School’s out for summer!
While the kids may be jumping for joy about the carefree summer days, parents everywhere may be dreading the inevitable chorus of “I’m bored” and “What should we dooooooo?“ from the kids at the first sign of boredom.
Here are eight activities to keep the kids from bouncing off the walls this summer (and to burn off some extra energy!) while keeping you sane.
With the Summer Olympics set to kick off in Rio de Janeiro in August, we all have Olympic fever. Why not put that excitement into action by hosting the Olympics in your backyard? Have kids choose countries to represent and draw their country’s flag. (Plus it’s great opportunity for kids to brush up on their geography!) Then decorate the yard for your own version of the Opening Ceremonies.
Set up track field competitions like the 100-yard dash, a Frisbee discus throw, long jump and obstacle courses. Run relay races — everything from three-legged races to potato sack races to an egg-and-spoon race. Play Olympic sports like badminton or soccer. With 28 sports represented at this year’s Summer Games, there are many options to choose from.
Set up numbered baskets around your backyard. This will be your “golf course.” Kids then take turns to toss the Frisbee towards the “hole,” trying to use the fewest throws to land the disc inside. Like golf, the player with the lowest score wins.
One of my favorite summer activities as a kid was washing my parents’ car. It was the perfect antidote to the hot East Coast summers — hosing down the car and my siblings was the best part! Little did I know I was doing a chore for my parents! Give the kids buckets of soapy water and set them to work.
While kids love art projects, you probably cringe at the thought of the inevitable mess in the house. (I do!) Why not move the artwork outside and have a messy art day? Then you don’t have to worry about getting paint on the furniture or getting glitter and glue embedded in the carpet.
Set up large canvases. Kids can paint with regular brushes or even kitchen utensils, mops, and toilet plungers for fun shapes and textures. If you have swings, set up a human spin art station. Kids lay on their belly on the swing and move back and forth, squirting paint from a ketchup bottle onto a large paper or canvas spread out below the swing. Or lay paper on a slide, dip bouncy balls into paint and let them roll down the slide!
Hiking is a great way for kids to spend time outside and to be active during summer. If your kids are newer to hiking, choose an easy trail with a destination at the end like an old fort or battery or an impressive vista. If your kids need a little extra prodding, turn the hike into a scavenger hunt or bug safari. And plan on lots of snack breaks! Bring snacks like Stonyfield Organic Fruit Snacks or even frozen Stonyfield YoKids Organic squeezers. And don’t forget your sunscreen!
Who doesn’t love a game of tag? It’s a easy and simple way to burn off extra energy and with the ever-changing variations on the game like freeze tag, blob tag, my children’s personal favorite — toilet tag, kids won’t get bored. Plus, it’s a great way for parents to burn off some extra energy too!
One of the best summertime pastimes is running through a sprinkler on a hot day. And it’s easy to set up too. Have a slip and slide in the garage? It’s the perfect time to pull it out. And it’s bound to keep the kids busy and laughing.
What kid (or parent) can turn down a little frozen treat? This ice cream maker is a fun way to get the kids in on the action. Fill it up with your favorite Stonyfield yogurt and kick it around the yard. After about 20 minutes, your frozen treat will be ready to eat!