Summer Activities for Your Kids

Summertime is almost upon us.  These words bring both excitement and terror to my mind when I hear them.  I have a love – hate relationship with this time of year.  I love the warmer temps and the fact that I get to spend more quality time with my children.  I hate the fact that I get to spend too much not so quality time with my children.  It’s difficult to balance the work that I still need to complete, becuase *gasp* housework doesn’t disappear just because the kids are home more (it in fact increases) and providing them the attention that they would love to receive (and then to fight amongst themselves when they don’t).

In efforts to curb the amount of sibling disputes we have this summer, I’ve been creating a list of some of the activities that I want to remember to do as a family.  Some are big, grand outings – while others are more low key at home events.  No matter how big or small, the point is to spend some quality, family friendly time focused on the kiddos.  I thought I’d share some of the ideas I’ve written with you, in case you too might be looking at the summer with a bit of trepidation.  In case you’re wondering what in the world you are going to do with your kids all day, every day all summer long.

 

  • Feed the Ducks – Take some old bread out to the local park’s lake and feed the ducks.  Please be sure to check the rules at your parks as some no longer allow this!  **We might have learned this lesson the hard way!**
  • Family Ride – Whether it’s bikes or skates or scooters, grab your family’s favorite wheels and get some exercise in.
  • Water Balloon Toss – How far apart can you stand and still be able to throw a water balloon back and forth?  Who will be the one to wind up getting wet?  Find out!
  • Wash the Car – Get a bucket, some soap and a few washcloths and get busy.  Swimsuits are greatly encouraged as the wardrobe of choice for this one!  The car might not be perfectly clean, but the kids will have a blast trying.
  • Picnic Lunch – Pack up your meal and take it to go.  You’d be amazed at how much better a PB&J tastes when it’s eaten on a blanket outside under the tree.  For an added bonus, have your picnic at a park so that the kids can go play when they’re finished eating.
  • Go for a Walk – Put on your workout clothes and get some exercise in!  This doesn’t have to be a one day thing either.  Create a routine where you slowly walk a little further each time.  Make it a challenge to see how far you can get by the end of summer.
  • Creek Wading – Find a small creek or river that doesn’t have a strong current and go for a walk.  It’s like going for a walk – but different – better some might even say!
  • Rock Painting – Find some rocks and give them a facelift!  Let your imagination flow while you create a pet rock, or just decorate one with a beautiful scene.  If you’d like, take a few of your creations and leave them around your local park to bring a smile to the face of whoever finds them!
  • Smoothies Station – Make a smoothie bar.  What flavor concoctions will your children create?  **This is a wonderful way to get them to eat fruits and vegetables!**
  • Make Popsicles – Whether you have a fancy popsicle mold, or you just use dixie cups, these ice creations taste even better when you make them yourself.  Use juice, lemonade, kool-aid, or even pieces of fresh fruits!
  • Firefly Catching – Once the sun goes down and the bug lights come on, see how many fireflies you can catch.  Be sure to pop holes in the lid if you put them in a jar while collecting, and please let them go before you head inside.  That way, they’ll be there to catch again next time.
  • Become an Architect – Give your children mini-marshmellows and toothpicks and let their imaginations soar.  Will they build a skyscraper or a bear?  Don’t prompt them, just see what they come up with.
  • Bake Cookies – Half to eat and half to deliver to someone of the children’s choosing.  This can be either a friend, or a community person (librarian, police officer, postal worker, etc).
  • Museum Trip – Visit a local museum.  Art, History, Science – It doesn’t matter!  Make a day for each one!
  • Macaroni – With a little bit of yarn and a box of macaroni, kids can make remarkable things – from jewelry to decorations and so much more.  Throw in some paper and glue and you’ve added another level of fun to the play.  Let their artistic side shine.
  • Library –  Most libraries have a summer reading program.  These are wonderful ways to encourage your children to read!  If your library is like ours, it also comes with a ton of activities that the library hosts to promote the program.  Head up to your local branch to signup and grab a schedule so you don’t miss out on any of the fun.
  • Marble Racetracks – Grab some of those foam pool noodes and slide them in half lengthwise.  You’ve now got the perfect marble racetrack set.  Bend and twist the noodles to change the track.  How does this effect the speed at which the marble finishes?
  • Movie Theater – Many theaters have summer movie programs where you can get free or super cheap movie tickets for kids movies.  Checkout your local theater to see what’s available in your area.
  • Sidewalk Chalk – The possibilities are endless with chalk!  Let the kids get artistic and draw a scene from their favorite book.  Draw a hopscotch board and jump.  Draw a checkerboard and use stuffed animals as the giant game pieces.
  • Home Depot Workshops – If your kids are between 5 and 12, Home Depots offer free workshops on certain Saturday mornings.  And, they’re free!  See your local Home Depot for more details.
  • Go Camping – Whether you physically go to a campland, or you simply setup a tent in your backyard, spend some time enjoying the great outdoors.
  • Spa Day – If you’ve got girls, a spa day will be a huge hit!  Paint your nails.  Get a foot rub.  Fix your hair pretty.  Apply some makeup.  You’ll look and feel like a little princess when you’re all done.
  • Visit the Zoo – Take a trip on the wild side and see what the animals are up to today.
  • Fly a Kite – Windy days are the perfect time for kite flying.  Find a clear spot and enjoy watching your kite soar through the air.  Or, in my case, fall to the ground.  Just be sure to hold on tight to the string so they don’t fly away!
  • Geocaching – This is an app that takes scavenger-hunting to the next level.  Get your clues and longitude and latitude markers from their site and go find the hidden treasure.  Some even have little rewards that the kids can exchange for when you find them!  You can setup your account at www.geocaching.com to find the treasure spots.
  • Bowling – Spend a day seeing who is best at knocking down those pins.  The Kids Bowl Free Program provides free bowling for the kiddos.  (Certain restrictions apply.  See page for details.)
  • Rollerskating – Whether you do this in your driveway, at the park or at a local rink, rollerskating can be a great family activity.  Some rinks even have a free Kids Skate Program. (Certain restrictions apply.  See page for details.)
  • Bulls Eye Target Practice – Get some sidewalk chalk and draw a large bullseye.  Now get a bucket and a large sponge.  Let your kids take turns throwing the sponge to see how close to the center they can get.  For an added twist, put point values on each circle (higher point values closer to the bullseye), and see who can get the most points.
  • Mission Impossible – Take some yarn into your hallway.  Tape one end on one wall and the other end on the other wall.  Your goal is to create a maze that your children will have to get through the hallway without touching the yarn.  Think laser lights in a bugler movie – the alarm will sound if you hit the yarn.
  • Amusement Park – Spend a day at your local amusement park.  We’ve got Six Flags here, and the kids absolutely love it!

 

What are your favorite activities to do with your kids in the summer?

 

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