Make use of the warm weather and keep the ratbags entertained with these kids summer activities!
Over in my beautifully sunny part of the world, we are getting towards the end of the warm weather. And we've had some super hot days this summer. Now that we are getting a few cooler days it's great to get out and enjoy the remaining summer sunshine over the coming weeks.
Scavenger Hunt Kids Summer Activity
Forever I had been hearing about scavenger hunts and I really didn't know exactly what they were. So here's the low down… they're typically outdoor games, costing little or no money. Everyone collects items from a pre-organised list and they often work in small teams. Some scavenger hunts might require taking photos of items.
Whilst many of these scavenger hunts are pre-planned, some can also be spur of the moment. This is a great activity for children of all ages (even adults). For younger kids make it simple and tell them exactly what they are looking for. For older children/adults, give them hints to see if they can guess and find what they are supposed to be looking for.
The best type of scavenger hunt is a nature one that can be played in your backyard or at the park. Be sure to download your free Backyard Scavenger Hunt worksheet from the Freebies Library. Some examples of nature scavenger hunt items are:
- Leaves (size, shape, or colour)
- Flowers (colour or type)
- Rocks (size, shape, or colour)
- Ladybug, ant, or a worm
If you want to take your scavenger hunt up a level:
- Head to your local discount store to purchase items that suit a theme.
- Turn your hunt into a secret agent mission and hide clues that they have to find.
- Make it a treasure hunt and hide chocolate gold coins that they have to hunt for.
- For older kids who know neighbours quite well, include items they can knock on doors to find.
I really had fun looking at all of the amazing scavenger hunt ideas. Here are a few you should check out for more scavenger hunt kids summer activities!
- Summer Photo Scavenger Hunt
- Car Scavenger Hunt
- Adults Night Out Scavenger Hunt (okay the kids can't have all the fun)
Become a Summer Tourist
There are so many activities in or around your city that you probably know all the tourists go-tos, but when was the last time you went?
This is a great activity to do on the weekend or over the school holidays. Take a few days or perhaps plan one day of each week during the long holidays to visit attractions and destinations that you haven't been to in a while.
Of course, these places can get pretty busy over the weekends and school holidays. If you know that the place is going to be crowded head out first thing in the morning or plan your day around this. Some attractions can get costly however with some planning there are venues you can visit for free or little cost. You can also save some money by packing a picnic lunch and snacks.
Here are some suggestions on places you could go:
- Water parks
- Local zoo
- Nature parks and gardens
- Beaches, nature trails
- Places of architectural interest
- Hop on/off bus tours
For other ideas, go to your local visitor's centre (or look them up online) and pick up the free brochures. You might find some excursions you didnít know about or had forgotten existed. Often staff at the visitor's centres usually have coupons for free or discounted admission too.
Camping Kids Summer Activity
Anybody who knows me knows that camping is not my thing. Not even glamping! Kids love to be outside and even I agree that camping can be a valuable part of growing up. My version of camping however would be pitching a tent in the backyard or sleeping on the trampoline (I loved doing that as a kid!). And you could totally do that if you find the thought of a full-blown camping trip too much.
Some activities you could do on your camping trip (or in your backyard) include:
- Playing flashlight shadows
- Create a memory jar including items from your camping adventure
- Buy kids their own disposable camera. You could also have the photos printed and make a scrapbook.
- Card and board games
- Make a scavenger hunt (see above!)
- Create a nature collage
- Rock painting
- Create a cubby house
- Make nature art from found objects
Summer Memory Jars
Instead of a journal or scrapbook, kids can make their own memory jar from the summer. If all the memories will not fit into one jar, make several for special days or outings.
You will need a large clear glass jar with a lid. Repurpose an old food jar for this. Collect small mementoes or other meaningful objects that will fit inside the jar. They can be photographs, a special rock found, something they made, a friendship bracelet, the options are really only limited to their imagination.
As an example, a day trip beach memory jar could include filling the bottom part of the jar with sand or pebbles, add in some shells and other interesting finds. Take a picture of your fun at the beach and use it as a backdrop.
