10 Ideas for a Mostly Free Summer of Fun

Make this the Summer of Fun

By Julie Franke, Macaroni Kid Nampa & Canyon County Publisher June 6, 2020

If I would let them, my kids would play videos games, iPad, or just lay around all day whining they are bored ALL DAY LONG. I have been hunting for fun ways to keep my kids active this summer. Here are 10 easy and fun and almost free ideas:

1. Mileage Chart

Like most moms I have a reading chart for my kids to stay sharp for the summer. I found this great idea on Pinterest to have a mile chart too. I have a chart for my kids to each read 100 books, now it is time to create a chart to track their miles. My husband and I are avid step counters with our wearables. My kids always want to know how many steps / miles they have done. There are tons of wearables in lots of different price ranges.  Here is a fun site to log miles to give a visual picture of how much your child is walking by seeing how far they can virtually walk across the US. Check out Log It for your virtual pedometer.

2. Guinness Book of (your family name) Records. 

Come up with a list of activities. Test who can get the most impressive results. Ideas could be, Most jumping jacks, Runs across backyard the fastest, Jumps the farthest, Catch the most balls in a row, Makes the most baskets in a row, etc. The possibilities are endless. Let your kids pick a few of the ideas. Take pictures and make a chart for the fridge or create a whole book.

3. Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt. There is no need to be fancy. You can use scraps of paper and pick 10 colors then have you kids find things in the color category. You can be fancy and look on Pinterest for one of the tons of ideas and printables already out there. For older kids, make it a photo scavenger hunt. Check out my Pinterest page for some of the fun scavenger hunts I found. 

4. Obstacle Courses

Create an obstacle course. Use items you have around the house to do this. I love doing this with my kids because we can keep changing and redesigning. I let my kids come up with course and then test out their ideas. Here are some obstacle course ideas I found on Pinterest

5. Balloons & Pool Noodles

Balloons and Pool Noodles great fun. Water balloon fights are always a hit. I definitely recommend the fast fill water balloons. I am willing to spend the extra $$$ to not be spending hours filling balloons. Blow up balloon and hit them with pool noodles in a giant battle of dodgeball or basketball (have the kids hit the balloons into a laundry basket).

6. Sensory Boxes 

Water beads. Rice. Sand. Noodles. Box of Water. Giant block of ice filled with toys. Get plastic bins to reuse the items. Add cars, figures, plastic trees and plants. This is an opportunity for lots of creative play.

7. Sidewalk Chalk 

Hopscotch, Shadow Art

8. Geocaching

This is a fancy way of saying hiking with a purpose or a form of a scavenger hunt. “Geocaching (GEE-oh-cash-ing) is a great outdoors recreational activity that's similar to a scavenger hunt. There is a hidden object, and you're given clues and GPS (global positioning) coordinates to help you find it. It's incredibly fun, and becoming more and more popular every day.”

9. Climb a tree

If you are lucky enough to have a good climbing tree in your yard, let the kids climb (to a height you deem safe). If you do not have one in your yard, find a nearby park that has one suitable for your kids. My kids love climbing on anything, fallen logs or stumps are just as fun as trees.

10. Have a Parade

Decorate bikes and scooters and ride them in a parade down your sidewalk or street. Invite the neighbor kids to participate and have a neighborhood parade.

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