“Summertime and the living is easy”. Whoever wrote that was not facing the prospect of school being out and having to entertain a house full of bored, hungry children for the next three months. Don't let the kids' summer vacation scare you. There are so many things you can do to ease the boredom. It isn't even necessary to strain your brain trying to figure it out.
Make this summer break a fun-filled three months, with these great summer activities for kids!
- Choosing age-appropriate activities for your kids is important. Younger children tend to be satisfied with simple toys, while older kids will need something more elaborate.
- Outdoor sports gear is always a great idea for older kids.
- By the time your child hits their teen years, they're more than capable of coming up with ideas for what they can do in the summer! A 15-year-old may be able to get a summer job.
Summer Activities for Kids
Back Yard Adventures (Kids 3-5)
A well-stocked back yard will entertain kids of all ages for hours on end. An added boon to you is a quiet house!
A fence is a great idea if you have very young children. Invisible fences, while great for Fido, will not protect your kids. Pony up and construct a fence before summer. The peace of mind knowing the kids are relatively protected in case you need to run inside for a quick potty break, or to grab the snacks, is invaluable.
Get your children some sturdy toys that won't break easily when thrown around outside. Remote-operated tanks or cars, baseballs or tennis balls, and figurines are all examples of great toys that are suited for some outdoor play! Last but not least, bubbles and sidewalk chalk. The kids will go wild and the cost is cheap. You can even make your own bubbles if you really want to save money!
Of course, there's no going wrong with a kiddie pool, either. Kiddie pools are shallow enough to be safe for very young children, while allowing them to splash around and play. They're a great way to get young children used to a pool before introducing them to swimming lessons. If you don't want to go all-out with a kiddie pool, a slip n slide or a lawn sprinkler is a great alternative.
With the toys in hand all that is needed now is the children and their imagination.
Entertain Us Mom! (Kids 6-11)
Summer activities for kids that are older (6-11) take a bit more imagination because they are not as easily distracted by simple toys. Kids this age want more complexity and teamwork in their play. Make your place the place to be by getting a load of sports equipment. You can get this second hand; it is going to be well used and abused.
Teach the kids how to play simple sports like kickball, touch football, or Frisbee golf. Or, try some of the good old classic outside games. Not sure of the rules? There are many websites that will tell you, or just make them up! Be creative. This will entertain and get the wiggles out, helping your kids to sleep when bedtime rolls around.
Basic supplies: softballs, soccer balls, bases, bats, water guns or other squirting toys, and a football. As the kids get older, badminton or volleyball sets are a great idea.
Remember to keep a first aid kit on hand for any injuries! There's sure to be some falls and some bruises here and there when your kids are playing outdoor sports. Always watch your kids to make sure they don't get too crazy, and set some ground rules for everyone to follow to keep everyone safe. Aim to play outdoor sports on a grassy area when possible, since grass is always better to fall on than pavement.
Teens, Without Wheels (Kids 12-15)
Before they can drive, they will drive you nuts declaring boredom. You will go blue in the face suggesting boredom remedies that are shot down one by one. An ounce of prevention with the 12-15 age group goes a long way! Before the advent of summer hold a family meeting, and turn the tables on them. Have the kids suggest things they would like to do and then post the list.
When your teen slouches in demanding entertainment you can direct him or her to the list, or offer them a chore.
Remember, you will have a supply of sporting equipment that they know how to use for years past. Check the supplies with your teen to make sure everything is in good, working order. They will find something to entertain themselves.
Summer activities for kids that require planning and preparation can be assigned to calendar dates to make sure they are actually done before summer is.
Usually, a 15-year-old is able to get a job of some kind. It may be worth sitting down with your teen and suggesting that they get a summer job. It doesn't have to be anything substantial; they can mow lawns, walk dogs, wash windows, or anything else that they can come up with. Or, they can try to get a job at a retail store. Working will help teach your child important life skills and a higher sense of responsibility. Plus, they'll love having their own money.
Having a child with a job is a great opportunity to teach them about healthy financial habits. Help them open a checking account; since they're under 18, they'll need you to open it with them. Teach them healthy spending habits, and talk to them about the importance of saving money. A child who grows up informed on how to handle money will have greater success in life.