A couple of years ago (June of 2014 to be exact) I shared a series of posts about fun activities to break up summer boredom with your own children and your students. You can find those posts HERE and HERE. I thought it was time to refresh those lists and share some of my favorite easy summer activities.
I am constantly reminding the teachers that I work with that children will always love the most simple ideas – we (the adults) are the ones who get bored with the same things over and over again, but children haven’t been doing these things for nearly as long as we have, so they are still exciting for them!
Here are some easy ways to spice up your summer days whether you are home with your own children or with your students at school all summer long:
- Go to a different park than usual. There is something magical about a different playground with different equipment than the children usually get to use. I recently found a list of amazing playgrounds in my area (if you’re in Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan you can check it out here). I plan on exploring as many of these as possible with my daughter this summer.
- Make something new for lunch and let the kids help. Do you know what my favorite special lunch was as a child? Pizza bread – it was literally pizza toppings on a slice of bread that we cooked in the toaster oven, but I loved it because Mom let us make it ourselves, all she did was manage the toaster oven part. It wasn’t something that we got to do everyday, so it was special and exciting.
- Create a water park in your yard. How many water toys have you collected because I have a ton of them. I’m planning to get them all out at one time – the pool, sprinkler, water table, squirt guns, everything – and have our own little water park in the back yard. You could absolutely do this on your playground too. The beauty of this idea is that the children won’t play in the pool for 5 minutes and then decide that they’re bored and ready to go inside. When they do get tired of one thing they can move right on to the next thing.
- Make popsicles. There are a ton of fun popsicle recipes on Pinterest, but the easiest just require your favorite juice, or even kool-aid. You don;t need fancy molds, paper cups and popsicle sticks work just fine. The anticipation of waiting for their popsicles to freeze and getting to eat something that they made all by themselves makes this super fun for young children. My biggest tip for making popsicles is to put them together late in the afternoon so that they can freeze overnight and you can eat them the next day. This helps a ton with the lack of patience that preschoolers are known for.
- Start a summer collection. Get your entire class or family in on the fun by starting a summer collection that everyone can add to. Try to think of something that you can easily pick up nearly everywhere you go – small rocks and pebbles, paper napkins, sugar packets, receipts, leaves, etc. This will make all of your routine trips a little more fun because children will be tasked with finding the item as many places as possible. It will also give you little mementos to remember the fun with. Get creative and find a way to keep track of where each item came from.
- Plan a trip. I truly believe that half the fun of any trip is planning it. Whether you’ve got a family vacation or a field trip coming up, find a way to involve the children in the planning – what will they need to pack? What do they want to see when you get there? Do they have any questions about the location that they would like answered?
- Ice Cream. Those two little words are magic when you put them together. Ice cream makes everyone happy, and it is almost always attached to special memories. Whether you make ice cream or take a special trip to a local ice cream store, it is sure to be a highlight of the summer.
- Have a lazy day. We all need a break from our regular routine sometimes. Plan a day where you get to just hang out and relax – leave your pajamas on, watch a movie, do a lot of reading and drawing and just chill.