When summer rolls around, your kids might not want to do anything other than lie in front of the TV playing a video game or watching cartoons. Although this is fine occasionally, it's better if they enjoy the outdoors while they are still welcoming. This can be difficult to do if the magical fountain of ideas in your child’s head goes dry. They will need some solid motivation to get out there and enjoy the sun, instead of being classic hermits. Below you’ll find ten great activities your children can take part in during the summer months.
1. Colour Scavenger Hunt
This game will encourage your children and their friends to really open their eyes. All you have to do is get some paper bags and a variety of markers. Then colour some squares onto the bags, each a different colour, until you have a nice array of hues. Then, hand out the bags to the kids and shoo them out the front door, instructing them to find items that match the squares’ colours, until they have a match for each square. They can place their findings in the bag! This activity will have the kids running around, frantically trying to beat their friends in their discoveries. Just make sure they don’t wander too far!
2. Planting Seeds
This method of entertainment will be beneficial to your garden, as well as your kids. Get some small pots for planting, and the seeds that you want. You’ll also need soil for the seeds to take root in. A good idea for summer is tomato plants, because they sprout quite quickly and can be transported later into the ground or a larger pot. Simply have your kids plant some seeds in their pots, and then decorate the pots if they want with paint. By doing this, they will become fond of their little plant and water it daily, as well as watch it grow.
3. Bake Cookies ~ For Ice Cream Sandwiches!
Get the youngsters involved in the kitchen as you bake cookies that will later serve as the “bread” for ice cream sandwiches. You could bake all-chocolate cookies with chocolate chunks, chocolate chip cookies, or peanut butter ones. Once the cookies have cooled (a cooling rack is great for this), sandwich a generous amount of ice cream between two of the cookies and hand out the delicious snack to the young bakers. After all, they need to keep cool when it’s boiling outside. However, don't let the kids eat too much raw cookie dough!
4. Water Fight
It may be classic, but it never gets old! Gather up all the water guns and encourage the kids to cool off with water instead of with air conditioners inside the house. A water fight can get wild with as little as two kids, but the more the merrier! The battle should take place on your lawn, so the the grass gets watered throughout the fun. Later, you won't have to use the sprinklers for as long as usual. It’s a good idea to have everyone change into swimsuits, in order to avoid sopping wet clothes in the aftermath.
5. Help Out In The Garden
The children could also help plant things directly in the garden, so they learn how to keep plants and flowers alive. Get them to help you with planting vegetables or flowers that they will also enjoy. They could also remove unwanted weeds with a weed puller and gloves, as this can be a very satisfying job. Have them write the names of the plants on stones with permanent marker, to create all-natural markers. Who knows, maybe they’ll like gardening so much that they’ll take over for you!
6. Make A Birdhouse!
This activity requires some adult supervision if hammers are being used (wood glue can substitute this), but it’s a great way to maybe make your backyard home to some beautiful birds! Get some wood and paint, and let your children's imaginations run free as they assemble the miniature house. Help them put it together, and then leave them to the decorations. Once it's finished, you can sprinkle some bird seeds along the bottom to increase the chances of a bird coming by. You can hang up the little house on the fence, and enjoy the chirping when flying visitors stop by.
7. Bike Riding
Encourage your kids to ride their bikes nearby, and even have races if they’re up for it. If they are still on training wheels, you could also try to teach them to ride without them, preferably in a field while wearing knee pads and bike gloves. A thrilling thing to try (where it's safe) is going downhill. The sensation of going down and not having to pedal is amusing to no end. Having the kids ride their bikes could spark a love for going places on their bikes instead of in the car.
8. Chalk Art
Get out a healthy amount of chalk and invite the youngsters to be artistic. They have the whole driveway to make pictures, play tic-tac-toe, and draw a hopscotch. This could take hours, if they really get into it. A benefit is that this will leave your driveway looking more welcoming and cute, while also being non-permanent. Make sure to have lots of chalk refills, because those art tools can disappear quite quickly when the kids are busy colouring outside of the lines.
9. Make Your Own Popsicles
This activity allows for lots of experimentation. All you’ll need is popsicle sticks, Dixie cups, and a wide variety of juice and refreshments. The kids can mix together many different drinks and make many different flavours of popsicles, based on the ones they like best. They can even try making soda popsicles, although the fizziness won't be there when it's frozen. Once the creating stage is over, stick the homemade popsicles in the freezer with the popsicle sticks in the cups, and wait for them to be ready. Have your kids eat the popsicles outside to avoid sticky floors and couches, and let them enjoy feeling cooled off in the heat.
10. Have A Camping Trip In Your Backyard
Set up a tent for your kids to sleep in, right outside your house. Have them do all the regular things you'd do while camping, without having to actually drive anywhere. The kids can have s'mores, tell scary stories with a flashlight under their faces, and look at the stars. There's something inexplicably great about having an adventure with access to your house if you need it. Make sure you provide war, sleeping bags and blankets in case it gets cold during the night. Otherwise, leave your kids to their mini slumber party!