Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of kids activities to do before you have to start packing lunches and helping with homework.
Keep kids occupied, engaged and learning through the end of break with these 10 great ideas that don’t break the bank or involve TV or screen play.
Take a Hike
Mix it up by going on a hike instead of visiting the same old park and swimming locations you’ve been going to all summer long.
Explore a local state park or trail, and engage your kids with a hand-on learning experience through nature with plants, insects and birds. Buy a cheap butterfly net, mason jar, and pair of binoculars.
Make a day of it and enjoy being outdoors. Pack a picnic lunch and talk with your kids about what they found.
Camp in your Backyard
Pitch a tent and grab the sleeping bags! Head out to your backyard and gear up for a night of catching fireflies, making s’mores and playing after-dark games outside.
Fill the tent with stuffed animals, flashlights and glow sticks.
Your kids will feel safe and secure knowing their house, and a bathroom, are just a few steps away.
Don’t forget to bring the bug spray!
Watch a Drive-In Movie
Craving some old-fashioned family fun? Watch a movie under the stars and take the kids to a drive-in movie theater. Find your local theater here.
Let the kids wear their pajamas and bring extra jackets and blankets, along with lawn chairs.
Pop your own popcorn and bring juice boxes. Just don’t forget to have everyone use the bathroom before you leave.
Go On A Scavenger Hunt
Create a list of items to be found wherever you go and hand out copies to each child or team. See who can find the most items or who can find them the fastest.
Give the winners inexpensive prizes like balloons, sidewalk chalk or a special treat.
Throw a Yard Sale
Get rid of clutter and throw a yard sale. Your children will learn basic business principles such as counting change, organizing inventory and being friendly to customers when you include them in a yard sale.
Along with creating posters and putting them around the neighborhood, encourage your children to clean out their toy rooms and bedrooms, and contribute toys and clothing they’ve outgrown.
Use the profits to indulge in an ice cream run or let them pick out a special item for school.
Join a Summer Reading Program
Summer is a wonderful time to go the library and find a good book or activity.
Most libraries offer story time, craft projects, magic shows and much more.
Kids (1st-6th Grade) who read any eight books and bring a completed Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Journal to the store by Sept. 5 can pick out a free book. Quiet time starts here.
Pick Your Own Fruit
Check out a local farm and pick your favorite summertime fruit! Berry picking is a delicious outing that helps children understand where their food comes from and gets them focused on a healthy lifestyle.
Start early in the day before it get too hot! Don’t forget to bring containers to store the berries and water.
Kids will be tempted to eat every berry they pick, but remind them to save some for later!
Once home, have the kids pick out a recipe and make jams, smoothies or ice pops with the freshly picked harvest.
For days that are rainy or extremely hot, cool off inside with bowling.
Kids ages 15 and younger can bowl two games a day for free through Aug. 31 at participating bowling alleys nationwide. Pre-registration is required and most bowling alleys require shoe rental.
Be sure to read the fine print because the details are different for each bowling alley.
Get Artistic with Squirt Gun Painting
Put the paint brushes down and get the squirt guns out!
Set up a plastic table cloth or old sheet as your drop cloth on the driveway or grass.
Fill up water guns with a mixture of powdered tempera paint and water.
The kids will have a blast creating crazy patterns on their canvases, and most likely their clothes as well.
Teach your kids strong values and have a little fun by volunteering as a family!
Help a neighbor with yard chores, visit elderly people at a nursing home, or help pick up trash along a green space. Volunteering will teach your kids to make a difference in their community, discover a new interest and meet new people.
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