Friday, July 21, 2017

15 Activities To Do With Kids Before Summer Is Over


       15 Activities To Do With Kids Before Summer Is Over

As we head into the end of July we start to see an end to the summer. Making the most
out of those last few weeks before school starts can be a time for memory making.Therefore
making a bucket list to make the most of it is important.

Summer Olympics

What child doesn’t enjoy a little fun competition with their friends and family? Set up your yard for fun filled activities and if you can dream it up they will want to try it. Things you will need are a clean trash can filled with water, a bucket, towels, masking tape, ribbon, printed pics of medals and steps to utilize for the award ceremony. Make 1st, 2nd and 3rd medals by making a hole at the top of the medals and run ribbon through them. Many of the competition that can be set up ahead of time. Here are a few examples, a running broad jump (place tape at the point of take off and then a piece of tape at the place that your competitors land). Do the same for a standing broad jump. Hurdles can easily be designed by picnic table benches, a disc throw with bean bags, hula hoop competition based on time. By now you are understanding the fun. A twist to our backyard competition is to have either the 1st place person or the people down farther than 1st place get to go to the trash can filled with water and pour a bucket of water over their head. After your day of fun or days if you choose to participate more than one day, have your ribbon ceremony on the steps for each activity.

Local Market Veggie and Fruit Tasting

The end of  summer brings the end of all that seasonal produce. So why not do a tasting! Each child going to the market has some kind of bag to take along. The idea is for each child to choose 3 items they know they like and 2 they have never tasted. Instead of going home, find a shady tree and allow each child to show what they found. I always take along a small knife and a cutting board. Please make sure the Items are washed before cutting/ market people are very accommodating. Cut up the Items that do not need to be cooked and do a taste test. The other items can be cooked at home to continue the taste testing. Hint: You might want to supply water when at market.


Find the closest zoo and invite friends to meet you at the zoo. A fun idea is to send out invitations depending on the age. Upon arrival, break up into small groups to travel through the zoo to see each animal. When visiting each animal take pictures with the animal in the background. After fun at the zoo, return to the house and have some laughs over the pics. Pick the best 10 pictures and make a caption for each one with the intentions of submitting it to the zoo on Tripadvisor. You can help fellow zoo goers and who knows, you could become famous!

Beach Baby

A final trip to the beach for the summer is always exciting. If you live near the beach consider a final trip which provides entertainment itself. If that is not a possibility bring the beach to your house. Some sand in a small pool allows for the sand castles and a small pool with water provides a good rinse or cool off. I always set the stage with a beach umbrella, pool noodles, pails and shovels, a cooler packed with an easy lunch, drinks - capri suns frozen are magic -   add music, beach chairs, towels and a fun snack food. All ages like to be pampered and you can build in things that you might do at the beach. Consider a pedicure outside or a game of miniature golf later in the day.

Rainy Day Outside

A rainy day can seem kind of dreary during the summer but make the most of it! Take your day outside in the rain! First gather rain boots, umbrellas, old clothes to wear, a container to catch rainwater ( put the container outside as you leave) and your imagination. Go for a walk to your local park making sure you step in puddles on the way there for a big splash. Once at the park you child can Swing, run and play as usual. While you were out in rain the container at home  was filling up for your final fun of the day. When you return home gather cups, spoons, plastic pitchers and do water play. I like to add food coloring to the water for a final step.

Day at a National Park

On any given day you can easily google to see what National Parks are available near you. It is the end of summer, try to choose one that you have not been to before! Things to look for, do they have hiking trails, bike trails, canoes or kayaks to rent, swimming, picnic tables, charcoal grills, a concession stand, is there a fee for activities and to get in the park, what are the hours. Plan what activities you are going to participate in and pack accordingly. A cooler full of fun surprises  always adds some excitement! I buy special drink glasses from the dollar store and provide stickers to decorate while waiting for the meal.                                                                   

Slug Day

This is a favorite day for a hot summer day with some fun options involved. First pick a day of the week that you all can be lazy and relaxed at home. We usually choose a Sunday or a Monday afternoon. If you have a free standing hammock bring it inside to one of your rooms, gather all your big comfy pillows, bring in any chaise lounges you have, the idea is to get comfy with all that is available. A fun item to add is long sticks with packing tape on the end to use
as a reacher, in case you drop something We buy a few current magazines, put out books, have favorite movie ready, a simple make ahead meal ready in the fridge and premade snack bags. The idea is to relax and move about as little as possible.

