1. Backyard Waterpark
Not everyone has the luxury of owning or buying a pool. Luckily, you can still have a squealing time without one! Run through a sprinkler or down a slip and slide. Even chasing each other around the yard with the hose or water balloons can bring lots of laughter. Save your empty dish soap bottles, rinse and fill them with water. Then, play water tag in the back yard!
2. Bike Ride with a Picnic
Put those bikes to use and pedal to your favorite outdoor spot. If you do not have bikes, drive, or walk instead! Bring a picnic basket prepared with everything you need for a summer lunch. Then spend the afternoon outdoors before biking back.
3. Homemade Ice Cream
If you have ever made homemade ice cream, you know what a treat it is! Even if you do not have an ice cream maker, you can still make homemade ice cream with a little effort. All you need is a resealable plastic bag, rock salt, ice, and a few simple ingredients. Check out the Food Network’s recipe for this fun activity HERE.
4. Catch Fireflies
Dig out the mason jars and give one to each family member. The one who catches the most fireflies wins a prize or special privilege of picking out what to watch on TV that night!
5. Star Gaze
Watch your local weatherman to learn of a night when meteor showers might be most present. Let the kids stay up late, lay on the hood of your car or the bed of a truck and count how many shooting stars you see!
6. Plant a Garden
Let each family member pick out something they want to grow from home! Purchase the plants and seeds, find a perfect spot in your yard, and get to digging! Everyone can share the responsibility of watering and tending to the garden. And by the end of summer, you just might get to reap the reward of your hard work!
7. Build a Fort
There are so many ways to do this inside or outside! You can drape sheets or blankets over a table indoors, or on a clothesline outside. Get more creative and build a fort out of old cardboard you might have lying around. You can even have the kids cut out windows and doors!
8. Sidewalk Chalk and Bubbles
Two simple, old fashioned, and guaranteed fun activities. Play Tic Tac Toe or Hopscotch on the sidewalk or back patio. Or just let the creative juices flow and draw family portraits of each other with chalk! Bubbles are an inexpensive and easy way to have a blast in the backyard. See who can make the biggest bubbles and who can pop the most!
9. Throw a Luau
Transform your yard into a tropical luau! Take any tropical décor, plants, inflatable palm trees or other water toys outside. Tiki torches and flower leis will set the mood even more! Purchase grass skirts or just have everyone wear the most tropical looking outfit they can find. Flowered shirts, sun hats, sunglasses will all do. Play some tropical tunes featuring Jimmy Buffet and Bob Marley. Practice the hula and even have a hula hooping contest! For your Luau spread, you can grill chicken pineapple kabobs, serve mango salsa and chips, fish tacos, fresh fruit, pineapple upside down cake, and coconut cream pie.
10. Scavenger Hunt
Parents, make a list of nature items your children can find outdoors. Here is some ideas to get started: a ladybug, something to recycle, a flower, rock, something blue, clover, two different types of leaves, piece of mulch, and something prickly. Send them out with Ziploc bags or containers to gather their items in. Set a time limit and award the winner who found the most items in the amount of time given.
Do you have any other ideas? What is something you did in the summer as a child that brings back nostalgic memories for you? Let us know! Share with us on our Facebook page, Enjoy Mt. Vernon.