By Meagan Nordmann
It’s starting to get hot, but you’d rather keep the kids away from the TV and playing outside… You’ve got 3-4 months of non-stop entertaining to do! Here are some summer fun ideas to have up your sleeve the moment you hear “I’m bored!”
- DIY Sprinklers: Pool Noodles are cheap and easy to grab from drugstores, and there are so many fun things you can do with them! Tape one end and poke holes throughout, then attach the open end to a hose—and whalaa! You have an epic sprinkler! You can make similar, inexpensive creations out of PVC pipe and plastic bottles, too. Add a plastic tarp and turn it into an extra-fun slip-n-slide!
- Ice Chalk: Simple ingredients such as cornstarch, water, and washable paint can be turned into chalk once frozen. Keep the kiddos occupied, cool, and creative on the driveway.
- Fairy Garden or Wee Village: Designate a corner of the yard (perhaps by that bothersome old stump) or clear out a birdbath and get your little ones to scour the backyard (or go on a short hike with a bucket) for small items that could contribute to this tiny world. Tiny plants that look like trees or bushes; interesting rocks that become boulders; twigs that become logs (perfect for fashioning into structures with twine). It will get their creative juices flowing and they’ll look a little closer at the nature around them.
- Mini Race Track: Similar to a Fairy Garden, grab some sand & concrete and create an actual race track in the back yard. Have your little buddy find the items mentioned above to dress up the track’s surroundings. They’ll be entertained with their Hot Wheels outdoors all summer!
- Sandbox or Sensory Play: Little ones love to dig into sand or water to find buried treasure—and you don’t have to be on the beach to make this happen. Set up a sandbox (build a wooden one; or make a temporary one with a kiddie pool), and fill it with fun items and a plastic bucket and shovel. Similarly, fill a kiddie pool with water and interesting objects, like larger seashells, and let your little one have fun discovering the different textures.
- Bubbles! There are so many fun ways to play with these dancing fairy lights, and kids never seem to tire of making, chasing, and popping them. You could simply purchase a wand from the drugstore and teach them how to spin in circles with it, or you could create a giant bubble wand at home for some epic bubbles. There are even recipes for making super bouncy ones.
- Garden Teepee: You want to teach them to love gardening, you need the help, and you need a trellis anyway…why not have them help you make a fun hideaway where they could read books in the shade all summer? Win-win.
- WaterBlob: Not only will this just be a fun activity to get the whole family involved in creating, but it will entail lots of giggling and wiggling this summer (or, for as long as it lasts…). In a nutshell, directions are simply to seal up a large sheet of plastic and fill with water. This could be a fun way to lay down & enjoy and outdoor movie night as well!
- Giant Jenga: Buy some 2x4s from the hardware store and cut them to size. Stencil your family name on them, or color the edges. You can make it as tall as you want (just be sure to move out of the way when this thing falls…). You may want to buy plastic milk crates and cut them to fit perfectly in them. This will be a great way to stow the game away when not in use.
- Outdoor Pictionary: Create a large and long chalkboard to hang outside the porch or shed area. This will be a great place to play Pictionary in the yard or to keep score for the many other games you’ll be playing this summer.
- Drip-Drip-Dunk: The anticipation for little ones playing Duck-Duck-Goose is only amplified when it entails water… On a really hot day, they’ll love getting drizzled (and possibly dunked) with water!
- Sailboats and Tin Foil Rivers: Making mini-sailboats is a classic activity that even your little one’s great-grandfather probably played. There are endless ways to create them. You could use ice, walnuts, sticks, and more. If you don’t happen to have a creek handy, just roll out some tin foil and curl the edges up. Drizzle some hose water in it and they’ll be entertained all afternoon.
- Water Balloons: Another classic that now comes in so many variations. Besides the classic Dodgeball version, you can now make them glow-in-the-dark, or make giant ones for a piñata style game. You could even play a wet game of baseball. If you (or your little ones) don’t have the patience to fill balloons up all afternoon, then make Water Sponges. They’ll have a similar experience, but it requires simply dunking them into a bucket to refill with lots of water.
- Backyard Camping: It’s time to teach your kids how to make S’mores! If your kids are not yet old enough for a real campfire, you can make some pretty fun imaginary fires. Set up real tents and sleeping bags, or simply drape quilts, sheets, and pillows to make a bohemian fort. Supply them with flashlights (for ghost stories) and see if they can locate the North Star while stargazing. Hot dogs on the fire (or grill) will be perfect for dinner.
Visit our SummertimePinterest Board to see more summer and water-filled activities. We’ve also boards for Camping, Traveling, and Beach Days. Here are some fun Crafts to try out this summer, too. At this rate, you should never hear “I’m bored” ever again!
Remember to capture all these awesome summer memories and add them to your BabyPage baby book as you go along. This is one summer you won’t want to forget, and your kids will enjoy looking fondly back at them as they grow older, too.