Yard Games

This is a day that all the old fashion games are set up in the yard. Badminton, croquet, bocce ball, lawn darts, baseball, dodge ball, flag football, volleyball, corn hole, tug of war, horse shoes and frisbee golf. If you don’t know how to play any of these google them for the rules. These are fun lasting memories for all of you. Don’t hesitate to invite friends over for bigger teams.

Restaurant Crawl

This has NOTHING to do with alcoholic drinks! That being said, Google local restaurants to see when their best specials are during the week. It is more fun to try new restaurants but you risk not liking the food. The whole idea is to be moving along having meals and doing some local shopping or sightseeing. Start with a late, light breakfast, maybe ala carte and then spend a little time shopping. Next is the pick for lunch, we usually do one special and then some appetizers. Most places will allow you to have a leisurely lunch and we just relax and enjoy. A little local sightseeing at a local museum or someplace that provides a tour is fun even if you have been their before. An afternoon with some ice cream or a sweet seems to go a long way followed by a walk or a hike. We try and hit our dinner time spot around 5 for an early bird special. This is a relaxing fun day with a little variety.                                                                    

Seafood Bonanza

Depending on where you live the access for seafood varies. It is always possible to order ahead of time online and have it delivered if your local grocer doesn’t carry what you like.We usually order two types of our favorite, crabs and lobster. Make the meal so it involves each family member along the way. You can purchase butcher block paper and utilize your outdoor table for easier clean up. The lobster bibs make for great pictures and can be purchased from local seafood place (Red Lobster is accommodating).The use of small hammers and picking tools goes along way to making it more fun.

Friendly Reunion

Summer usually involves family reunions but as the hot and hazy days of summer start to run    out, my children have the chance to reunite with friends. We send out invites for an afternoon cookout and bring your favorite side dish or dessert. Make sure you take lots of pics for fun memories and plan a craft project if you have a younger crowd. A fun idea is to have a fruit smoothie bar set up with cut fruit and ice.

Night Time Fun

Getting back to basics is always a priority before our summer ends. Spending an evening outside is always fun and starting with watching the sunset is a good start. Then let the fun begin with a game of flashlight tag followed by catching lighting bugs in clear jars. Move on to start relaxing for the night with a Netflix movie outside and a popcorn bar. When ready for bed you may choose to sleep out in a tent or do a living room family sleep over party.

Sleeeeeeep Overs

Having friends sleep over is a fun passage of time that can bring late nights and sleepy mornings. Please allow each child to plan their own with 2-4 friends having them spaced apart because your family might be tired after just one! The nights can be basic with pics, movies, fun snacks, sleeping bags and a big open room! Depending on your age group,a make up tutorial and pedis are optional. A morning breakfast of juices and donuts or a cereal bar make happy ending.

Summer Clothes Swap

Yes, as summer moves on some of our children are looking at styles for back to school. If you remember, those first few weeks are usually quite warm. So exchanging each others clothes can be a fun way of shopping for a new outfit. Arrange a day at your home for a clothing swap, have a room designated  for clothing display and a room for trying on clothes ( a full length mirror is fun). Use an index card to show the exchange for future reference and the return of items to  their owner. After a light snack of watermelon popsicles, ( yes, watermelon slices frozen on a popsicle stick) turn on the music and have fashion show.

Freaky Friday

This fits all age groups and can be fun to do all together with adults in on the fun. Pick a theme to get dressed to or just dress in crazy mismatched outfits.The more friends you invite the more laughs you will have. I invite the parents as well because who doesn’t like a break on Fridays! Then have an ice cream sundae bar and vote on the 3 best outfits of the day.