Summer is the best time to bond with your children and to get them learn something new. Some parents rely on interest clubs and grandparents to do so, however, there are so many summer activities for kids that there is no need to pay for them even a dime. Below we offer you a list of the best summer activities for kids divided into four categories to simplify navigation.
- Learn a new skill
- Connect with nature
- Increase physical activity
- Complete a common project
Learn a new skill
- Cooking. Cooking is one of those skills that will come in handy for your kid at all times. Whether they will want to surprise you or survive during the hard college years, cooking will be of good use. The idea is, however not to stick to the dull burgers at all times. Try veggies, fish, baking, grilling, stewing, etc. Take a cookbook or look for online recipes and decide with the kid what you will learn to cook together and set a weekly/daily challenge. This is a great way to improve your cooking skills as well!
- A little economics. Every kid should learn how to make and sell lemonade. It sounds silly but this simple game can teach a child the basics of economics. You give your kid the recipe for the lemonade and the initial capital (whether it’s cash or ingredients). Then explain that you expect them to sell the lemonade and give you the capital back. Give them a day for it. Of course, you shouldn’t be the demanding boss, but the possibility for children to earn their own money with hard work is a great small lesson about the big life.
- Take a road trip to a nearby city. Take a road trip but let your child plan it. Give them directions, a map (if needed), and tell what you would like to see there. Then leave the planning to the child. It’s the best way to provide controlled lesson of terrain orientation and a chance to give your child freedom of choice.
- Take lessons together. There are always things children want to do with their parents and vice versa. So make some lessons one of your summer activities for children. Go with yoga, drawing, tennis, music, shooting gallery, horseback riding, whatever it is your kid likes. The essential point here is that you attend all classes together, no exceptions!
- Public speaking. This skill will be of great use at school and then in college, it’s a perfect way to manipulate people in the future, and in the contemporary world it’s almost essential. So to teach your child public speaking participate in local fairs and markets, sell there something together or just join the local readers’ club. You can get a couple of useful ideas here to turn this useful skill into one of the fun summer activities for kids.
Connect with nature
- Learn to survive. Survival in the nature is one of the best skills that you can teach your child in the form of a game. Just pack everything essential and get out of the city. There teach your child how to make a fire, how to set up the tent, how to sleep in a sleeping bag, and how to navigate with a compass, not a GPS. This kind of experience is one of the most unforgettable in every kid’s life, not even mentioning its value!
- Stargaze. Stargazing is usually seen as a dull activity by kids, but you can turn it into a fun game. Invite kid’s friends for a sleepover, set up the sleeping space in the backyard. Then print the names and shapes of the most common constellations and hand them to the kids. Those who find the most can get a prize or a chance to order pizza of their choice; whatever seems appropriate for you. And remember, that while kids are learning on their own you can also share some interesting facts about the space.
- Visit the zoo and volunteer there. All children love animals so there is no better way to learn about them than to help them. All zoos have volunteering programs for children where an employee tells kids about the animals, their habitat, and their habits. Sign your children for one of those programs to let them learn about animals first hand.
- Join a ranger/scout program. Scout programs also teach children survival skills. However, there children also learn facts about the planet, learn to be more responsible for their actions in the nature. Moreover, ranger and scout programs last for more than three summer months, so one of the summer activities for kids can actually become a lifetime experience.
- Climb trees together. Every child has wanted to climb the tree at least once, but chances are you prohibited such a behavior because it’s dangerous. Make your child’s dream come true: climb a tree together. If it’s too high, build a ladder together, if it’s around the lake, make a DIY bungee jump. Whatever project you can invent with a tree – do it! In case your child is not fond of climbing, you can always make clay leaf bowl, for instance.
Increase physical activity
- Set a training goal. Whatever training goal suits your children, set it as one of summer activities for kids. You can decide to make 10 push-ups or run 2 kilometers in under 15 minutes with your kid on September 1st. With a goal, training process will go much easier and more interesting. Besides setting a goal you need to also set an example for a child, so make a goal for yourself as well.
- Take a hike. Hiking doesn’t have to be complicated. If you have a possibility, then go to some picturesque places far from the house by foot. These can be distant parks or some places of interest for your child. Should your kid have a strong will and interest to extreme hiking, combine hiking and camping and leave the city for a couple of days with backpacks. Try to make the hikes regular in order to truly have an influence on your kid’s physical health.
- Visit swimming pool/river/lake together. Swimming is one of those skills that can save your child’s life one day. For this reason it’s essential to teach your child how to swim, and doggy-paddling doesn’t count in this case. You can join some summer swimming course, hire a personal instructor, or just visit the nearest lake or river and get the initiative into your own hands. Should you choose the latter case, ensure that you remain calm and patient; otherwise all your lessons will turn into torture and won’t bring any pleasure.
- Paddle a kayak or a canoe. Explore the local rivers and lakes with a canoe. It’s always a fun thing to learn for kids especially if they do paddle and see that they participate in the movement of the kayak. It’s highly advised to proceed to such types of summer activities for kids only after they know how to swim.
- Ride a bike. Riding a bike is not an essential skill to have, yet it helps a lot once kids grow up a little. So get your kid a bike and help them learn riding it. Ensure that your child has all essential protection for their head, arms, and legs so that falling isn’t painful. And, again, if you teach your child riding a bike on your own, never raise your voice! This would only scare the child and leave an unpleasant mark on such a wonderful bonding experience.
Complete a common project
- Home improvement. Home improvement projects for kids can include everything from cleaning their room to painting the patio. The type of project you choose should depend on the age of your kid and their preferences. You can try rearranging the furniture in the kid’s room to spruce it up for the summer. If your child is old enough, you can renovate the backyard or build a starling-house. Be creative and don’t be afraid to give your child some major task, no doubt, he or she will do it!
- Plant something. Many homeowners rearrange their backyards as a part of summer home improvement. Your goal is to involve your child into it. Whether you let them cut the grass or decide to plant new flowers and even a tree together, go for it! Completion of a project that has instant visible result is always extremely satisfying for children!
- Have fun learning for school. Nobody likes learning during the vacation time, yet it’s in your power to make interesting summer activities for kids that will teach them useful information. You can read together, or organize a home theater with the kid’s classmates. But, you can also find lots of useful ideas from one father who made science experiments fascinating and useful for his son. The options are endless, just start now!
- Find/organize a new place to play. Kids are always in a search for new places to play. So why not help them and organize a new place together. If you have a basement – clean it together and rebuild a little if necessary. If the basement is taken, consider the attic. Should these two places be out of reach, remember about the backyard and its space: there definitely is a spot where you can put some rides, a sandpit, and even build a hiding spot. Be creative in your search!
- Build a fort. Building a fort with your child is a perfect bonding activity that will help you get closer. At the same time a personal fort for your child is a sign that you trust them and promise not to get on their territory without permission. Whether it’s a tree house or just a pillow-blanket fort in a room, it’s still a fort and a fun thing to build!
The bottom line
The number of summer activities for kids is literally endless. The important fact is not to stop on the standard ideas and think outside of the box. All you need is a little creativity and lots of love to your child, and the ideas will come to you. Be smart and make your kid’s summer unforgettable!