Your kids’ summers are usually jammed packed with activities, from camps to playdates to vacations. However, this season may look a little different. If you’re staying close to home this summer, you may be searching for activities to keep your kids entertained for those long, sunny days.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go far from home to create some summer fun! These five activities can be done in your own backyard and community and are sure to keep your kids laughing and playing the day away.
Fun, At-Home Activities to Do This Summer
Make a Backyard Waterpark
Even if your kids can’t enjoy your neighborhood pool this summer, it doesn’t mean they can’t make a splash! Bring the waterpark to your backyard – all you need is a few items and lots of water.
Fill an inflatable kiddie pool up with water for kids to splash around in when the heat rises. Use tarps, or purchase a slip-n-slide and let your kids slide their way across the yard. If you have a play structure in your backyard, send water down the slide with a hose for a DIY waterslide. Or, simply turn on the sprinklers and let your kids race through the stream!
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
There is so much to discover in your community! Your kids can learn about the local flora and fauna in their backyard or a local park with a nature scavenger hunt. Download a list of items to find, or create your own with things you spy around the community.
Once your kids return from their quest, ask them about their experience. What was their favorite item they found? What new things did they discover? You can turn the scavenger hunt into a learning experience by using the opportunity to teach them about native plants to the area, as well as the importance of nature conservation.
Create Sidewalk Art
A canvas awaits just outside your front door! Move art class outside by creating some chalk art in your driveway or on the sidewalk outside your house. Stock up on a rainbow of chalk colors and encourage your kids to think big – can they fill up a whole sidewalk square with one piece of art? Can they work with their siblings to create a mosaic mural in the driveway?
If your kids don’t love art time, encourage them to use the chalk to make hopscotch to try out. How long can they make it? How fast are they able to do their homemade course without making a mistake?
Build an Outdoor Obstacle Course
Burn off some of that extra energy by setting up an obstacle course in your backyard. Your local dollar store is chock-full of things to create a thrilling course – hula hoops, pool noodles, cord, kiddie pools, inflatable tubes, and more. You can also incorporate your backyard playset, trees, and small retaining walls – the possibilities are endless!
Your kids can either play against their siblings or try to beat their own best time in a round of three. Show your kids how their times improve as they work through the course multiple times, and award prizes for sportsmanship, cheerleading, enthusiasm, and athletic achievements.
Bring Camp to Your Backyard
If your kids can’t go to sleepaway camp this summer, set up camp in your backyard! Invite your kids to help you set up a tent in the lawn, and stock it full of pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and lights. Build a small fire in a portable firepit, if allowed in your area, for roasting s’mores when the sun goes down.
At night, sit outside, share scary (or not-so-scary) stories, and look up at the stars. Help your kids identify major constellations in the sky, like the Big Dipper or Orion’s Belt. In the morning, prepare them a big camp breakfast of pancakes and eggs cooked on a camp stove outside their tent.
Even if you’re stuck at home, you and your family can still enjoy summer activities at home and in your neighborhood. Many communities, like Copperleaf, are beginning to host events & food trucks again. Let the fun in the sun begin!