Summer is the best time of year for kids to spend time outdoors, but there are lots of ways that parents can keep their kids engaged during those long months. Here is your ultimate guide of ideas for your summer bucket list:
This is an obvious one, and one that most kids are not interested in, but it's important enough to start this list with. Reading is a great way to keep your children engaged during the summer. Reading also provides them with an opportunity to learn new things and keeps their minds active. This prevents that dreadful summer slide, also known as "summer learning loss". Plus, it keeps kids out of trouble!
Summer camp experiences
This is a great way to keep kids entertained and engaged. Kids will get plenty of exercise, have fun playing games and learning new things, and make friends with other children. Summer camp activities are also usually character-building and educational, not just fun.
This can also be an excellent way for parents to have some time for themselves, too. If you're a single parent or just need some time away from the housework, going on vacation without your child can be enjoyable for both of you.
Time with grandparents
As a child, it's easy to think that your grandparents are old and boring. But they can be so much more than that! They can be a great source of positive reinforcement, love and affection, knowledge and wisdom, fun activities...the list goes on.
And which kid doesnt love to hear crazy stories of their own parents when they were younger?!
Explore nature. Kids love to explore, and there are so many great places around your neighborhood to do it! They can look for bugs that inhabit their own backyards, or they can take a walk through a local park and see what they can find.
Play outside. Any outdoor activity is a fun activity with the kids. Sidewalk chalk, a water balloon here and there area all fun things both younger kids and old can do on a hot summer day. They'll love going on hikes or a bike ride with you, playing sports like soccer and baseball with other kids in the neighborhood (or maybe even their friends), or playing in the pool at home when it's hot out.
What about an amusement park? Disney World, Disneyland, SeaWorld, SeaLife, Hershey Park, Sesame Place, Legoland, Great Wolf Lodge and so many more offer families great memories and tons of fun.
Other great activities include horseback riding, camping, kayaking, and hiking, just to name a few.
Water activities are always a favorite! Go to the beach/swim in a pool/go swimming somewhere else. Nothing compares to splashing around in water when it's hot outside-it's refreshing, fun, relaxing...the list goes on! Whether you choose a water park, an indoor facility like an indoor pool or an outdoor beach where your kids will have plenty of space for running around, you'll be sure everyone has lots of fun!
Museums and science centers visits
A childrens museum or science center would be great to learn about the world around us. Kids can learn about history, science, and culture. They can also learn about the world through art or technology. Finally, they can learn about math. Museums and science centers offer hands-on activities that not only teach children, but also give them an opportunity to discover things on their own, as well as work with others in a safe environment.
The library is a great place to visit in the summer. It offers lots of resources including books, movies, and other things you can borrow. There are also plenty of programs for kids and adults alike. The staff at your local public library can help you find what you are looking for and they have lots of fun activities planned throughout the summer!
Arts and crafts projects
Arts and crafts are an inexpensive way to keep your kids busy. They can be educational, and they also help develop fine motor skills. Arts and crafts activities are a great summer activity that can be done at home, in the backyard or on an outing to a park.
Art projects are always a fun thing for kids to do. In addition, arts and crafts projects encourage creativity, which is essential for children's development. They learn how to problem-solve by experimenting with different materials, textures, shapes and colors. How many different things can you do or make with a pool noodle? You can also incorporate learning about history or science into your project for added fun!
Another fun summer activity is to learn a new art. YouTube is a great source of tutorials for lots of art projects, like painting, origami, or even digital art on programs like Procreate, etc. These also make great indoor activities on those rainy days.
Start a business
Some kids might even be u to the challeneg of stafted their own business. From lemonde stands to selling their paintings, to creating their own game on Roblox, there are many things kids can do.
Learn Something New
Piano? Robotics? Pottery? There is always something new to learn and that can be a really fun thing to do over the summer. One of our favorite websites is Outschool, a website where kids can sign up for weekly or one-time classes, or even weeklong camps to learn anything they can possibly want to learn. From extra help with school subjects, to musical instruments, dance, gymnastics, acting, singing, software-learning like Procreate, GarageBand, Roblox Studio and so much more, your child will find so many classes they actually want to take. It's all online and you pick the dates and times that work best for you. Classes start at just $7, and if you use our LINK RIGHT HERE, you'll get $20 credit to try it out.
