School’s out, and pretty soon your kids will start finding themselves with nothing to do. Instead of allowing them to watch TV or play video games all summer long, why not promote a healthier lifestyle? Limiting your children’s TV time and encouraging activities that require exercise in its place is a great way to do this. Here’s a list of some ideas for creative, inexpensive and healthy summer activities for kids to help keep them busy all summer long.
Encourage your kids to stay active by allowing them to play outside.
Many kids enjoy playing sports outside. There may be community programs or leagues your children can sign up for over the summer, or they can just get some friends and play on their own. If they choose the latter route, create a DIY throwing tarp. Your kids can use it for a throwing game outside that is great to play individually or with friends.
If that’s not appealing to them, try swimming. It’s one of the most popular summer sports. If you don’t have a personal or neighborhood pool, there are many community pools that may be available to use with a monthly membership. Most neighborhood pools will allow residents to bring guests, so if you have a friend with a neighborhood pool, see if you can arrange a pool date with them and your kids. Monitor the pH levels of the pool though to make sure the chemicals aren’t damaging your child’s teeth.
The uses for sidewalk chalk expand far beyond drawing pictures on your driveway. Here are some creative ways you can use chalk to get your kids playing outside:
- Create a bull’s-eye game: Draw a bull’s-eye with chalk in your driveway and use wet sponges to try to hit the target!
- Dress up dolls: If you have girls, take stick-figures to the next level by using old baby or doll clothes to create outfits for your chalk people.
- Exploding chalk paint: Make these fun bags using ingredients you probably already have in your house. Your kids will have a blast throwing them on the sidewalk (and maybe at each other!) and watching them burst.
Because summer is so hot, it may be extra incentive for your kids to play outside if they know they can get wet. Don’t have a pool? No problem! There are plenty of other fun ways for kids to play with water.
- Allow them to play in the sprinklers! Young kids will have fun running in and out of the spraying water.
- Fill up some balloons with water and have a water balloon fight! Or step it up a notch and add food coloring to the water balloons and wear a white shirt. You’ll have fun AND get a free tie-dye shirt.
Another idea to both stay active and spend some extra time with your kids is to participate in an outdoor family activity. Have a day at the park or zoo, or just go out in the yard and play catch, ride bikes, climb trees, etc. Family activities will not only keep your kids healthy this summer, but you as well!
If it’s too hot to play outside, there are still ways to stay active indoors. Here are some ideas for indoor activities to keep the kids off the couch.
For the science-lover, there are many fun experiments that can be done using items you probably already have in your house! Here are some of our favorites:
- Create “alien bubbles”: All you need is dry ice, bubble solution, a funnel, a container with a tight lid and duct tape.
- Extract DNA from strawberries: Discover what makes a strawberry a strawberry using laundry detergent, rubbing alcohol and a few other household items.
- Make soap clouds: Perfect for young children, all you need to do for this experiment is melt a bar of soap in the microwave. After a few minutes, the bar of soap will transform into a puffy and frothy cloud.
- Make a giant bubble wand: If your kids have fun with regular-sized bubbles, then they’ll love the giant bubbles that this DIY project creates.
Go on an Indoor Camping Trip
If it’s too hot for an actual camping trip, allow your kids to camp out inside. Have them pack a bag, set up a tent and create a fake campfire. If you’re really into it, you can even make camping food (such as stew and s’mores) and have them help! You can also remind your kids that there isn’t internet or TV in camping, so they will have to entertain themselves with telling ghost stories around the “fire” and “hiking” around the house.
Create an Obstacle Course
Create an obstacle course for your kids to go through around the house. You can get creative with how you do this, but here are some ideas you can incorporate:
- Make a laser beam security system out of yarn
- For younger kids, add an educational element with these printables
- Use pool noodles, chairs and other furniture as hurdles to jump over or crawl under
Do a Craft
Crafts can be more than just drawing or painting. We love these fun ideas:
- Use food coloring to paint on glue
- Put bubble wrap on your feet to make these stomp paintings
- Burlap and yarn makes for a fun and safe sewing project
A break from school shouldn’t be an excuse to lay idle for a few months. Keeping your kids active during the summer months is important for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and keeping yourself busy as well can help set a good example. Just remember to be creative, stay active and have fun!
How do you keep your kids active during the summer?