School is out for summer, and no matter what your work situation is, as a parent, you need to be prepared with fun and constructive activities to keep your kids busy this season. Besides packing their backpacks and sending the littles off to camp, what can you do to keep the kids active and engaged all summer long? Luckily, we have already done the research for you. Here are our favorite fun activities to do with the kids during the summer months.
Strap on those kid's sneakers and head outside. Find a local farm that offers a pick-your-own experience. Depending on where you live, this could mean strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, and even rows of flowers. Kids love this wholesome summer activity, and it tends to be as nutritious as it is delicious. Let the little ones go crazy and freeze the extras for making healthy desserts later in the year.
Growing plants from seeds is an educational activity that kids also love. Start your seeds in old egg cartons and move them to a window sill planter as they grow.
Start Bird-Watching and Observing Wildlife
This activity is one that can be done over and over and may even continue into the fall. Teach the kids observational skills and have them record or even sketch the wild animals they see in their own neighborhood. Invest in a book or app to help them identify local species.
Plant a Native Garden to Attract Butterflies
Research local native plants and create a backyard wildlife habitat. You may even attract birds and butterflies that you've never before encountered!
This activity involves the whole family. Each person can write a note, record music or a voice note, or include a small item that means something to them. Then store your time capsule somewhere safe and open it at a designated time many years from now to marvel at how much everyone has grown.
It doesn't have to be a complicated or massive reconstruction project, but get the family involved in a home project that interests everyone. You could clean out the garage or basement, organize closets, and have a yard sale, for example. Invest in some kid's toy storage containers for organizing. To help motivate your kids, let them decide what they can handle parting with and allow them to keep the earnings from selling their old toys and clothes.
Get those baseball cap-style boy's hats on the kids and bring the family to a little league game for a fun and family-friendly afternoon or evening.
Check out books and movies. Join a book club or start your own. Attend summer events. Your local library likely has more to offer than you may expect.
Here's an activity that everyone can participate in without even changing out of their pajamas. Encourage everyone in the family to participate in this therapeutic activity. Let the kids decide for themselves if their journals are private or for sharing stories. If the kids are resistant to journaling, allow them to keep an illustrated journal or turn their daily activities into a comic book of themselves.
Learn a new instrument, or practice a song on an instrument you already have. You could even make your own instruments! Start a family band and even record the songs you write.
Take the kids to a local theater for a play and encourage them to write and perform their own play afterward.
Build an Obstacle Course in the Backyard
Building an obstacle course is a kid-approved and super-fun way to stay active this summer. We recommend that the grown-ups take part in the setup to ensure safety!
Whether you have a small playground down the street or a nearby state park, throw on that activewear and get outside.
Break out those personalized sleeping bags and have a summer camping trip from the comfort of your own backyard.
The only thing better than a movie night in the summer is an outdoor movie night. Just set up a projector in the yard and point it at your homemade movie screen (which you can make with a sheet and clothesline). Throw down some mattress pads to make the ground nice and comfy. Then settle in with your popcorn and perhaps a blanket (on those cooler summer nights).
Of course, this summer activity list is not exhaustive, and we encourage you to add to it, leave what doesn't work for your family, and make it your own. Enjoy your summer family time