As our kiddos finish their last days at school before the freedom of summer, our minds start to gravitate to the stressful task of occupying their time without a screen in front of them. Enjoy these fun summer activities with kids.
Nature Scavenger Hunts
Create a list of age-appropriate items for your children to find on a walk. It can be in your neighborhood…
- Find a house with green shutters.
- Find a fluffy white dog.
Or in a local park ( My favorite is Tyler Park—they have some beautiful, mostly empty trails leading to a covered bridge, dam, and amazing views)…
- Find a small animal: bunny, snake, toad, etc.
- Find a leaf with four points.
Getting out in nature can be relaxing and invigorating for you both. Don’t let the hot weather keep you inside. Remember to bring plenty of water and choose shady paths on hot days, or get up early and enjoy the cooler mornings.
Story Writing Contest
Want to keep their minds active and explore their creative sides? Have themed story-writing contests! Stories can be a paragraph for the smaller kiddos and a page for the older ones. Make the prize something fun, a special treat, to motivate them.
For example, the theme could be scary stories. Have everyone read them around a fire while roasting marshmallows. Fire not an option? —get flashlights and sit in a dark living room to set the mood.
The winner gets to choose the film for the next movie night. Or, even better, have an outdoor movie night with a sheet and a projector (Amazon has some reasonable options.)
Rock Painting is a calming yet creative activity. As an added bonus, you can leave them in a place to motivate others and make your fun activity a source of random kindness.
While on your nature hike, collect rocks or have the kids search for them in your backyard. You can also buy them at arts and crafts stores. They even sell kits!
I buy Sharpie paint markers. They work great and allow you to add more detail. Don’t forget the finishing spray if you leave it out in the elements.
Impromptu Dance Party
It is important to be silly and have fun with our kids. We spend so much time shaping them to be mature adults, but you also need to show them that being an adult isn’t all serious. Sometimes we need to show ourselves this as well.
Choose a fun theme appropriate for the age of your child…
- Under the Sea
- Neon/ Glow
Create a fun soundtrack and invite the kids to dress up. Then, dance like no one is watching and have fun! Feel the stress melt away and the silliness bubble up.
I know this isn’t an Olympics year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the spirit of the Olympics into your home for the day or maybe even two weeks.
We did it last year and had such a blast. Have everyone choose a country to represent.
Fun educational activity—help them learn facts about their country to share with the family during the opening ceremony.
Yes, have an opening ceremony! Make a torch out of tissue and construction paper, a sign with the Olympics rings, and metals (see the picture below). Pull out the glitter, glue, and creativity, and have fun with it. Afterward, play that iconic music and get those steps in processing through the yard, house, or both passing the torch.
Next, figure out events. Here are some ideas:
- “Ice” Dancing – obviously, there’s no ice…but pretend there is! Encourage your kids to choose a song and choreograph their dance. Wearing socks gives the same effect as skates on the kitchen or a hardwood floor.
- Curling – They sell sets online, but you can create your own with tape, a broom, a stick, and a hockey puck.
- Speed Skating – set up a course inside the house, make it windy and fun, then put on your socks and slide through the course like ice skates. Make sure to time it! The fastest skater wins.
- Diving/ swimming – (for those with a pool), video it for instant replay for the judges!
- Shooting – Use Nerf guns and set up targets.
- Basketball – Who said PIG couldn’t be an Olympic game?
Truly, the options are endless. Feel free to create your own events. They don’t have to be Olympic-related. You can play frisbee, have an egg toss, play corn hole, or whatever fun family activities you like.
Now get out there and enjoy these fun summer activities with kids. You will look back on the memories you made fondly!