Now that the summer is upon us, you and your kids are probably looking forward to a little fun. Still, many summer attractions for kids like amusement parks, zoos and waterparks might not open until later in the season, if at all. That doesn’t mean you can’t help your children burn off some energy in some fun ways.
Many of the kids likely have some cabin fever after having been under a “stay at home” order through most of the spring. If you can’t visit your favorite outdoor destinations this summer, what are your plans for keeping the kids busy and getting them outside during the warmer months? How can you help them burn off some energy?
Preschool-Aged Children and Energy-Burning Outdoor Activities
Toddlers have unlimited energy. They are like the Energizer Bunny. They keep going and going and going. Here are a few ideas to help them burn off that excess energy while getting some fresh air.
- Make a waterpark in your own backyard.
- Find a hill and roll down it.
- Teach the kids some nostalgic outdoor games like freeze tag, kick the can and hopscotch.
- Blow bubbles using wands. Take turns having kids pop the bubbles. Time it to see how many they can pop in 3 minutes.
Early Elementary-Aged Children and Outdoor Hobbies and Projects
Some of the above activities might work for early elementary-aged children. You can challenge them a little more by introducing them to some new hobbies and interests.
- Teach your kid how to fly a kite. You can do this at the beach or your local park.
- Go camping in your backyard.
- Pick berries at a local farm.
- Build a fort in the backyard using cardboard boxes and crayons.
- Take them swimming in a nearby pool, beach, or lake.
Outdoor Fun for Upper Elementary-Aged Children
Upper elementary-aged children don’t want to play “baby” games. They are also not into toys which can make keeping them busy a little more difficult. Here are a few “age-appropriate” but fun activities to do with them.
- Play “hot potato” with a water balloon.
- Host a picnic with fun contests like a sack or wheelbarrow race.
- Get some hula-hoops and see who can keep their hoop moving the longest.
- Kick a soccer ball, throw a football or frisbee.
- Go on a bike ride on a nearby trail to spot animals.
Middle School-Aged Children and Creative Outdoor Projects
If you have middle school-aged children you’ll have to be a little creative to get them to unplug and go outdoors. You might coerce them into some family time with these exciting projects.
- Host a car wash for family, neighbors and friends. Along with having fun and burning off energy, they can make a little money.
- Take the kids out canoeing or kayaking.
- Make a sidewalk mural using chalk. Be sure to take photos to post on social media.
- Do a charity walk. The kids will enjoy the excitement and the chance to meet new people.
High School-Aged Children and Fun Things to Do Outdoors
Of course, you can arrange for group sports like a soccer, baseball or basketball game. However, you can introduce your kids to some new ideas and interests with the following activities.
- Start a garden with your older children. You can plant fruits and vegetables that the family will enjoy eating.
- On a sultry day, play the “balancing the bucket” game.
- Tour a nearby college campus.
- Go zip-lining.
Give the kids a full summer of outside entertainment by working your way through your favorite ideas on this list.