Summer is one of those memorable times in the lives of kids. Out of school, full of energy, and so much freedom! They have time to explore and just be kids. Without the structure of school, it’s easy for kids to turn to video games and television. Why not get them outside, learning, and entertained instead? Here are a few ideas to get the kids off the couch and make the most of their break.
Head to Camp
All types of places offer camps throughout the summer. Some are half days, whole days, or even a week long. Places that often offer camps include zoos, museums, churches, and community centers, just to name a few. Kids are always eager to go to camp and there’s one to suit the liking of nearly every kid’s interests. Camp is also the perfect place to experience and learn new things, explore new places, and meet new friends.
For this activity, simply choose an area outside that has clear boundaries. If you don’t have such an area, use plastic cones or some type of marker to create your boundary. Create a list of nature items for each child to find, such as a green leaf, four rocks, two sticks, etc.
Although these are few and far between, if you happen to have one within driving distance, your kids are sure to love this theater experience. At a drive in theater, you park your car in front of a big screen and tune in your radio to the theater’s frequency to listen to the movie. If you aren’t lucky enough to have one close by, consider creating an outdoor movie theater in your back yard. Get a projector and project it onto your fence or the side of your house and enjoy!
Visit an Amusement Park
Depending on where you live, an amusement park may be just a day trip away from you, or it may be a weekend trip if you live further away. If you have older kids, at least 5 or so, these can be a lot of fun. Check into amusement parks like Six Flags or Disney. If you are in Minnesota, like we are, Valleyfair is a great option, or if the weather is not cooperating, Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America will scratch that itch and you will not have to deal with the elements.
Pitch a Tent
You don’t have to go far to go camping. Just set up your tent (or borrow one from a friend) in your backyard for a sleepover. Let your kids have a parent free night outside with their friends, or make it a family event where everyone sleeps under the stars. To make it even more fun, cook dinner on the grill, create a bonfire, and finish off the night with s’mores.
Visit a State Park
There are plenty of things to do at a state park. Let your kids get out and explore nature by taking a walk. It is great exercise and an activity everyone can enjoy. Most state parks have a picnic area and playground too, so pack up your lunch and have a picnic together.
Build a Fairy Garden
These little garden treasures can even be built in your home if you don’t have space outside. There are all sorts of trinkets and fairy houses to add to your garden and you can make them as big or small as you want. Kids can even play with the fairies when the project is finished!
Plant a Garden
Grow your own food and get the kids involved by having them dig holes and plant fruits and vegetables. Have them water the garden and check daily to see the progress of the plants. This is also a great way to have them try new foods and teach them about growing the food they eat.
Kids love to help in the kitchen. Of course, it will take longer and be more messy, but it will make memories that you will both treasure. There are a lot of recipes you can find online that are kid friendly. If you have multiple kids, let them take turns deciding what dinner will be and then let them help cook their meal of choice. Need some ideas on what your kids can make on their own? Check out this blog for a few ideas!
Host a Game Night
Get your kids involved in planning a game night. Invite friends or family over and throw together some snacks to enjoy. Let your kids help plan the games and snacks.
Get your kids involved in researching places they would like to see and activities they would like to do. Many people think you have to travel and go on big vacations to have fun during the summer, but you might be amazed to discover the amount of activities and fun you can have without ever leaving home and even when staying on a budget!
Looking for a few more fun ideas? Check out this post from Verywell Family- it has 100 ideas. One is sure to strike your fancy.