As the weather heats up and kids are on summer vacation, we’ll bet you’re wondering what to do with them at home. Well, worry no more! More than likely, you have a lot of the toys suited for summer activities for kids in your house already, perfect for fun summer activity. Many of these activities bring parents and children together while having a good time in the process.
Make an obstacle course
Make a backyard obstacle course. An obstacle course can be created indoors or outdoors and allows the child to move while also stimulating the brain’s problem-solving skills. Use socks to give children a chance to practice their balance on a low beam (such as a chair) by placing them on the tops of several socks that have been lined up side by side. To make it more challenging, add in some pillows to jump over and cushions for crawling under. Just make sure that the course is safe for your child!
Camp out in the living room
One way to keep kids entertained at home during the summer is to set up a camp-out in the living room. To make this an enjoyable experience, you’ll want to bring sleeping bags and pillows and set up tents or blankets on the floor. To add fun and variety, build a fort out of chairs and bed sheets or allow kids to create their own makeshift structures with whatever materials they can find around the house. If you don’t have any flashlights on hand, use your phone’s flashlight app to light the area for young children who are afraid of the dark.
If younger kids in your family are afraid of creepy crawlers, it might be best to leave rooms like basements off limits unless you plan on spending time there during the day while bugs are less likely to be present—but if everyone’s feeling brave enough, tell scary stories in these spots for extra spookiness.
Finally, round out your night by making s’mores in your fireplace (if you have one), or wrap some marshmallows in foil and throw them into hot coals from a fire pit if you’re camping outside. You can also watch movies together as a family on a laptop or other device (or if it’s sunny enough outside, hook up a projector) and play games with one another until sleep takes over.
Have a picnic in the backyard
Local park picnic! Taking your lunch to the park is a great way for young kids to get outside and burn off some energy. You can either go to a park or let them play in your backyard before you eat. Choose a sunny day if possible, but make sure you have shade somewhere so that everyone doesn’t get overheated during a hot summer day. The food will stay cold longer if it goes straight from the fridge into an ice box, so prep it ahead of time and keep it chilled overnight. Make sure that anything you bring is ready-to-eat; you don’t want to arrive at the park only to find out that there’s something missing that requires cooking equipment.
Play with a homemade bubble wand
While the blowing of bubbles is fun for kids of all ages, it’s even more enjoyable if the kids are able to make their own bubble wands. They can use pipe cleaners or wire and string, and they can be as simple or as elaborate as desired. You may have a favorite recipe for homemade bubble solution—if not, here is a great one:
- Mix 1 cup of dishwashing liquid
- Mix 2 cups water
- Mix 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at pharmacies)
The mixture will keep in an airtight container for a week or so. Stir before every use, and if you make extra, you can share it with friends and family!
Make a giant version of your favorite game
For a really interesting way to encourage kids to work together and have fun, try out Colored Sand. Players are given a container of sand, as well as a pile of small plastic containers. Each player fills their own container with sand, then divides up the piles of containers into teams.
The rules for playing are simple: you can take some sand from the container you’re in front of if it’s big enough, but you can’t take from someone else’s pile if theirs is bigger than yours!
You’ll be surprised how many different ways there are to play this game—and it’s always fast-paced and funny! We’ve played it at home several times and we think that kids will absolutely love it like other fun things.
Paint with watercolor
All you need to make a work of art is:
- some watercolor paper
- a paintbrush and some watercolor paint
- a pencil for sketching on the paper before using your paint
First, find a picture you like. This can be from the internet or from an old magazine or book. You can even draw your own design! Then, trace it onto your piece of watercolor paper using your pencil and erase the lines once you’ve finished. Your next step will be to fill in the spaces with watercolor paint. If you’re new to painting, try mixing red and yellow to create orange, yellow and blue to create green, etc., but always start by adding just a small amount of each color at first so that you don’t make too much—you won’t be able to turn it back into its original color later! To keep things looking neat while still having fun experimenting with different hues/tones/shades on this project I would recommend leaving sections as they are when they dry instead of going over them again which could cause streaks or blobs if there’s too much moisture left on them already.
Play a classic board game with sidewalk chalk
This is a great game for younger children because it’s easy to learn and doesn’t require any reading. To play, draw a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk with chalk. Each player should have a stone or other small object to toss onto the grid. Players will take turns tossing their stone onto one of the squares on the grid and hopping from square to square as they collect their stone along the way.
To make this game more challenging, you can adapt it by requiring each player to perform an action such as spinning around three times before they toss their rock onto the grid. Players who break any of these rules will receive some kind of penalty, such as starting over or skipping the next turn.
If you don’t have access to a sidewalk or cemented area, draw your hopscotch board on your driveway with chalk instead. It doesn’t matter if your driveway is sloped since players won’t be jumping from square to square as they would in traditional hopscotch. Just remember that if it’s very hot outside, you’ll need to play in the shade!
Construct a fort and play dress-up
Construction of a fort is an easy and affordable construction project that older kids can help with. Forts can be built using anything you have around your house: sheets hung over chairs, picnic blankets draped across the couch, or even just putting pillows on the floor.
The best type of fort to have is one where the child can crawl in and out easily. This gives them access to their toys, but also the feeling that they are getting away from it all when they escape inside. You can use this time to turn off the TV and read a book together or watch a movie.
If you want your kids to start learning about how things are built and constructed, consider having them build their own forts someday during summer vacation. They will learn about structural integrity as well as physics principles like tension and compression by building their own structures under your supervision. Once they get older (and better at Math), then more complex items such as bridges become possible too!
Spend time together as a family watching movies
Rent a family movie! Watching movies is an excellent activity for the whole family. Don’t just turn on the TV and watch something there. Instead, rent a movie that everyone can enjoy! Watching a movie together is a great way to spend time with your kids and have fun, too. When renting movies, look for titles that are appropriate for all ages.
You can get creative by looking for movies that are animated or made long ago, but they should still be appropriate to watch with children who may not understand certain subjects or aren’t old enough to appreciate some types of jokes yet. It is important to note that renting from your local video store will cost less than renting from the theater. Renting from the theater also does not give you as much time to enjoy watching it together as a family because you must return it in 24 hours or less.
Have a treasure hunt or scavenger hunt
A treasure hunt or scavenger hunt is a classic way to get kids excited about making the most of their time off from school. They can be done at home, in backyards, or in neighborhoods. It’s important not to make the hunt so difficult that kids will give up and won’t want to participate again, but it’s also important not to make it too easy; otherwise there won’t be much pride in finding the items on the list.
When planning the treasure hunt or scavenger hunt, try getting your child involved in coming up with ideas for what can be found. You could include a small prize for completing the trek around your neighborhood or inside your home. When you do this activity with other people, consider dividing into teams and then keep track of how many items each team finds as they go around looking for them all. This will add an extra element of fun to completing the challenge!
You can have fun even when you’re stuck at home.
With a little imagination, you can have fun even when you’re stuck at home. Use this opportunity to spend time with family and enjoy your home or the great outdoors!