Family Life

The Duggars’ Favorite Summer Activities for Kids

posted: 08/12/13
by: Michelle Duggar


Photo: DCL

Question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What are some inexpensive ways to keep the kids occupied in the summer?

In our home, we do our schoolwork through the summer because we like to take our longer breaks in the spring and the fall. We'll spend the early part of the day homeschooling, and save play time for the afternoons when it cools off outside. They work hard and it's a great motivation to finish everything on the checklist.

Sometimes we'll go outside, turn on the sprinklers and fill up the little pool under the shade tree and have some nice, cool outdoor fun. The kids recently brought out the Slip 'N Slide which is always a favorite, too.

The kids like to make their own special snacks for the summer. James loves to make popsicles with a kit we got him for his birthday. We also got him a hot air popcorn popper; it was on a clearance sale for $3. You would think it was the best thing ever! He is my chef right now. He'll come up with recipes and each one of the siblings can place an order for their favorite. For the popsicles, he might freeze bananas and strawberries, blend them up and freeze them in the popsicle holders. You'll hear his little popcorn machine going, and then he's handing out the popsicles that he has concocted.

Also, the kids love to have their own picnics in the backyard. I'll opt out on what I had planned for lunch and let them plan their picnic (with a little guidance from me). I want them to have something fairly healthy so I'll help them cut up apples and some of their favorites like pickles and green beans with vinegar. I might make up some macaroni and cheese, or something simple like that, and let them serve themselves with their little cups and bowls. When the sun is really hot, they'll take a sheet and make a fort with all of the lawn furniture or set up under a large shady tree so they're not sweltering. And they are just as happy as can be because it's all their idea!

The rule is once you're finished, you bring everything back in and put it where it belongs - sheets in the dirty clothes hamper, all the dishes in the sink and no leftovers in the backyard.

The picnic takes a good two, maybe two-and-a-half hours for them from start to finish. And I'm happy with that. It's a good way to spend their time and a special treat on hot summer days.

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