School is out for summer and it is only a matter of time until parents hear the inevitable words “I’m bored” leave their children’s’ mouths. Here is a list of fun activities that can help keep your children entertained and active during the summer break.
- Make a time capsule. Have each family member add something to the time capsule. Decide how long you want the time capsule to remain sealed and write letters about what changes and discoveries you think will happen by then. Bury the time capsule, or stick it in the back of a closet until the future date.
- Make a rainy day jar. Write activities that can be done when it’s raining on small pieces of paper and place them into a jar. Let your child draw a slip of paper which will determine what they get to do when it’s raining. Some fun indoor projects to include in your jar are building a fort, playing board games, baking cookies, Lego building contests, having an indoor picnic, and putting on a play. You can also include activities that can only be done when it’s raining in your jar, such as splashing in puddles, counting worms on the sidewalk, and measuring the rainfall.
- Invest in some lawn games. Make your yard the envy of every kid in your neighborhood, by putting up a net for volleyball and badminton, creating a horseshoe pitch, or setting up bean bag boards. Croquet, disk golf, giant Jenga, and Bocce ball are some additional lawn games that children of all ages might enjoy. Encourage friendly competition among your children and their friends by having a lawn game tournament.
- Play slip-n-slide kickball. The traditional rules of kickball still apply, however a slip-n-slide is situated between each of the bases and a kiddie pool serves as home plate. This is a great way for kids to stay active and cool in the hot Texas heat. Adding dish soap makes it extra slippery, which makes it even more fun for older children and teenagers.
- Go on a Scavenger Hunt. This can be done indoors, in your yard, around an urban setting, at the beach, or on a road trip. Create a checklist or bingo board of things for your child to be on the lookout for. Use pictures of the items when creating a list for younger children or clues that have to be deciphered for older children. This can be as easy and quick as having your child look for an item of a particular color, or more complex and time consuming by requiring photos to document completion of a task or having your child search for rarer items, such as an out of state license plate.
- Be a backyard ecologist. Have your child toss a hula hoop in your yard and then observe, study, record, and draw everything inside the hoop. Using a magnifying glass or binoculars adds an extra element of fun when looking at the plants, animals, rocks, insects, soil, and signs of wildlife or human activity inside their hoop. Toss the hoop a few times in different areas of the yard to look for differences. This is an example of random sampling, which ecologists use to measure the biodiversity of a particular habitat. Your backyard is the habitat for your experiment and the biodiversity is all of the different species of plants and animals that live there.
- Get crafty. Break out the art supplies and let your child create original works of art. Let them make decorations for upcoming holidays, or see if they want to paint portraits of each family member. Messy crafts, such as tie-dying, painting with squirt guns, or anything involving glitter, can be done outside for easy cleanup afterwards. Some fun craft ideas are printing with fruits and veggies, making a collage, re-purposing items from the recycling bin, creating sidewalk murals with chalk, making origami animals, pressing flowers, writing and illustrating a story, tracing the shadows creating by toys in the sun, or painting rocks and sticks to look like creatures.
- Set up an obstacle course. This is an easy one to adapt for all ages and abilities, and can be as competitive or as silly as you wish. Requirements to complete the course could be run to the mailbox, jump like a kangaroo, limbo under a tree branch, drink a glass of water, blow up a balloon, crawl like a crab for one minute, make a difficult basketball shot, find buried treasure in the sand box, outline yourself in chalk, or anything else you can come up with.
- Be nighttime explorers. Take advantage of your child’s more relaxed schedule by letting them stay up late to explore once the sun has set. If your child likes animals, try to catch fireflies, listen for owls and frogs, or look for bats flying overhead. Future astronomers and astronauts might want to get a closer look at the moon, stars, and planets with a telescope. Watch for shooting stars and satellites circling the earth while lying in a hammock or on a blanket on the ground. Camping in the backyard can also be a fun adventure, and you can use your flashlights to make shadow animals on the tent walls. Other ways to enjoy the summer nights with your child are building a fire and roasting marshmallows for a memorable backyard dessert, going on a nighttime stroll around the block, or watching a movie outside using a projector.
At Eastex Credit Union, we hope our members take advantage of the lazy days of summer in beautiful Southeast Texas to make some wonderful memories with their loved ones.