Writing letters, cards, poems, stories, or journals.
Writing letters, cards and poems is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. It's also a great way to express feelings and thoughts that you may not be able to say out loud. Writing can be used as an educational tool.
Writing stories, journals or poems allows children to learn about other cultures and experiences by simply imagining what it would be like if they lived in another place or time period. Children who love writing will enjoy reading their stories aloud as well!
Boomshuga has a wonderful journal that kids can utilize to reflect on their day, fostering gratitude, and get them to think about how they can make each day better. You can get it right HERE or on Amazon.com.
Educational games and toys
One of the best ways to keep kids engaged during summertime is with educational games and toys. For your little one, there are numerous games and toys available that teach skills such as numbers, letters, shape recognition and more. These games can be fun for both adults and children alike. For example, there are many card games that use strategy to win points while promoting letter recognition and number identification.
For older kids, there are great science kits, coding games, and so much more. Another way to make learning fun is through board games. These include classics like Monopoly or Guess Who? which challenges players to identify people based on process of elimination. It's likely your child will find his favorite genre in no time at all!
Of course, we mustn't forget about classic toys like Legos which come in kits ranging from simple construction projects like building walls out of blocks all the way up through advanced robot kits with motors inside them! These types of toys encourage problem-solving skills while teaching kids how things work so they can build whatever comes next on their list (whether it's another robot or maybe even their own house one day soon).
Workbooks and summer tutoring programs.
Workbooks and summer tutoring programs are a great way to keep kids engaged over the summer. Workbooks are a fantastic way to work on skills that they may not have been able to practice during the school year. This can include things like reading comprehension, math, writing and more. There are many workbooks that actually bridge from one grade level to the next, to make the transition to the new school year easier. This gives them a headstart for the year and makes the year more successful for them.
If your child has an interest in something, you can find a workbook that covers it! For instance, if your child loves Harry Potter then there will be tons of books on potions and spells for them to use as they learn how to make their own wand from sticks or play games like "quidditch" outside with their friends! This is also true when it comes to sports skills like baseball or basketball - there may be some sports-themed activities available online so check those out as well!
Kids enjoy traveling just as much as adults do! They see things they have never seen before, and they learn so much in the process. Whether you take a trip to another country for a week or two, just pop over to a different state for a few days, this will most likely be the highlight of their summer. Central Park in New York City, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Colorado Springs, Florida, or any state with a national park are all great places to take a quick trip. Maybe even a cruise, which is usually the cost-efficient way to vacation, depending on the sailing and the season.
You can even take it a bit further and have them write a paper or do a project about their summer vacation and what they've learned once they get back home. Another great idea is to have your kids research a different place every week, then have them decide where they would like to go the following year for summer break. It opens their minds to the world and its different people and cultures, and also gives them a sense of importance in the bigger family decisions, like where to spend a family vacation. (Of course, they would have to know it depends on your time off and budget and so forth, but it opens up great conversation.)
If travel is not possible but they still have a passion for learning about different countries, you can also check out Little Passports. It's a subscription box that offers so much fun while learning about different countries, different states and so much more! There are many different packages to choose from, but here is our favorite: Little Passports: World Edition. Right now, you get 20% off with code SAVE20.
We hope this list has helped you get some ideas for your own kids' summer activities. Remember that it's important to keep your kids engaged, so try to make sure they have a variety of reading and hands-on activities available. You can also encourage them to read more by setting up a rewards system-maybe every time they finish a book, they get an extra hour of video game time or something similar. Sprinkle in some fun and you'll have happy hooligans instead of summer boredom.
Most importantly, family time makes the best summer fun. Be present as best as you can for them, encourage them, and always be open to new experiences! You never know what might inspire them next!
Photo courtesy of: Amaya Singh