With summer right around the corner, I have rounded up a few of our favorite indoor activities we enjoy doing while we brave the 100+ temperatures.
I am not going to lie, I think summer in Arizona with kids is so challenging! My kids want to be outdoors all the time and with this weather, it’s hard to oblige.
I love AZ sunsets and the fact that we have a beautiful weather (almost) year round, but if I could hibernate in the summer, I would.
So, given that I can’t do that, I try to keep my kids indoors as much as possible, where I know they will be cool and the possibility of a meltdown is slimmer. The problem is, I need to keep them entertained without media for as much as I possibly can. So, on the days when they don’t go to summer camp, I want to keep my kiddos engaged and entertained with fun activities.
- Board games: great activity to keep little ones busy. Here are some of our favorites:
Alphabet Bingo: great for ages 4+
It’s a great way for kids to practice their letters. In our case, it is also a great way to practice our letters in Spanish. My daughter calls the person picking out the letters “Bingo caller.” So when she and her Daddy are the “Bingo callers” they say the letters in English and when it’s my turn, I say them in Spanish. Win, win for this Mama!! Even little brother plays along with some help from us.
Jenga: great for ages 5+
We bought this game about a year ago and started playing it while my parents were in town. We had such a great time playing Jenga. This is great activity to practice motor skills. Last year after we enjoyed a Father’s Day Brunch at home, we pulled out the Jenga so the grandparents and kids could play while Hubby and I did some cleaning.
My kids recently discovered Twister and Scrabble and will bring it out whenever we have friends over. Scrabble is another great game for my daughter to practice spelling!
- Projects: They make a fantastic ongoing activity. My kids love making experiments, learning about a science and doing art and crafts, so we try to make a few projects throughout the summer. Here are a few projects we’ve enjoyed the most:
Caterpillar Kit: We first bought this kit 2 years ago and it was such a fun activity. This activity was one of my daughter’s pick on her Summer Vision Board last year.The kit comes with a brochure that explains every stage the caterpillar goes through. Whenever we make this activity, we also add “The hungry Caterpillar” book and well as science books from the library to our bedtime routine to remind the kids of what the caterpillars will turn into. This is a great way to teach them patience and there is nothing better that letting the butterflies fly away! They were both so excited. now, ever spring, we order the caterpillar and use the same kit over and over.
Crayons Last year we made our own and the kids loved it, so we will definitely do it again. This time we might make enough to gift them as a party favor at my son’s birthday party.
Arts & crafts: My kids absolutely love art activities. This is kind of crazy, but we actually turned our coat closet into an arts and crafts closet to store all our supplies. This makes it easy for them to choose their activity. My children have an assigned craft table, which is usually covered with craft paper to keep the mess somewhat contained. Whenever we go to target or the dollar store, I stock up on supplies.
- Indoor Places
Scottsdale Public Library: We love going to the library! We’ve been going since my oldest was 6 months and we could attend their baby story time. We usually go there for story time and the library we go to has a café so we bring our lunch with us. Having lunch there works perfect us. Once we leave the library, we go home just in time for nap! I like to mix it up and try a new library from time to time so we experience new books and activities.
Phoenix Children’s Museum: I can’t say enough good things about this museum. It is my kids’ favorite. Hands down! We have always asked the grandparents to gift those experiences for their birthdays (Hanukkah/Christmas). We are lucky that they comply with our request so we have been members for a few years now. The secret is to get there as soon as they open, exhibits are not crowded then and the kids get to experience the museum before the summer camp craziness begins. We also bring our lunch with us and enjoy there before heading home.
Arizona Science Center This year since my children are a little bit older, we decided to purchase a membership. We are so excited to have another indoor activity option this summer. If you are not a member, be sure to check your library, since Arizona Science Center is part of Public Library Culture Pass and you can get 2 free tickets!
Lakeshore Learning Center Once a year we visit to buy a a few new educational games or activities to keep these two kiddos entertained. What I also love about this place is that they have centers throughout the store where kids can try out their toys and games. This not only helps me see what interests them, but allows us some play time. We probably spend about an hour there and if it were up to them, they would stay all day. To this day, they still play with the games we have purchased there (Alphabet Bingo, Magna-Tiles, puzzles, etc.).
We are always looking for new activities or places to explore! I would love to hear your favorite places to add them to our summer indoor activities.