Summer vacation may be full of ice cream sandwiches, sand castles and cartoon marathons now, but before you know it the kids will be back to school, waking up early, shuffling off to carpools and dreadfully completing their math homework in the evenings. So before it’s too late, check the following summer activities for kids off your bucket list and enjoy some quality family time.
Dive–In Movie Night in the Backyard
Swap out poodle skirts and mustangs for bikinis and pool noodles to experience a modern day “dive–in” movie. It’s easier than it sounds, too. Use a large white bedsheet and a movie projector (which can be rented at most photography stores), families can replicate a nostalgic movie experience from the 50s in the comfort of their own backyard. Hop in the pool and relax lazy river style or set up a slip–n–slide if a pool is out of the picture. To really enhance the experience, plug in external speakers to a portable power source for surround sound. This fun family activity will surely create countless memories that will be treasured for years to come. If you’re up north and it’s too cold to jump in the pool, consider an inflatable pool filled with pillows and blankets.
Is summer even complete without a scavenger hunt? The answer is definitely no. Spice it up this year and instead of giving a complete list of items to find, start with clues that lead to destinations; then at each destination, give another clue leading to the next location. The first team to get to every location wins. Don’t forget safety; always bring a flashlight if you’re doing a scavenger hunt at night, and consider making this family activity mom versus dad, one parent on each team. To lessen the prep time beforehand, limit the search area to home or the neighborhood.
Homemade Music Video
This might sound a little over the top, but when you consider how far modern technology has come, producing a homemade music video is extremely easy. Throw on some of your little one’s favorite tunes, let them play dress up in your closet, and hit record on your smartphone. Pro tip: use a portable phone charger if you plan to create a long video. When it comes to editing, there are plenty of apps for download that help users mash videos together to create a masterpiece, and no one said it had to be perfect, right? The point is, it will be a fun experience for the kids and a great way for the family to bond. After all, family activities this unique and inexpensive are pretty hard to come by nowadays.
Relay Race Course
This is the activity of all summer activities to tucker the kids out before bedtime. For your at–home relay race, go all out! Think jumping through hopscotch, carrying an egg on a spoon, double dutching without error for 2 minutes — the sky’s the limit when it comes to relay race courses. Not only is the course itself fun, but the planning of it can be as well. Take some time to brainstorm a list of activities to put in the course with your kids the day before. Try to hype up the game by making signs, picking team colors, and most importantly – create an amazing game day playlist and blast it through speakers as each team races for the win.
Go on a Night Hike
Thought it may be too hot during the day, depending on where you live, going on a nighttime hike with the family is a great way to bond with each other and with nature while also getting some exercise in. The hike can also be an educational experience. Print out informational cards on the types of rock (sedimentary, granite, etc.) and have kids collect and identify what types of stone the family is hiking upon. No rocks? Try flower and plant identification. If everyone enjoys the hike, opt for planning a camping trip next time.