How to Entertain Kids This Summer - My Kids' 15 Favorite Activities:
- Meet Some New Animal Friends - Time for a field trip! Visit a local zoo or farm to get a close-up look at animals your kids may never have seen before. Older kids with a love for pets may also be able to volunteer at a local animal shelter or start their own dog walking business.
- Get out the Sprinkler - or Make Your Own - Hot and sunny? Time to break out the sprinkler. If you don't have a sprinkler, here are some simple instructions to help you make your own out of a 2 liter bottle. Encourage your kids to make up games as they play. Slip and slides are also a good, cheap alternative.
- Have a Scavenger Hunt - Make a list of things to find around the house, in the yard, or in the park, then set your kids loose. If you trust them with a camera, have them take pictures of what they find. If not, go with them on a walk as they check items off their list. Your kids can work together as they hunt, or have a friendly competition to finish their list first.
- Go for a Bike Ride - Or a scooter ride, roller blade, wagon, or any other ride you can think of. Getting out to enjoy the fresh air is great exercise, will tire your kids out, and gives you all a chance to create some great memories. Just don't forget the sunscreen! I love this sunscreen for kids from Beauty By Earth - it's all natural and contains no harmful chemicals.
- Play Frisbee - Frisbee is a fun, active game that's accessible to just about every age. Take the kids to the back yard or the park and teach them how to pass a frisbee around. If they really like it, check in with your local Parks and Rec department to see if they run kid-friendly ultimate frisbee leagues.
- Make a Journal - At the beginning of the summer, hand your child a blank book. Tell them it's now their art, writing, research, reading, or anything else they're interested in journal. Encourage them to add to it every day (you could even set aside a block of time every day for "journal time.") Not only will this keep them busy, it'll also help them improve their skills at something they're interested in.
- Cover a Table with Paper - Get a big sheet of paper (or use the underside of a roll of wrapping paper), tape it down over a table, then crack out the crayons. Your kids will stretch their creative muscles without making a mess. Trust me - they'll love having such a big space to work with, and you may be surprised with what they create.
- Read Books - Take a trip to the library and leave with an armful of books. If your kids are little, cuddle up on the couch and spend some time reading to them. If they're old enough to read, the time they spend reading on their own will set them up for a lifetime of loving books. Many libraries these days have a great kids section.
- Learn a New Card Game - Getting sick of Go Fish? Me too. Thankfully there are literally hundreds of other card games out there. Learn a new one with your kids, set up a blanket outside, and have a tournament. If you're not sure where to get started, this site is a fantastic resource for learning new games. My kids like a good game of memory too.
- Make Something with Play-Doh or Clay - Still stumped on how to entertain kids this summer? Then it's time to bring out the play-doh and clay. Set it on a table and leave your kids to flex their creative muscles and make something new. Heck, you can even make homemade play doh real easily. There are some great videos on YouTube. You might be surprised by what they come up with!
- Become an Expert on Something - Encourage your kids to pick a topic, then guide them to resources to help them become an expert on it. The library is a fantastic resource for this. When kids have a topic that really sparks their interest and imagination, they'll gladly spend hours learning about it and will happily share what they've discovered. Think Dinosaurs, Cars, Cats or something of this nature. Who knows, maybe you'll learn something too!
- Build a Fort - The perfect rainy day distraction. Grab blankets, pillows, couch cushions, and anything else you may need to build an indoor fort. Help them set it up, or let them figure it out on their own.
- Try Something New With Their Hair - If your kids have long hair, practice new braids or other styling methods. If their hair is any other length, have some fun coming up with funny hairstyles. Nothing gets my kids giggling more than seeing their hair gelled up in a spike or some other silly configuration. And girls always love the braids like a Disney princess. Feeling brave? Let them experiment on you. And don't forget to protect your kids' hair from that nasty summer lice, this natural brand has always worked to prevent my kids from getting lice.
- Color or Puzzle Books - Coloring, connect the dots, word searches… Coloring and puzzle books let your kids express their creativity and use their brains without requiring expensive materials. Just pull out the crayons, print out some color or activity sheets from the internet, and watch them go to town.
- Just Let Them Be Bored - I promise I'm not promoting brushing your kids off when they ask for something to do! What I mean by letting them be bored is to give them a chance to come up with something to do on their own. Kids are much more imaginative and capable than many of us give them credit for. Try not to overpack their schedules. Give them space to figure out what they want to do on their own - you may be surprised at how well they entertain themselves and this might just become your new favorite on how to entertain kids this summer :) :).