Summer is in full swing and many parents have already run out of ideas for ways to entertain the kids during the break from school. Instead of letting them sit on the couch watching television or playing video games all summer, get started on these eight creative outdoor adventures.
1. Drip, Drip, Splash
This is a fun, easy summer game that is a lot like Duck, Duck, Goose. You’ll need a 5-gallon bucket of water, a large sponge, and access to a hose. Have everyone sit down in a circle and play like Duck, Duck, Goose: the person who starts the game sticks the sponge in the water and walks around while the sponge drips over everyone’s head as they say, “Drip, drip, drip.” Next, they squeeze the sponge over someone’s head while saying “Splash.” The person who has been splashed has to stand up and chase the splasher around the circle. If they are tagged before reaching the vacated spot, the person who tagged them gets to dump the bucket of water on the person they tagged.
2. Bike Obstacle Course
I know you are probably thinking, “Oh, this doesn’t sound safe for my kid,” but I’m not talking about making something crazy, just something super simple and fun. Gather some wood and make an obstacle course over which kids can ride their bikes — even see if it allows them to get off the ground by a few inches. You can adjust the height and width of the obstacle course to suit your own comfort level. If you don’t like the idea of doing a bike obstacle course, try teaching about bike safety by using chalk. Create signs on the sidewalk to mark places where they have to stop, slow down or yield — this can be just as much fun!
3. Sponge Bullseye
Find an open space in or around your neighborhood; a square or empty sports court is perfect. Draw a target on the ground with colored chalk. Make sure that you draw a series of circles so there are different scoring zones. Gather a team and take turns dipping the sponge in a bucket of water, then throwing it at the target. Make sure that you change distances and keep score!
4. Make Rock Faces
Have the kids go around the park or your own backyard and find large rocks that would be good to paint. Buy some acrylic paint and have them paint faces on the rocks — do this outside, since it can be messy. You can even have them place these rock faces in your garden.
5. Frisbee Tic-Tac-Toe
Why not combine two fun activities together? Gather at least eight frisbees and mark them with Xs and Os. Get an old shower curtain or tarp and some colored duck tape. Use the duck tape and create a tic-tac-toe grid on the shower curtain. Use rocks to hold down the edges, then allow the kids to toss the frisbees onto the tarp and play tic-tac-toe that way.
6. Glow in the Dark Bowling
This really is as fun and cool as it sounds. Get some old water bottles and insert glow sticks before filling them up with water. Make sure to put the cap back on tightly, then have the kids roll soccer balls into the water bottles. This is especially fun for after dinner, when kids are trying to find something to do before bedtime.
7. Liquid Sidewalk Chalk
Wear old clothes, as this fun activity is on the messier side. Mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of cornstarch. Pour the mixture into muffin tins or small cups. Stir in food coloring and start painting on the sidewalk.
8. Leaf or Flower Texture Rubbings
Collect a variety of leaves or flowers. Place the leaf bottom side up on a flat surface and put a thin sheet of paper on top of the leaf. Rub the side of a crayon over the leaf. Keep doing so until there is a complete image of the leaf or flower.
Bonus: Don’t forget about all the traditional things you can do: scavenger hunt, sprinklers, grow a garden, treasure hunt, car wash, lemonade stand, bike riding, sports, sandbox fun. Have a little fun and be creative with summer activities!