Nothing says summer like loads of time spent outdoors in the bright, shining sun. Beach trips, family vacations, and pool time are traditionally scheduled during the summer months, but how do we keep kids entertained at home all day in between those planned times? Here is a list of our absolute favorite easy, outdoor summer fun activities that will help keep the kids outdoors longer and you saner.
- Have an Outdoor Carnival- Get creative and organize and backyard carnival. Pin balloons on a board and use darts or bean bags to pop them. Set up a ring toss with jars or even stuffed animals. Use blocks, boxes, or anything really to stack and knock down with a baseball. Really the ideas are unless. Don't forget to set up a reward system too. Who doesn't love winning something, even if it's something small.
- Enjoy a Backyard Picnic- There’s no need to go anywhere at all! Picnics can be fun right in your own backyard. Select some pre-packaged meals at the grocery store, or better yet, have the kids pack their own! Veggies and dip, hummus and pita bread, mini-Hawaiian roll sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, watermelon, and homemade lemonade are all easy to pull together. Fancy up your picnic with plastic Champagne glasses and add a charcuterie board filled with rolled cold cuts and cubed cheeses paired with lots of crackers.
- Make Homemade Popsicles- Go to town in the kitchen inventing new flavors. Don’t worry if you don’t have popsicle molds; you can use anything you can insert a popsicle stick into ice cube trays, muffin tins, etc. Add pureed fruit to coconut water or juice and sweeten. For creamy popsicles, use Greek yogurt or coconut milk (for extra creaminess), and remember to sweeten with agave or honey.
- Enjoy Blanket Time- Pull out a comfy, washable blanket and find cloud animals during the day or gaze at stars at night. A simple yet memorable way to pass the time with a homemade popsicle in hand. Find a list of fun questions to ask to get your kids talking and sharing what’s on their minds.
- Catch Bugs- Take out a few bug-themed books from your local library and have a backyard safari to collect some! Butterfly nets and any plastic container will make bug hunting and observing easy. There’s no better way to take the fear of bugs away than to get to know them and learn about their importance in our world.
Paint Rocks- There’s something about painting outdoors and making a mess that is quintessential summer fun. Find flat, smooth rocks and grab that acrylic paint, some brushes, and a clear sealant if you have it. Paint pens can be used too! Let the kids create their masterpieces and add a special message like “Smile!”, “Have a Great Day!”, or “You Are Awesome!”. Take a trip to your downtown or your neighborhood park and hide the rocks for others to find. The kids will have so much fun creating these gifts for others while learning about kindness.
- Enjoy Water Balloons- What CAN’T you do with water balloons? Enjoy relay races that require you to sit on a water balloon before you turn around, play hot potato, volleyball, or just plain catch. Finish off your water balloon fun with a big ole water balloon fight before heading back inside to dry off.
- Have an Outdoor Movie Night- Set up a projector, outdoor rugs or blankets, chairs or floor pillows in front of your garage or backyard shed and enjoy an evening outdoor movie. Hang up your old Christmas lights, make some popcorn, and put candy on a tray to complete your movie night experience. Invite the neighbors and make it an impromptu summer gathering!
Make a Fairy Garden- You can use any container to create a beautiful place for fairies to rest after their long days: broken pots, metal buckets, old birdhouses, teacups, or just decorate besides a tree trunk. Add fairy lights, succulents, pebbles, and tiny furniture, and you’ll have a whimsical garden perfect for keeping the magic of childhood alive.
- Sell Lemonade- Every child should run a lemonade stand at least once! Make instant (or fresh) l lemonade and gather cups, a small folding table, napkins, and a container for donations/fees. Add a sign to your table and find a great location with lots of passersby. Easy-peasy! This fun activity will give your kids a lesson on entrepreneurship that might just inspire them later in life.
“If you’re not barefoot in summer, you’re overdressed.”
Summer is a time for spontaneity, downtime, and enjoying time outdoors. Activities don’t need to be complicated or time-consuming to plan to be fun and memorable. Keeping it simple is key to parents enjoying the activities as much as the kids do.