Summer is in full swing and while it’s wonderful to have lots of free time to spend together as a family, it also puts more pressure on me to find things to keep the kids busy! Incorporating physical activity helps everyone release energy and ensures that bedtime is a breeze. Here’s a list of 25 summer kids activities that are sure to get the whole family moving, playing, and learning!
1. Go for a Walk — Such a simple thing, but I treasure these daily strolls with my girls! We have a designated route that we take and we enjoy seeing what’s new in the neighborhood.
2. Kid Character Charades — Take turns re-enacting and guessing your favorite characters from movies, books, or even real-life people. You can make it easier for the little ones by imitating animals instead. Sounds are ok and encouraged!
3. Have a Dance Party — Some days it’s just too hot (especially here in Texas) to be outside, but that doesn’t keep us from having a good time! Nothing works better to instantly improve everyone’s mood that our favorite “jams” and getting silly in the living room.
4. Practice Yoga Together — Wear the kiddos out and calm them down at the same time. Yoga has so many positive mind and body benefits and it’s not just for the grown-ups! Try this ten-minute yoga routine with your kids.
5. Scavenger Hunt — Whether indoors or out, a scavenger hunt adds some creative thinking and problem solving to the mix!
6. Explore with a Nature Walk — See how many different plants and animals you find on your daily walk around the neighborhood, or even your own backyard! Bring a magnifying glass to get a closer look. (LOVE this Flower Magnifying Glass from Melissa & Doug for less than $5!)
7. Obstacle course — Another versatile activity that can be done outside or inside (ideally in a big open room with no breakables). Use household items to climb over under and around. The possibilities are endless!
8. Simon Says — “Simon Says touch your toes!” “Simon says jump up and down five times!” “Simon says do 10 jumping jacks!” Get the picture? 😉 You could help your kids use up a lot of their extra energy with this schoolyard game!
9. Outdoor Water Play — Kids LOVE to get wet! Even if you don’t have access to a swimming pool, there are plenty of alternatives: sprinklers, baby pools, even an outdoor misting fan! You can have fun AND teach about water conservation: check out these tips for being water-wise from Rhythms of Play.
10. Head to the Playground— What kid doesn’t love a visit to the local park? You could even do a tour of the different playgrounds in your area– are there any that you haven’t been to yet? Make it a playdate and invite a friend (for both mom and the kids!)
11. Form a Marching Band — You don’t have to use real instruments, we all know pots and pans will do just fine! Parade around the house trying different steps and rhythms. I’ll be your kids will be very excited for an invitation to make noise!
12. Swimming — Do you belong to a neighborhood pool? Know a friend or family member that has a pool in their yard or apartment complex? Are there mommy and me swim classes in your city? If you are able, swimming is the perfect exercise and way to beat the summer heat!
13. Ride a bike — Or tricycle, or scooter… you get the idea!
14. Mini Trampoline — We had one of these in my basement growing up (I believe it was a piece of exercise equipment abandoned by my parents) and we kids made excellent use of it! We were always bouncing or vaulting over the backs of couches (ok, don’t do that one!) These days they make kid-safe versions, like this Little Tikes 3′ Trampoline.
15. Roller Skate — This was one of my absolute favorite things to do in elementary school! Just remember your safety gear!
16. Water Balloon Toss — Yet another fun way to stay cool and burn some energy! See how far you can stand from your partner and still make the catch. There are no losers in this game, even if you miss you get a burst of refreshing water!
17. Parachute — Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve jumping off anything! Remember that game in school where you sat in a circle holding a big sheet and puffing it up and down? Take turns crawling under the sheet while it’s in the air and trying to get out before it comes down.
18. Popcorn — Like parachute, but you put beach balls or even wadded up scrap paper on top of the sheet and “pop” them in the air. You can make a game of trying to keep all the balls on the sheet, or trying to pop them all off!
19. Play Hopscotch— I love this Multiple Level Learning Hopscotch idea from 3 Dinosaurs! It allows a range of ages and skill levels to participate and practice their letters or sight words. What’s not to love about combining exercise and education?
19. Hide and Seek — A classic, but always a hit!
20. Jump Rope — Another classic: an individual or group activity that teaches coordination. Plus it is an amazing cardio workout, so parents, feel free to join in and incinerate some extra calories!
21. Driveway Bowling — You don’t have to pay to go to the bowling alley to knock down some “pins!” Driveway bowling is free and a great way to recycle water bottles! Put about a half inch of water in the bottom to keep them in place between turns.
22. Climb a Tree — Another activity that I loved when I was younger! My friends and I built tree houses (with the help of our parents) in each of our yards and spent hours upon hours improving them with rope ladders, swings, and the like.
23. Have a Kick-Around — Whether you call it soccer, fútbol, or football, this sport is one of the best exercises you can find and offers lots of varying opportunities for play! Have a penalty kick contest one day and a dribbling drill the next. Lilu got an Inflatable Soccer Goal for her birthday and it’s been a huge hit! Even the littlest tykes can join in with a mini soccer ball!
24. Large Action Board Game — An excellent gross motor skills exercise combined with customizable learning challenges from Mosswood Connections. Draw a board with sidewalk chalk and kids themselves are the game pieces, moving through the board as they roll the dice!
25. Secret Handshakes — Remember when you and your friends used to make up elaborate handshake routines, sometimes involving songs? Take turns creating the most unique “handshakes” you can think of– the more spins, twists, turns, claps, and snaps the better! How many steps can you do without forgetting one?
These summer kids activities will keep you and your kids busy for many hours! What do you have planned for summer?
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