Summer is approaching and the kids are officially out of school, but it can be difficult to keep them entertained, especially after a few months mostly spent at home. If you feel you have tried every game and trick in the book (we’ve seen all those DIY slime photos!) and are running out of ideas, we have you covered.
Encourage children to take a break from TikTok, YouTube and Minecraft and instead get a breath of fresh – albeit sometimes humid – air. We compiled a list of our favorite backyard – and front yard! – activities. Some are super simple while others require a bit of prep, but we’re handling some of the leg work for you with a few free printables that add to the fun.
Pro tip: before you get started with any of these activities, grab a Bug Bite Thing suction tool, some sunscreen, water and any other gear you may need to protect you from the “elements” of your yard.
Four Outdoor Activities for Children:
With the 2020 Summer Olympics and many professional leagues on hold, you and your mini athletes are probably craving some sports right about now. Instead of serving as a spectator, why not bring the Olympics to your own backyard?
This activity is great for solo participation or through pairs or teams. For the basic version, “Olympians” should choose the country they would like to represent. We created a handy scorecard (and took the liberty of adding in team USA) to help you keep track of the teams and the number of medals they won. To add a little extra spirit, teams can dress in their chosen country’s colors.
Next, choose your events and grab the necessary supplies, such as a tape measure and stopwatch. Some of the no-frill games that are easy to set up include the long jump, 20-yard dash, gymnastics floor routine, shot put, and even your own version of dressage if your crew wants to act a little silly. If you own the props and the motivation, you can also add in pool noodle hurdles, archery (we especially like Nerf blasters for this), soccer, swimming, volleyball, golf, basketball or tug-of-war. Games can be hosted all in one day or spread out over a week, but either way, use the scorecard to keep track.
At the end, award your champions at your very own closing ceremonies! We created some printable gold, silver and bronze medals that the kiddies can color and cut before winners are announced.
Recycled Chalk Art
If you have been sheltering at home, you’ve probably had your fair share of sidewalk chalk. It’s time to reinvent this outdoor activity by creating your own chalk paint for a two-in-one project! Start by rounding up any broken chalk and leftover stubs you have laying around. Sorting by color is ideal, but feel free to give kids the opportunity to blend their own new hues as well.
For the next step, you will need a few baggies and mallet or a mortar and pestle that you don’t mind getting a little messy. Place each color or combination of colors into a separate bag or bowl. Depending on which tools you are using, either hammer the bags or grind the chalk within the bowl. We recommend doing this outside for obvious “colorful” reasons!
Once your chalk is crushed into a powder-like texture, place each color in a bowl. We like to save old yogurt containers for projects like these, which is another way to reduce your waste. Pour in a small bit of water at a time and stir with a popsicle stick or spoon until your new paste turns into the paint consistency you desire. Voila!
From here, you have a few options. You can either grab a couple brushes and paint the old fashioned way, or test out squirt bottles or sprayers. Your kids will have a blast using sidewalk chalk in a whole new way. Need inspiration to get your masterpiece started? We’d love to see how you incorporate Bug Bite Thing into your art, like this incredible display from Project Refresh!
Lemonade and Iced Tea Stand
Tea parties and mud kitchens used to be favorites at our homes, but lemonade stands are the current playtime accessories occupying our kids’ time. You can buy it, but why not DIY it? Building it from scratch is an option, but there are some pretty creative crafters out there who give step-by-step instructions on how to design them from crates, like this adorable handiwork from Fantabulosity. A simple table can also be dressed up with a cute tablecloth and signage.
Once you set up your stand, the possibilities are endless. From a real “business” selling sips to raise money for a cause or the toy your kids have their eyes on, to imaginative moments involving peer play or tons of stuffed animals, the fun is at their fingertips. With Iced Tea Day coming up June 10, an “Arnold Palmer stand” might be a fun twist on the classic lemonade stand. To get you started, we designed a pretty menu kids can fill out before placing in a frame or taping to the stand. Click here to download your lemonade and iced tea stand signage.
As a reminder, kids should always keep safety in mind and communicate with parents before setting up a stand in the yard.
Nature Texture Rubbing
An oldie but goodie, our kids love to make art from their nature finds as much as we did when we were younger. This activity is fairly simple and requires only a short list of supplies.
Start with a walk around the yard or your neighborhood. You can use the Bug Bite Thing nature scavenger hunt as a guide for some added entertainment. Collect a few sturdy leaves, ferns, bark and sticks. Flowers are usually too soft and fresh leaves work better than dried leaves, which tend to crumble.
Set your new treasures aside as you gather some paper – a drawing pad works especially well – and crayons. Have your kiddo peel the paper off the crayons. Once the chosen colors are ready, children should place one or more of their finds between two sheets of paper (here’s where that pad comes in handy to hold it all in place) and lay the crayon sideways on top of the paper before rubbing it back and forth. Repeat with as many items or colors as they wish to create some truly unique art!
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