Perfectly clear blue skies, bright bursts of sunshine, hot sweaty weather, and kids with nothing to do all day.
Itâ€™s that time of the year again â€“ SUMMER! Most of us have good memories of summer. Itâ€™s a time to play, to relax, to unwind, to try out new things, and to bond with the family. Some of our most memorable experiences happened during this time â€“ a trip to the beach, a weekend stay at grandmaâ€™s, the first baseball little league championship.
As parents, we want our children to make the most of this season and make good memories that will last them a lifetime. With the current pandemic, some of us may opt to stay indoors and keep safe from the virus. But if you have your own backyard, or if travel restrictions in your area are not that strict, and you can safely move around your community or other nearby areas, you can also enjoy some outdoor activities. To help make this summer worthwhile and memorable for you and your family, weâ€™ve come up with a list of 10 indoor and outdoor activities that will surely be fun and engaging for everyone.
1. Get busy in the kitchen
Learn to cook your favorite family dish or bake something sweet to celebrate a special occasion. DIY pizza, chocolate chip cookies, pasta, homemade ice cream, and fruit shakes are just some of the things you can make with the kids at home. For other kid-friendly recipes, you can check out this link. Getting busy in the kitchen helps kids learn essential kitchen skills such as peeling and chopping fruits and vegetables, measuring ingredients, and cooking. Parents can integrate math, science, and art concepts while preparing food. As a reward, you get to enjoy freshly made food as a family or have some to pass around to friends!
2. Play a musical instrument
Whether itâ€™s the piano, guitar, drums, or harmonica, learning to play a musical instrument is a valuable skill. Music helps children express themselves and gain self-confidence. It also develops childrenâ€™s musical ability and teaches them the diligence and perseverance required to learn a new musical piece or perform for other people. Before the end of summer, organize a concert and invite friends and family to enjoy some homegrown music. To get you and your kids started on your musical adventure, head on to this website for free piano lessons (with videos, yay!) the kids will surely love.
According to Mason Cooley, â€œReading gives us a place to go when we have to stay where we are.â€ Reading is the perfect activity for children who donâ€™t like the outdoors and would rather stay inside on a hot summer day. Build a reading nook with a comfortable pillow or chair, proper ventilation, and good lighting. Add some cookies and a favorite drink. Then, bring out beloved childrenâ€™s books or young adult novels, magazines, and other reading materials and read away!
4. Keep a journal
Keep those writing skills sharp by asking the children to keep a daily journal. A simple bullet journal updated every day will be a good storehouse of summer memories and keep children busy for a few minutes a day. Let the children be creative and add doodles, sketches, comic illustrations, and other artwork to their journals. As a bonding activity, you can set a date for journal entry sharing when kids read out of their journal to share their most memorable experience of the week.
5. Get artsy
There are a lot of internet resources that teach parents how to do arts and crafts with kids. Activities vary depending on the childrenâ€™s ages or the materials needed. Activities such as finger painting, creating a scrapbook, or upcycling materials are perfect for children of different ages. These activities enhance childrenâ€™s creativity and awaken the artist in them.
6. Go camping
You can choose to go to a camp site near you or stay right in your own backyard. Pack your bags and picnic basket with camping necessities like sleeping bags, food and drinks, insect repellants, and flashlights. Print out this list to make sure you have everything you need ready, especially if youâ€™re camping outside the comfort of your own backyard. Pitch a tent, light a bonfire, and cook hotdogs and smores. Serve up some fun by spending the night stargazing, chasing fireflies, or exchanging funny or scary stories. You can also bring a guitar and sing some songs.
7. Engage in sports
Getting involved in sports has a lot of physical, emotional, and social benefits for children. Sports activities develop physical strength and stamina. Sports also teaches kids problem-solving, discipline, resilience, and sportsmanship. Playing sports also lets children meet new friends and form meaningful connections with other people. Not sure which sport your kid should try? This article gives helpful advice that might help you and your child make the right choice.
8. Grow a garden
Get your hands dirty by planting seeds and growing a garden. This activity takes the children outdoors and lets them soak up fresh air and sunshine. Seeing seeds turn into sprouts and eventually to plants can also be a rewarding experience. Taking care of the young plants and letting them grow until they bear fruits can teach children about responsibility. Finally, harvesting fruits and vegetables from the garden encourages healthy eating. To kick off your gardening activities, head on to this link that offers kid-friendly gardening tips.
9. Tour your neighborhood
How well do you know your local community? Take this opportunity when the children are out of school to have a field trip around your community. According to this resource, field trips, even if theyâ€™re just around the neighborhood, have tons of benefits for you and the kids. Visit the park, museum, library, fire and police stations, zoo, and some local shops. This is a great way to get to know people around the community such as the librarian, baker, book shop owner, policemen, and firefighters. You can also visit a favorite neighbor and ask them to recommend a nearby shop or restaurant for you and your family to try.
10. Do volunteer work
An app designed for older children and teenagers, Lightbot is an excellent resource for kids who are interested in learning the ins and outs of computer programming. Players learn in this puzzle-type app by moving a robot through a maze by giving it programmed commands. With each new level, the maze gets even harder, giving the player new opportunities to learn programming concepts.
Join a tree-planting activity, help clean up a nearby beach or the local park, take care of shelter animals, or visit a nursing home. This article lists volunteer activities to get you started on your mission to spread love and kindness. Doing volunteer work teaches children compassion and imparts the value of living for others and being grateful for lifeâ€™s blessings. It is also a good way to expose children to issues in society while giving them a chance to contribute and make a difference.
Whether you decide to do everything on the list or just pick a few favorites, remember to have fun and savor this time with the children and the entire family.