Not sure how to entertain your young ones once the weather is warm, but know that you don’t want them glued to the TV 24/7? Check out these ‘traditional but with a twist’ fun outdoor activities for kids. There are lots of reasons that kids need fresh air too!
Go On A Rock Hunt and Then Paint The Products
Strap on those hiking boots (or tennis shoes) and head out into the wild blue yonder (or your back yard). Collect rocks: big ones, small ones, shiny ones, dull ones, porous ones, smooth ones. Touch them. Talk about them. And then take them home, set up some newspaper outside, and paint them. The list of uses for a sack of painted rocks is practically endless. If you spray them with sealant, they can make super terrific stepping stones for a garden, prayer rocks, or even ultra unique checkers for a homemade game board.
Hold a Hopscotch Tournament
It’s way old school, but hopscotch can still be a fun way to pass the lazy crazy days of summer. Using sidewalk chalk, draw several different variations on the old classic using several different colors. If you’re into the competitive schtick, award points to the winners of head-to-head speed jumping matches. If you’re not, it’s all about style and having fun. Offer up shout-outs to the biggest gigglers or the most creative leapers. And why not set the whole event to music? When it’s time to clean up, get out the hose and have some water play fun (if your town isn’t facing drought restrictions, of course).
Build a Birdhouse
There are two ways to accomplish this one. Method one: eat a lot of popsicles: red ones, green ones, orange ones. All yummy and more importantly, all frozen to handy little wooden sticks that can be glued together to create all sorts of fun shapes. Method two: collect sticks during a nature walk. Provide glue. Watch the magic happen. It may be a disaster, but at least it involves glue.
Make a Leaf Collection
Go for a walk. Collect as many different leaves as possible, then head home and fire up a laptop. (If you have a trusted older kid, he or she can be responsible for this part.) Look at each leaf, and look online until you find a match. Affix the leaf to a piece of paper, list the name of the tree it came from, where you found it, and an interesting fact.
Obviously, it won’t last forever, so when you’re all done, scan the pages or a take a photo with your camera to preserve the hard work. You can even have a hard copy made using an online service like Shutterfly. Badda-bing: a leaf collection that’d make any arborist proud.
Buy a large container of sidewalk chalk! Kids can find so many things to do with sidewalk chalk. They can play a game of hopscotch or four square by using the chalk to draw the lines and boundaries. Kids can create works of art on driveways and sidewalks. Sidewalk chalk makes practicing letters, numbers and shapes much more fun. The best thing is, a large container of chalk can last all summer!
Make up your own batch of bubble solution and create your own bubble wands! Use things from around the house to make different wands for different size bubbles. Search the web for ideas and recipes.
A family bike ride can equal a family adventure. Let your kids pick the destination, as long as it’s in riding distance. If you have a local bike trail utilize that. Be sure to pack snacks and plenty of water! Bring a camera to document the fun along the way!
Feed the Ducks
Do you have a local pond or lake that ducks flock to? Gather all of your old and stale bread and buns and feed the ducks! It gives kids and adults the chance to enjoy nature and spend time together and you can use up that old bread instead of throwing it away!
Gather the family for a walk. Let the kids take turns leading the way and picking which direction to head! If you have a public park with hiking paths, give that a shot! Your family will have fun and get exercise at the same time!
Gather up a baseball bat, ball, Frisbee and football! Organize a family game that will get everyone involved! You can even include a picnic in the mix and make a day out of it. A day at the park can be fun and inexpensive.
Pack up your beach towels, a picnic basket, and some sand toys and head for the beach on a warm summer day. Many beaches are free and you can pack a picnic of things you have in the fridge at home. The kids will love making sand creations and swimming in the water while the adults can work on their tan and catch up on some reading. Don’t forget the sunblock!
Sprinkler or Pools are Cool!
Kids love playing a lot in the water in the summer. Fill up a kiddie pool or turn on the sprinkler and let them play in the water. It’s a great way to water the lawn and wear the kids out at the same time!
These are just some of the activities your family can enjoy during the spring and summer months on a budget! Get your family together and make some plans for warm weather fun today!
Face free time with the kids without fear and remember: your kids won’t be kids forever! Two of my favorite ideas – Putting together a puzzle with a thousand pieces and starting and tending a vegetable garden together.
5 Ways for Inexpensive Fun
If you have children, you are probably looking for ways to keep them occupied. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to have fun with the kids that costs you little or no money.
Find Some Local Summer Festivals
Many cities have their own special events over the summer including various street festivals. While you can find lots of vendors, sometimes including local merchants with handmade goods, you can also hear some rather good live music for free. Some festivals even set up multiple stages for various kinds of music tastes. If you are a little short on cash, try packing lunch and snacks to avoid paying a bundle for pizza slices.
Learn Something at a Museum
You may think that museums will simply bore you and/or children to tears, but the fact is that a museum can be as fun and as exciting as you make it. You do not have to walk around looking at paintings and sculptures all day. There are many children’s museums that are interactive and encourage parents and children to participate in activities including arts and crafts. You can find a science museum to give children firsthand knowledge of how things work that is both fun and exciting for children of all ages.
Take a Tour of the City
Many of us love our hometowns but really do not know much about them beyond what we see every day. A self-guided tour of your hometown or a nearby city or state that has a thriving tourist industry can be a great way to spend a day or two. If the weather is not too extreme, you can go on a walking tour and make some of the local restaurants and shops part of your experience. You can also try to organize a group to make an event of it. Local businesses and sites may enjoy a bit of appreciation from the local residents.
Organize a Block Party
The neighborhood block party does not have to be a thing of the past. You can catch up with old neighbors and friends over a barbecue and even get to know new ones if anyone has recently moved into the neighborhood. You can organize activities for kids with familiar games and toys so that they get outside and have fun rather than sitting inside in front of a computer screen. In fact, you may even decide to try to make this an annual event with your friends and neighbors.
Organize a Weekly Event
Many larger cities have series such as showing free films in a park or public space. You do not have to wait for this kind of series when you want to gather people together for a bit of fun. You can create your own movie night if you can get your hands on a projector and blank wall to show films.
If you want to help people beat the heat, organize a weekly game of Bingo or something else others will enjoy during the heat wave. If possible, you should try to make sure there are drinks and other refreshments on hand. Remember you do not have to spend a bundle to have a good time.
Kids have simple needs. In fact most of the times, all they need is for daddy and mommy to spend time with them. So, it’s not too difficult to come up with a list that will surely be a hit with any child.
Definitely try to come up with your own variations or even completely new activities not listed here. Warm weather is meant for fun and there are no limits to how much fun you can have nor how often you can have it. So plan it, then go out and have that fun.