Kids and family: 10 unique summertime activities for kids under 12
Has summer just started and your kids are bored already? Here are 10 fun ideas to keep your kids busy during those long summer days.
A kid loves the summertime, but with its arrival comes the inevitable boredom that sets in once the novelty of summer vacation wears off. You and your kids will soon find that you have whole days to fill (and those days can seem quite long at times), so some creative ideas are in order. Here are 10 fun and unique things that you and your kids can do this summer:
1. Put on a show. Help your kids produce a talent, magic, or art show. Set up a small stage area in your backyard by hanging a curtain or sheet over a clothesline. For a talent show, have your kids and their friends take turns performing karaoke, stand up comedy, or playing musical instruments. For a magic show, check out a book about magic from the library and help your child practice some simple tricks. Then invite some friends over to watch your child’s amazing show. To have an art show, gather up all of your children’s art work from the past school years and matte with construction paper or inexpensive matting, sold at convenience stores. Hang the artwork in a hallway in a “gallery” fashion and serve some snacks while your kids and their friends admire the artwork at their very own art opening!
2. Bike your way to a picnic. Hop on your bike and lead your kids on a country bike ride. Pack a blanket and a simple lunch of sandwiches, fruit, and drinks to take along, and stop at a park or a grassy area to have a picnic lunch with your kids. If you don’t usually join your kids for biking, they will be thrilled to have you along for the ride.
3. Go on a scavenger hunt. Make a list of items that can be found in nature, such as leaves, pinecones, dandelions, stones and feathers. Take your kids for a hike through the woods in search of all of the items on your list. Don’t stop hiking until everything is found.
4. Start a book club. Just because school is out doesn’t mean your children shouldn’t be reading. Take your kids to the library and let them pick out book club selections for all of you to read. Once everyone has read the books, schedule a family book club dinner and discussion.
5. Make a homemade water park. You can create a water wonderland right in your own backyard. Fill up a couple of kiddie pools, and set up a slip and slide and a sprinkler. Your children will have tons of fun jumping from one water activity to another!
6. Camp out in the back yard. Have a family camp out by setting up a tent or a sheet over a clothes line in the back yard. You and your kids can sing songs and tell ghost stories until bed time. For a special treat, use a small hibachi to make a snack of s’mores. To make s’mores, toast some marshmallows on sticks over the hibachi flame, then sandwich with two graham cracker halves and a piece of milk chocolate.
7. Trade Spaces. Give your kids a small “budget” and let them secretly redesign or accessorize each other’s rooms. It can be a big project that includes painting the rooms or a smaller project that entails rearranging and enhancing the existing rooms.
8. Make a feast. Have your kids plan the dinner menu and take them to the grocery store to buy all of the ingredients that they need. Let your kids prepare the whole meal, with your assistance. If it’s a nice day, eat the meal outside on a blanket with your kid’s teddy bears.
9. Plant a summertime vegetable garden. Let your kids choose the seeds and help you plant a variety of fruits and vegetables. Have your children be responsible for watering and tending to the garden throughout the summer. Once their vegetables start to grow, make a meal using your kid’s home grown tomatoes, green peppers, fruit, etc.
10. Have a sports competition. Gather some neighborhood kids together and organize relay races, a ping pong tournament, and a volley ball match. Purchase inexpensive gold medals or medallions at the dollar store and award everyone for their participation.
11. Finally, as a bonus tip, with all the extra time your kids have in the summer, why not utilize their assistance around the house? Clean out the garage, basement and closets and organize a family yard sale. Make posters to advertise and let your kids decide on what prices to sell the items for (within reason). Tell your kids that they can buy a new toy or game with the proceeds from the sale.