.  We have used it in every city we have been too.  We are HORRIBLE at Geocaching, but it's still fun.)
  8. Kickball
  9. Catch baseball/softball
  10. Go tot the Park
  11. Take a nature walk (Make a scavenger hunt)
  12. Make a fort
  13. Swimming
  14. Campfire
  15. Camp out in the yard
  16. Read
  17. Put on a play
  18. Write a story or play
  19. Dance
  20. Listen to music. We love our weekly Dinner with a musician.  We head to the library and pick a random CD and learn everything we can about that musician or band. 
  21. Sprinkler
  22. Take care of a garden
  23. Visit relatives
  24. Race paper boats
  25. Find a creek to wade in
  26. Find cool places to visit on a map and research information.
  27. Visit a fire station
  28. Wash the car or bikes
  29. Make cookies/cupcakes
  30. Kid's workshop at a local craft store or hardware store (Lowes/Home Depot)
  31. Game day! Play board games
  32. Wii (gaming console) tournament
  33. Build a card house
  34. Build with blocks
  35. Arts and crafts
  36. Out door festival
  37. Free concert
  38. Movie in the park. 
  39. Quick road trip to a local attraction or new town
  40. Take a walking tour of a city. (Geocache while you are there.  Don't forget a pen)
  41. Catch fireflies
  42. Make an obstacle course
  43. Check out free art
  44. Collect bugs
  45. Have a yard sale
  46. Create a comic book
  47. Science experiments
  48. Fly a kite
  49. Play all those cool games when you were little.  
    1. Hula hoop
    2. Mimi- clapsy (rhyme with a ball)
    3. Jump rope
    4. Chinese jump rope
    5. Wall ball
    6. Butt ball
  50. Learn sign language
  51. Star gaze
  52. Play store/work with money
  53. Race paper airplanes
  54. Scrap book (We call it our book of awesomeness)
  55. Take photos (Follow my kids on Instagram SprinkleTheCity for a kid inspired summer)
  56. Create a puzzle or maze
  57. Find a pen pal (make sure they are legit!)
  58. Trivia
  59. Dress up
  60. Learn a hobby (juggling, sewing, painting)
  61. Start a collection
  62. Go fishing
  63. Frisbee golf
  64. Rock garden
  65. Make a sundial
  66. Talent show
  67. Watch a parade
  68. Make dinner
  69. Switch family roles. 
  70. Walk the dog(s)

This list could go on and on.  We are from Pittsburgh and our city offers lots of fun and free (or almost free) activities to try.  

The biggest thing to remember is our children aren't little adults.  The have a hard time sitting still and staying on task.  They will whine and cry and fight with each other (and you).  They have good days and bad days, just like adults do.  Summer is usullay a little tough on the nerves becuase we aren't used to being with them ALL. DAY. LONG.  For one day out of the week, think like a kid.  Think back to your childhood  and what you parents used to say 'no' to and then, do it with the kids.  Hey, take a picture of you doing it and send it to your parents! 

The problem is as we become adults, our imagination seems to plummet.  I'm not talking Pinterest imagination,  I mean that imagination that kept us busy from dawn to dusk when we were little. It gets harder and harder to be a kid, for grown ups who are in the work place but also for this generation of kids We are caught up in social media, technology, video games, the computer and ourselves.  In this day and age, I am not comfortable letting my kids roam free like we did when we were little, so to make sure they have the same experience, I'll roam with them.. Not only is this a great opportunity to bond with your children, but a chance to be a kid again.  Try it. Make it you goal this summer to laugh more, play more and do more with your kids.