25 Easy and low-cost Activities to keep the kids busy this summer
It’s a month into summer and I am in desperate need for time to slow down. Between play dates, visitors from out of town, planning our vacation and just hanging out around the house enjoy long pj-filled mornings, the summer has already been wonderful, if not quick.
I’m often asked what I do with the kids to keep them busy or how we fill our days. Keep in mind, that my kids aren’t in school full time, so the transition to summer for us isn’t a big one yet. It really means an extra 2.5 hours with my son (which I welcome!).
I wrote this post a few years ago about how I fill the days – and yet, not fill them completely. I stand by that. The kids need some time at home to be ‘bored’ if you will. To figure out their own fun.
But, trust me, I know that not every day goes as planned and we want to do some activities that will be fun and keep them interested.
Here is a list of 25 activities that might help get you started!
- Park Tours – does your city have a variety of parks? Don’t just go to your regular one, take this chance to explore the others and hit the park circuit! Which one is the favourite? What makes each one unique?
- Play dates – these are keeping us busy right now. Call up a friend (or friends) and pick a place to meet. It can be at a house, or if you are looking to get out, a park or museum is great.
- Colouring pages – my kids are into colouring frenzy right now. Blank sheets of paper become a crayon canvas but also check out the web for some fun printables like the Disney Junior website.
- Obstacle course – keep them active, even if you are inside on hot or rainy days!
- Old school games outside – What Time is it Mr. Wolf and Hopscotch are favourites around here!
- Go to the library (or make one at home!)
- Set up a sprinkler for some water fun. Don’t have one? Fill a huge bucket with water. Kids and water will make their own fun!
- Make a puzzle
- Make a comic strip!
- Go for a walk and observe – what do they see in nature? What do they see around them?
- Have some fun with cardboard boxes. Build a post office, store, space ship, anything!
- “paint” the fence or deck with water and a giant paintbrush or roller.
- Play dress up. Use your existing costumes, but also pull out some unusual items – like mom and dad’s hats, scarves, or create your own super hero masks.
- Have a picnic outside.
- Picnic somewhere unusual in the house.
- Build a fort with blankets.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Draw pictures for younger kids to find (leaf, rock, pine cone, flower) or write them out for the reading aged kids.
- Teach the kids how to skip rope.
- Movie time! Think about classic movies that are age appropriate (the ones YOU used to love!) and watch with your kids. You can set up a mini drive in or theatre style setting. Pop some popcorn and enjoy! TIP: Take this time to watch the movie together, not to do some extra housework
- Become little scientists – do an activity like this simple colour one or amaze them with the classic baking soda/vinegar concoction.
- Create an activity circle. Sing and dance around it until the music stops then pick up a card to do the action.
- Bring the indoor toys outside. Playmobil and My Little Pony characters can find a whole new world to explore in the garden or on the patio!
- Create an art gallery!
- Visit a museum (Ottawa has many!). Don’t have access to a family-friendly museum? Have your kids create one! Set up ‘areas’ where they can display their ‘artifacts’.
- Tell a ’round circle’ story – each of you takes turns speaking a sentence of a story, the next person adds a line and so on until it’s complete. Need some starters?
- “Once upon a time, there was an egg in the middle of the forest…”
- “One day, while playing in the backyard, a little boy heard a strange noise in the garden…”
- “Somewhere in Outer space, a space ship was landing on a planet…”
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