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summerWhen you are entertaining families and youngsters will be included in the guest list, think about preparing some activities for them in advance. That way, when they arrive, there are  fun things to do to keep them occupied and entertained.

The activities do not need to involve a lot of time and expense. If there will be older children attending, make sure to get them involved as well. Involve your own children in the prep work. They can roll silverware in napkins, create place cards, decorate a welcome sign, put flowers into bowls or vases and serve as the welcome committee.

Here are a few ideas of things to keep kids entertained outside when the weather is nice:

• Place a big blanket out in the yard and put out a selection of toys. The littler ones especially enjoy it.

• Break the kids up into groups and send them on scavenger hunts. This can be done indoors or out. Create a specific list for each group with six to 10 items on each list. You could include things like a blue shoe, a spoon, a book, a flower blossom, etc. This works especially well with children of mixed ages.

• Turn them loose on the sidewalk with a bucket of sidewalk chalk and let them each create a masterpiece.

• Make a big batch of bubbles and let them blow until the air is filled with bubbles. Guaranteed to delight both young and old alike. (Mix 1 part Dawn regular dish soap, 10 parts water, and 1/4 part white Karo Syrup. )

• Give each child a sheet of plain white paper, have plenty of crayons or markers available and then let them each choose a slip of paper on which has been written an animal body part. Each child will then draw their body part – but of their favorite animal. When they are all done, have them try to assemble all the pictures into one animal. They might have something like a hippo-cat-phant-rocerus.

• Create a backyard obstacle course using stepping stones, a low bench, hoops, boxes and string.

Whatever you decide to do when entertaining youngsters, keep it fun and simple. Even some of the “big” kids will want to get involved!

If you have kid-friendly entertaining ideas to share, please post them here.

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