With your kids out of school for the summer, you’ve hopefully lined up some fun activities to keep them occupied all day. If you’ve been debating some activities but don’t think you can afford to do them all, why not resort to some do it yourself options for at-home entertainment? One of the most popular activities for kids over the summer is summer camp, so instead of sending kids off to an expensive day or sleepaway camp all summer, why not hold summer camp in your own backyard? See if your neighbors would be interested in helping share supervision responsibilities and ask them to send their kids over to take part in the fun as well.
Wonder what fun activities you should do to keep your kids entertained with your at-home summer camp? Here are a few ideas.
Arts and Crafts Time
No experience at an at-home camp will be complete without some arts and crafts for the kids to take home (or inside if you’re doing the camp experience from your backyard). A great thing to make on a hot summer day is some homemade ice cream, which most of us have probably made at some point in our lives. You’ll need only sugar, half and half, vanilla extract, salt, and lots of ice to make this creamy dessert concoction, and once you’re finished you can use the final product as the base for an ice cream sundae bar or root beer floats.
Another fun activity would be to have art on the lawn. Cover your lawn with a large blank white sheet, placing garbage bags underneath it to prevent the paint from seeping into your grass. Find paints of different colors and brushes at your local craft store and let the kids enjoy the afternoon painting a masterpiece. Just make sure to check the weather forecast before you start painting – nothing would ruin your inspiration as much as a sudden rainstorm washing your progress away.
A craft that is sure to offer hours of entertainment is a DIY hula hoop. Not only will the kids enjoy taking part in this activity, but the finished product is sure to provide them with an afternoon of entertainment. To make the hula hoop, you’ll need some heavy duty supplies like irrigation tubing and a PVC cutter, but let the kids help pick out the colored electric tape they want to use for the hula hoop covering.
Games and Activities
As much fun as arts and crafts can be, sometimes kids just want to play games instead of make something. One fun activity would be to take them to a park or let them explore your backyard (if you happen to be lucky enough to have a large one). Consider creating a nature scavenger hunt for the kids to entertain themselves. You can do this one of two ways: You can create a list of items for the kids to gather and college (make sure they are ones you know your kids will be able to find) or you can have them explore the park and outdoors and bring back items they find during their explorations. (Here is a list of things to consider including on your scavenger hunt, but you can create a list that fits your needs as you see fit.)
If you want to give the kids a game that will not only educate but also entertain, consider building a life-sized Scrabble game in your yard. Create tiles out of large pieces of cardboard (9 x 9 should be large enough, but you can adapt the tile size based on how much free space you have in your yard). Just as in the traditional board game, pull tiles of letters and build upon words. For simplicity’s sake, it’s probably best you don’t keep score. Just enjoy building words and testing the kids’ vocabulary skills.
Another fun and slightly educational activity to keep the kids occupied this summer is geocaching. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt where players locate containers hidden throughout the world and use their smartphones or GPS to locate where the hidden container is. Enter your ZIP code to find a geocaching challenge near your home, and receive hints and instructions for finding the hidden containers other explorers have left behind. This might be good for older children as the coordinates and tracking might be a bit too advanced for younger children.
For a game idea that is just some good clean fun, try Frisbee tic tac toe. In this game, you’ll create a large tic tac toe board on the ground in chalk and use a Frisbee to select which spaces you want to claim. To help keep each player’s discs separate, use different colors to make it easier to see where each piece is located. If you don’t mind the kids getting messy, or if you plan on hosing them off before you bring them inside, a shaving cream slip n slide might be a fun activity. While a regular slip n slide game is fun enough, adding shaving cream to the mix will surely make the kids’ afternoon.
This is just a sampling of ideas to consider to keep your kids entertained on some of those long summer days spent at home. As long as you come up with new ideas on a regular basis, you should be able to prevent the chorus of “I’m Bored!” from entering into your home.
Guest post by Amy Moczynski who manages the digital marketing for Buildings and More, a company that offers portable buildings, including screen rooms and gazebos, which are perfect for keeping things entertaining this summer.
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