Summer is here, and so is your children’s summer break. As much as you plan your summer with your children at home, filling your schedule with family vacations, summer camps, and extracurricular activities, the summer is long enough that keeping the days full of excitement can be a daunting challenge.
To help you to fill your little ones’ summer days with fun, here are 10 exciting activities you can do in your own back yard.
10 fun summer backyard activities for kids
Bring out the bubble solution and all of the bubble wands, small and large, bubble machines and bubble guns. Let the little ones fill the yard with all sizes of bubbles, using different kinds of tools, or join in the fun and let them see how many they can pop!
Water balloon bomb
On a hot summer day, a water balloon bomb explosion will destroy the heat and boredom all at once.
Animal mud world
One thing that can make any outdoor place fun for kids is mud, and if you include animals, even better. Simply adding enough water to your current sandbox or a bare patch of the yard will create an exciting play environment for your little ones. Let them bring their favorite toy animal to get messy in the muddy puddle. After the fun muddy play you can simply provide a tub full of water and a towel—you might be surprised how much fun they’ll have cleaning up their mess.
Many of you already know the story, Stone Soup. It is a European folk story, wherein a hungry stranger with a single stone gets the wary townsfolk to share their food by convincing them that his stone produces a miraculous soup, which they can taste if they each pitch in a single ingredient.
For this activity, provide your kids with a big bucket (or basin, or old pot) full of water that contains a single stone at the bottom, and ask your little ones to search for ingredients for the soup, such as leaves, flowers, herbs, seeds, and—surely the most alluring ingredient for kids—soil. This works amazingly well at keeping kids entertained for a long time.
Toy car wash
With a can of shaving cream, sponges, a bucket of water, and towels, you can set up a fun toy car wash for your little ones. You can let them wash their own bike, scooters, wagon and other large toys—whatever needs to be cleaned. Two birds with one stone!
Iceberg treasure discovery
This one needs some preparation before the activity. Place small objects like little figurines and plastic animals into ice cube makers, cover with water and freeze. You could also add food coloring for extra fun.
Once the ice cubes are ready, let your little ones watch them melt under the sun, or give them small tools to pick away the ice and discover the treasures.
Little ones love to get messy with their hands, but how about letting them turn plain rocks, sticks, and leaves into colorful rainbow creations? They can use their colored objects to decorate the garden in rainbow colors. (Acrylic paints can be tough to clean up, but will last withstand the weather better to preserve your kids’ artwork longer.)
Hand and foot painting
Squeeze out those tubes of colors into a big bowl and let your little ones get messy. Let them cover your paving stones with their tiny handprints and footprints. (Please make sure to use washable paint to avoid a long-lasting mess.)
Let your little ones go camping right in your back yard. Set up a tent and provide your kids with blankets, snacks, chairs, and even better, if you have a firepit or other safe place to light a small fire, let your kids roast marshmallows and make some s’mores.
10. Rainbow sidewalk chalk shadow
Let your little ones trace your shadow—or each other’s—and let them fill in the face and clothes however they want with the chalk. Join in the fun and draw your little ones with oversized noses, ears or mouths and watch them burst into laughter.
Here are 5 free printable summer activity coloring pages that you can download and keep handy, to entertain your little ones on those emergency days!
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