I love the idea of memory jars. You can make and collect so many. Write the date and occasion on the lid of the jar and keep them in the kid's rooms as a reminder of the fun they had.
An actual stand isn't necessary, you can bring out a small table and chairs for the kids. Provide a beach umbrella and even set up some shade and a sitting area for your kid's customers. If setting up in your front yard isn't ideal, go somewhere like a local baseball game or to the park.
Supplies needed to open a lemonade stand:
- Lemonade or other juice mix
- Juice jugs
- Paper cups
- Some coins to make change for customers and a place to keep the earnings
- A sign to advertise the stand and the price
- Garbage can or bag for the used cups
This activity is great for the kiddo's math skills as they count money and make change. An even better lesson would be to have them select a charity and raise money for it. Have them decorate their signs and if they're raising funds for charity, be sure to include that as they will get more customers!
Obstacle Course Kids Summer Activities
This summer activity can be played in the park, the beach, or in your backyard. You can use props, actions or a combination of both. Obstacles are great for a group of kids or just one. They get them moving and burning some of that energy!
Set up stations that have the kids moving from station to station in a different manner. They can somersault to one, run backwards to the next, and skip to the last one. Try crab walking, crawling, walking sideways, hopping on one foot, or any other silly movement.
When out at the park, use the play equipment to set-up an obstacle course. Have them zigzag through the swings, go down the slide and then touch a tree to win. Involve the kids and ask them what they think should be involved in the course or race.
To make the course more challenging, use equipment such as jump ropes, safety cones, different size balls, hula hoops and other sporting equipment. An obstacle course is anything that makes it trickier to get from point A to point B.
Make Nature Bracelets
Kids love collecting things. All they need is a roll of packing tape and a pair of scissors to cut it. Cut a piece of tape that is long enough to go loosely around their wrist with a small amount needed for overlap. Wrap with the sticky side on the outside.
Send the kids out into the backyard, park or somewhere outdoors looking for things to add to their bracelets. They will have to be small so they will stay stuck on the tape. This could be flowers, blades of grass, or leaves. Find enough treasures to completely cover the tape.
Once they have finished wearing either use more tape or staples to fix the nature bracelet to a piece of poster board or construction paper. The kids can then write about the different pieces of nature they collected for their bracelet and why. You could have them make as many nature bracelets that they want and use them for a collage later on.
Kids Summer Activity Running Games
Running games are the most fun and don't require preparation or money to keep the kiddos entertained. My kids absolutely love the anticipation of being chased, particularly when they don't know when it's going to happen!
Red Light, Green Light
Where one person is “it” and the rest of the kids have to try and sneak up on them. The child that is “it” stands at least 5-6 meters away. They turn their back towards the kids and yell “green light”. All the kids run towards them until he or she turns around and says red light. Everyone must freeze, if anyone moves they have to go back to the beginning. The purpose is to reach the person who is “it” while they have their back turned during green light.
Similar to Red Light, Green Light. The person who is “it” is Mr Wolf. The rest of the kids ask, “What time is it Mr Wolf?” and then take the appropriate number of steps depending on what time it is. e.g. three o'clock would be three steps. This continues until Mr Wolf decides that it is lunchtime. When Mr Wolf replies, “it's lunchtime!” everyone runs away, and Mr Wolf catches a new Mr Wolf.
A game made up of two teams with equal numbers on both sides. The two teams face each other in a line holding hands with their team members spaced about 5 meters apart. The first team calls over to the other team, “Red rover, red rover, we call *child's* name over”. Once a name is called, they run towards the other team trying to break the link of two children holding hands. If they break the link they return to their team. If they can't break through the held hands, they then join that team.
Use sticks as batons or have the kids say a silly word or a joke as the pass-off instead. Alternatively use it as a getting to know you game where each kid has to tell the person something about themselves for the pass-off.
I hope I gave you some great ideas for kids summer activities. I certainly have a few more now! I'm not sure about you but I'm really starting to hear a lot of the “I'm bored” comments. And I don't imagine they will be easing up anytime soon. I would love to know what you enjoy doing with your family and how you keep the kids entertained. Reply below or tag me on Instagram @avisualmerriment.