Planning Summer Kids’ Activities as changed a lot at the Hines house. When my daughter was little we used to go blueberry picking at the beginning of the summer, getting up early to try to beat the summer heat. She loved filling her bucket with blueberries, eating a few along the way.
Then we’d get home, rinse them, divide them up and store them in the freezer. I’m hoping for one more blueberry pickin’ trip this Summer for old-time sake. We also used to spend Summer days meeting friends at Chick-fil-a, the local pool or park for play dates.
This year our travel plans are centered around taking my daughter to college; we’re planning to make a fun road trip out of it. Meanwhile, we are looking forward to weekends spent lounging poolside, taking beach trips and whatever else we decide to do. We’ll just have to let the days unfold.
But just in case your kids (or grandkids) are still young, I’m pulling some of my favorite ideas from years past out of my Mom hat.
17 Simple Summer Kid’s Activities
- Visit CityPASS to get up to 50% off of combined prices for admission nearby attractions. You typically get discounts for 5 major attractions in a major city such as Houston, Atlanta, Chicago, NYC, Hollywood, Southern California, Philadelphia and more.
- Have a regular library day. Many schools have suggest reading lists for the summer. Keep your kids reading skills fluent, and let them earn a reward at the beginning of the next school year for reading.
- Take advantage of neighborhood amenities such as hiking trails and biking trails, skate parks and swimming pools.
- Speaking of skating, how about an outing to the local skating rink? That was the thing to do when I was in Jr. High. Turns out it is still the thing to do in Jr. High.
- Set up lawn games such as badminton, volleyball, or horseshoes for some after dinner fun.
- Enroll the kids in summer day camps. The YMCA and local community centers offer lots of activities.
- Pack a picnic and eat lunch al fresco. Plan a date with some friends to make it more fun.
- Take field trips. Visit a bakery, an ice cream factory, a historical site…
- Go camping in the backyard.
- Make kid friendly recipes like popsicles
- Run through the sprinklers
Now, I will proffer that your summer calendar doesn’t need to be full. A little unstructured time is a good thing, or we’d never have the expression ‘lazy summer days.’
Independent Play Summer Activities
- Set out easy-to-play board games like puzzles or Connect Four and let them be.
- Send them to play in the backyard with the neighborhood kids (remember disapp (earing into the neighborhood from morning ’til dark to play?)
- Let them catch bugs (My cousin Gina and I used to fill our metal lunch boxes with grass and catch grasshoppers. And my siblings and I used to scoop minnows and tadpoles from the ditch after at rain.)
- Send them to spend a week at a cousin’s or grandparent’s house. That was always the highlight of my Summer and it’s why I have such close relationships with my extended family to this day.
- Read. give them books and kid’s magazines to read. I used to retreat to my room to sit on my bed and read for hours. And I LOVED solving the puzzles in my Hightlight’s magazine.
- Let them build forts…indoors (with sheets, cardboard, etc) or outdoors. I remember working side by side for hours with my cousin in the Texas heat to build what we thought was a really cool fort out of anything we could find. Of course, Aunt Barbara made us take it down because we used things we weren’t supposed to take from the garage.
- Let them watch cartoons. When I was a kid we had one t.v. with about 5 stations. And you had to get up and turn the knob (actually two knobs) to change the channel. Anyway, at 2:00 p.m. everyday was a battle between us and Mom over Popeye the Sailor Man vs. Guiding Light Poor Mom. She just wanted to sit a minute and watch her soaps.
See you in class,