I don’t know about you, but I am so happy that summer is finally here! I gladly welcome a reprieve from the crack-of-dawn school drop off traffic, homework, and endless after school activities. We’ve had a pretty chill first couple of weeks of summer break enjoying the lack of a grueling schedule, but I know that boredom will come quickly if I don’t plan any activities. To combat the possibility of boredom, I’ve put together a list of 8 fun in the sun ideas to suit kids of any age.
1. Picnic dinner at the playground
One of our favorite things to do is to pack a picnic dinner of sandwiches or pasta salad and head out to our local park, which has numerous tables and a nice shade-covered playground. We sometimes plan ahead and meet up with another family or two that we’ve met through school or activities. It gives the kids a chance to burn off some energy before bed time, and gives us parents an opportunity to socialize.
2. A day at the zoo
Although here in the deep south it can be steaming hot on a midsummer day, if we prepare well, we thoroughly enjoy an educational day spent at the zoo. Most zoos now have some sort of splash park or water feature for kids to cool off in, which is a great way to beat the heat and give both parents and kids a break.
3. Dessert and splash
There are numerous shopping centers and parks around here that have fountains that turn on when the weather heats up where the kids are welcome to splash around. Almost every one of them are close to some sort of yogurt, popcorn, or ice cream shop. It’s such a fun treat to head out to one of these spots after an early dinner, grab dessert, and let the kiddo splash around. (Just remember to bring a towel!)
4. Sidewalk Chalk and bubbles
Children of all ages love to play with sidewalk chalk and bubbles. They can be used virtually anywhere; at home or on a walk through the neighborhood, at a park, at kid-friendly craft beer breweries, restaurants with outdoor seating, and while waiting on a 4th of July parade or fireworks to start, you name it!
5. Rock painting, hiding, and hunting
Many communities now have groups of citizens that have made a hobby out of painting and hiding rocks as well as searching for painted rocks that others have hidden. You can collect unpainted rocks (or even buy a bag of them at your local craft store!), paint them with acrylic paint, and hide them at a local park. Many of these communities have local Facebook groups that give clues as to where the rocks have been hidden. It’s pretty exciting to see what kind of rocks you can find!
6. Nature walks
We love to load up the whole family (our dog Daisy included) and go to the closest nature preserve for a nice long walk early in the morning. We try to make it as educational as possible by noting the different types of trees, birds, and flowers we see. Just make sure to bring the bug spray and sunscreen!
7. Swim Day
Pack the cooler full of finger foods like sliced fruit and sandwiches and head to a local pool or water park for the day.
8. Paint wars
Have you heard of Goblies? They are soft nontoxic and biodegradable paint balls that are intended for throwing. Grab a few colors, have the kids dress in clothes that won’t make you cry if they get stained, and let them have at it in the backyard. So much fun! You could even have them throw them at a blank canvas and make a little work of art!
I hope this list gives you inspiration to get outside and enjoy the sunshine this summer!