Go Wild! Get Outside With These Summer Activities
It’s almost summer! That means that the kids will be out of school and looking for something to do. Go back to the good old days of outdoor play with these top ten tips for summer fun.
1. Try some old-fashioned games. Make stilts out of cans or boxes. Collect some marbles and start a game. Play What Time is It Mr Wolf or Capture the Flag. Introduce your kids to the games that you used to play. Sure, they might think that they’re a little funny and retro, but they may just enjoy them too!
2. Summer’s hot, so it’s a good time to play with water! Run, splash, and slide this summer. Put out a slide and slide, or jump through the sprinkler. If you don’t have a yard, head to the water park to enjoy the spray.
3. Set up a lemonade stand. Many kids have a highly-tuned entrepreneurial spirit. Summer is a good time to exercise it. The kids have lots of free time, and people are out walking. If you have a safe area for people or cars to stop, set up a lemonade or juice stand. You don’t need to be limited to juice, either. Bake some cookies, make some crafts, or set up a Snoopy-style advice stand!
4. Search for wildlife. You don’t need to leave the city to do this. Put out a bird feeder and watch the birds sail in. Get a good identification book from the library so that you can figure out what they are. Head to a park and turn over a log to look for bugs. If you have a creek, search for water striders, those amazing little creatures that glide on top of the water.
5. Do some crazy big art. Take a sheet of paper outside, and do some large-scale finger painting or foot painting. Dye sheets for craft projects using KoolAid as a dye. You can also use natural materials as an inspiration for art: leaves, sticks, and flowers make gorgeous art installations!
6. Go camping or “faux camping”. If you live in an urban area, summer is the time to reconnect with wilder places. Even a one-night camping trip will build memories! If you’re not a camper, but you have some space in your yard, go backyard camping. It’s free, it’s safe, and there are indoor cooking and bathroom facilities. What could be better?
7. Go wild. Where’s your closest wild place? Where can you go where it feels you’re surrounded by forest, grass, or open space? Go there, and walk through the trails. Bring a picnic, and reconnect with the places that you miss during the busy school year.
8. Play with the sun. Yes, it’s good to be sun safe, but that sun can get a bad rap sometimes. Enjoy the sun! Try to cook something on the pavement. Paint with water, then let the sun evaporate your work. Put a big stick in the ground and track the shadow, making your own personal sundial. Enjoy that big ball of fire in the sky!
9. Build a fort or dig a hole. Remember those grand old days of mud and sticks and shovels? If you have a yard, put out some big sticks, rope, and shovels and see what happens. If you’re feeling a little more ambitious, give them some hammers and nails. Give the kids some guidelines as to where they can dig and build, and see what happens!
10. Exercise your imagination. Summer’s a time for exercise, and your most important muscle is your brain! When parents hear a chorus of “I’m bored,” it doesn’t mean it’s time to turn on the television. Give your kids the gift of boredom, add some shovels, art supplies, and open-ended toys, and soon they’ll be off exercising their other gift: the gift of infinite imagination.
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