There are plenty of fun summertime activities to do with your kids outdoors in the Lowcountry. But what about rainy days or those times when it's just too darn hot to play outside? How do parents keep their children busy on those days?
How about a little craft time? Carolyn Leslie, toddler teacher at E.C. Montessori & Grade School in Beaufort and mom to 3- and 4-year-old boys, offered a few creative ways to entertain the little ones and keep them learning over the summer. She said these activities are great for small children because they encourage imaginative play, strengthen motor skills, provide sensorial experiences, and can even promote pre-writing and pre-reading skills.
If you have a bottle, just fill it with the rice or other materials, close it up and -- voila! -- you have an instant noisemaker. For toilet paper rolls, you'll need to cover the ends with something to keep the pieces inside. Tape comes in handy here. If you have a couple of empty coffee cans around the house, let your child turn them into a set of drums.
Leslie's sons, Isaac and Aaron, have created instruments at home and at school.
"They just love to make noise," she said.
Leslie said this is a great sensorial experience for kids because it gives them an opportunity to use most of their senses at once -- they get to see, smell and feel the shaving cream. She said sensorial experiences are important for toddlers and playing with the shaving cream is a good pre-writing lesson. Children can practice writing letters or making shapes with their fingers in the cream.
And if you just can't stand to be inside your home another minute but it's pouring rain (or whatever the case may be), check out what these venues have to offer:
Details: 843-842-7645, www.thesandbox.org
Details: 843-689-6767, www.coastaldiscovery.org
RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY
AMF Main Street Lanes on Hilton Head and AMF Ribaut Lanes in Beaufort are offering free bowling for children ages 16 and younger.
Parents can sign up at the bowling alley or online to receive coupons via email. The coupons are good for two free games a day for each child and may be used until 8 p.m. daily until Sept. 5. Shoe rental is not included.
Details: 843-681-7750, www.amf.com/mainstreetlanes, Hilton Head; 843-524-3111, Beaufort
There are several kid-friendly events at the various branches of the Beaufort County Public Library. Here are a few of the highlights:
Details: 843-255-6430, www.beaufortcountylibrary.org
Details: 843-815-5439, www.booksaliciousbookstore.com
Details: 843-757-2600, www.thestorybookshoppe.com
Details: 843-342-3801, www.southeastcinemas.com
ENJOY THE ARTS
ARTworks, Beaufort, Rick Hubbard show with music, comedy and free kazoos, doors open at 7 p.m., show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays from June 28 to Aug. 2; $5 for kids, $10 for adults.
Puppeteer Hobey Ford, "World Tales," 6 p.m. Wednesday, free.
Details: 843-379-2787, www.beaufortcountyarts.com