When the last school bell rings to signify the start of summer, kids go running wildly into the season full of hope for adventures and freedom. But parents know all too well that once the novelty of downtime wears off, that famous phrase, “Mom, I’m bored!” is all too quickly uttered. Put these 25 good, old fashioned summer activities on your child’s radar, and they’re sure to find entertainment lurking around every corner of your home and neighborhood.
1. Take your kids on a nature walk/scavenger hunt at a nearby park or around your neighborhood. Give them a list of things to find: a squirrel, a yellow flower, a dandelion, etc., and have them take a picture of each object on the list. When you return home, have them paint a picture of the most beautiful thing they saw on their excursion.
2. Set up an obstacle course in your backyard and declare it Olympic day! Toss water balloons, hop to the finish line in potato sacks, and do egg on spoon relay races.
3. Find a patch of sidewalk and let kids spruce it up with their very own chalk drawings.
4. Teach your child how to cook her favorite meal or baked treat.
5. Make homemade fruit popsicles or ice cream sundaes.
6. Get crafty with collected seashells and make these seashell Koalas and other keepsake creatures.
7. Attend story time at your local library.
8. Fly a kite.
9. Teach your kids how to play a card game or a board game.
10. Volunteer at an animal shelter or visit senior citizens in an elderly home.
11. Build a fairy house.
12. Build an indoor fort by draping sheets over strategically placed furniture. Read library books under the canopy.
13. Teach your child how to sew or knit.
14. Learn the art of tying as many different knots as you can.
15. Walk your dog and then give him a bubble bath.
16. Enroll your child in an eco-friendly summer camp.
17. Build a treehouse or playhouse together.
18. Go on a family bike riding excursion.
19. Plant a garden, tend it and watch it grow. Plan to make a delicious recipe with the fruits of your labor.
20. Blow bubbles. Teach your child how to blow a bubble with gum.
21. Hit the beach, lake, stream, or creek in your neck of the woods and make a splash.
22. Start a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle together and work on it every day for 15 minutes as a family.
23. Make a sensory or water table station in your backyard.
24. Learn how to juggle, hula hoop and do a cartwheel.
25. Go “camping” in your backyard or living room.