With lazy, hazy days ahead, finding summer activities for kids can be a definite challenge. Instead of caving to their plaintive pleas to cruise the Internet and zone out in front of a video game, gather up some great ideas to keep them active, involved, and learning. Here are 6 of our favorite ideas for making this summer vacation about more than just kicking your feet up!
1. Go on a nature walk.
This idea is great for kids who seem to have too much energy! Pick a nature trail in your area that has a well-planned layout, grab snacks and drinks, and search for interesting leaves, flowers, critter tracks, and more. This activity can even be done right in your own backyard, which is ideal for curious toddlers who may be too little to enjoy walking on a trail. Remember: give wild animals the respect they deserve by keeping your distance, and dispose of any garbage in the proper receptacles.
2. Volunteer in the community.
Though volunteering seems like “work” to some, it can lead to new and exciting experiences. Through church, community message boards, and even word of mouth, events needing volunteers can be found with relative ease. Some events, such as helping to build a playground or cooking a pancake breakfast for the VFW, teach new skills and can be used later in life as a reference for college and job applications. Helping others at a young age can spark a lasting interest in charitable actions, resulting in a better future.
3. Learn a new skill.
There are more skills to learn on this earth than there are days in a lifetime, and anyone can try their hand at something new. From pottery and knitting to automotive restore and animal care, there’s a plethora of interesting subjects for kids to explore. Start small by choosing some instructional books from the library, such as a step-by-step origami book, and try to use supplies that are already in the house. Not only will those lingering craft notions disappear and make room for new, creative ideas can be born from a limited selection of supplies. Bonus points for practical skills that are learned in a fun way!
4. Put on a home musical or play.
Kids love dressing up, and their stories are often much more creative than any Hollywood writer can dream up, so why not put on a show? Sock puppets and marionettes can be made with relative ease, and almost anything can be an instrument if you try hard enough. If ideas aren’t necessarily pouring in, try recreating beloved movies or singing songs from memory to get the creative juices flowing. Even a round of stand-up comedy, consisting of corny knock-knock jokes, will get the ball rolling for an engaging performance.
5. Read books aloud and in character/theme.
Part of the magic of reading books comes from the vivid mental images some authors can conjure up, sometimes so real that the world around you feels different. Because reading is more of a solitary activity, it might prove difficult to get kids to settle down and focus; instead, cure the quiet time antics by making reading into an actual event! Wearing costumes that mimic the characters, reading in their voices, and assigning a reading role to everyone are all great ways to include books into your summer activities for kids. Go the extra mile and move between rooms and the outdoors with your characters to really get immersed in the story!
6. Help plan summer activities for kids in your neighborhood.
Doing fun activities is great, and keeps boredom at bay; unfortunately, not everyone can come up with things to do, and some kids don’t have siblings or friends to enjoy their free time with. Make sure everyone is having fun by including your neighbors, schoolmates, and those visiting on their own summer vacation. No one likes being left out!