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Fun in the Sun: 10 Summer Activities to Keep Your Kids Busy

Every kid needs something to occupy them once the school books are put away for the summer. The key is to keep kids active and engaged throughout the day so they’re pooped once it’s bed time. This list has affordable activities that parents or babysitter’s can work into the summer, whether you’re living in the suburbs or the city.

  1. Have a picnic. No need to make it fancy. Grab the kids, pack up a blanket and some food to nosh on and you have a picnic that will occupy the kids at a local park. You can go classic with basic sandwiches and sliced-up veggies or opt for DIY sandwiches that the kids can make themselves. Be sure to take sunblock and bug spray along for the ride.
  2. Get baking. Let kids get dirty in the kitchen by baking up some fun. Go with something easy like cupcakes or cookies. This gives kids something to decorate and channel their creativity once the baked goods have cooled. Remember to man the oven and never little ones get near the heat.
  3. Create an obstacle course. This can be done in the yard or in an empty parking lot or at the park. Start with a hoola-hoop, a jump rope and any other cheap items you have access to. If you don’t have tired (or want to lug them out), create a makeshift tire obstacle with blocks in the shape of a circle.
  4. Rock crafts. It sounds exactly like what it is. Take the kids out and collect a few decent-sized rocks. Bring them home and go to work with chalk, glue and pipe cleaners to create silly faces on the rocks and create characters. You can also have kids name their new rock and give it a backstory to enhance their creative storytelling and writing skills.
  5. Bust out a sprinkler. Kids will love splashing around with a sprinkler. If you don’t have access to a pool or it’s too packed to bother, a sprinkler is the next best thing. Have popsicles and cold bottled water on hand to help kids cool down after they’re running around all afternoon.
  6. Make ice pops. What goes better with summer activities than ice pops? Get the kids involved by whipping up an easy juice recipe that they’ll all enjoy. Mix orange juice with pomegranate or mango juice for a sweet snack that will make the kids feel like they’re indulging without chowing down on candy.
  7. Water balloons. Do we need to say anything else? Grab a bag of balloons and help kids fill them up. Carry the water balloons outside in buckets to make it easiest on yourself and prevent losing any while in transit. Split kids into teams and have a different bucket for each team to avoid a gaggle of kids from gathering at one bucket.
  8. Go for a nature walk. Whether you’re at the beach or cruising around downtown, have kids take in the environment around them and pick up pieces that reflect that environment along the way. Talk about the items (leaves, feathers, etc.) and how they possibly made their way to the spot where the child found them.
  9. Blow bubbles. Bubbles can be purchased at the dollar store. Buy a bottle per kid and go outside and blow bubbles until dusk. Kids of all ages are entertained with this activity for hours. Encourage older kids to teach younger kids how to take their time to blow huge bubbles and watch the eyes of little ones light up with glee.
  10. Go the library. Many libraries have storytelling hours during the summer. Older kids will enjoy exploring material they want to read versus material they have to read for work. Let kids check out a few books, bring them home, read them and then discuss what the books are about. This keeps their brains in the academic zone without bogging them down.

Kids need entertainment in the summer. It’s important to keep it affordable since the kids need something to do every day. Don’t worry about repeating activities. If you see the kids take to one activity more than others, feel free to throw it in the mix more often. As long as they’re smiling and you’re stress-free, it makes for a win-win summer of fun.