Got plans for the summer? If not, you need some! Parents can only hear “I’m bored!” so many times before they start driving by the school hoping that a miracle will occur and it will be open. Summer is all about fun so if you still don’t have any ideas what to do, here are 10 great ideas for filling up those long summer days and nights.
1. Discover geocaching
Geocaching is an adventure game where you use a GPS device (like a smartphone) to find a hidden container. All geocaches contain logbooks, and some contain small items geocachers can take. You can do a search for “geocaching” and your location to find nearby caches. The listing will tell you how far you’ll have to walk and how difficult the cache is to find. Once you find it, you sign the logbook and, if there are other items in the container, you may take one and leave something of equal or greater value in return. Geocaching is a great way to find adventure right in your hometown.
2. Play disc golf
Disc golf takes the sport of throwing Frisbees and gives it a target. Instead of trying to hit a ball into a hole, you try to throw a disc into a basket. And, like golf, the object of the game is to complete the course in as few throws as possible. Experts use a variety of discs for different purposes, just like golfers use different clubs. However, you can play with just a basic disc. And many communities have disc golf courses in public parks, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a place to play.
3. Load up on free days
In many communities, museums, zoos, and other local attractions offer a weekly “free day.” These are a great way to introduce your kids to something new, or to revisit a place they love, without racking up huge expenses. If they don’t like it, all you’ve lost is a couple of hours. And, who knows? They may discover a love for art, music, etc., that they never knew they had.
4. Camp in the backyard
Just because you’re not ready to tackle the outback doesn’t mean you can’t go camping. You can set up a tent right in your own backyard. The kids get to experience the fun of camping, and you get to hang onto the niceties of civilization. Running out of diapers in the middle of nowhere is a big problem, but it’s not quite so daunting when you can just run inside and get more. Plus, if it’s 3 a.m. and the kids decide they’d rather be in their own beds, all you have to do is take everyone back inside.
More and more charitable organizations are offering volunteer opportunities for the entire family. Whether it’s a community cleanup day or walking dogs at the local shelter, volunteering is a great way to keep your kids occupied while teaching them the satisfaction that comes from doing something meaningful.
6. Have a garage sale
Just about every family with kids has collected a bunch of stuff they don’t use anymore. Get rid of it by hosting a garage sale, and let the kids in on the action. Have them prepare by sorting their belongings into “keep” and “sell” piles. Then, help them set reasonable prices and come up with a way to keep track of who sells what. They get to keep the money from what they sell, and you get a clean house.
7. Organize a neighborhood party
Planning a party can be as much fun as attending. Pick a date that works for most of your neighbors, then put your kids in charge of coming up with activities for the children in the neighborhood while you and the other adults concentrate on refreshments. If you’re really adventurous, challenge your kids to come up with an activity for the adults, too.
8. Have a water day
Even older kids enjoy being silly with water, and it’s fun to watch your tweens and teens act little again! The more activities, the better. Fill a bunch of balloons with water, and stage a balloon fight. Spray a tarp with water and create your own slip-and-slide. Play dodge ball with water balloons. Play tag with water guns. Or just turn on the hose and let the kids make up their own fun. It’s even better if the adults get in on the action!
9. Visit new parks
You’re probably very familiar with parks close to your home, but why not set up a bucket list to visit all of the parks in your community? Each park has its own personality. In addition to learning more about your community, you’ll discover new playgrounds, walking trails, and fishing holes. And you might just make some new friends.
10. Build something
You’d be amazed at what you can build in your own backyard. How about a climbing wall? A zip line? A tree house? If those sound too ambitious, how about a lava lamp, a bird feeder, or a rope swing? A quick online search can yield plans for all kinds of projects with steps that are easy enough for kids to take part. And after you build it together, then the playing can begin. It’s a creative activity for rainy days, besides.
Summer doesn’t have to be about too much screen time and too many complaints of “I’m bored.” With just a little effort, you can come up with new adventures that will be fun for the whole family without breaking the bank. What are your favorite summer family activities?