Let’s face it, summer is an expensive time of the year, especially with kids! With a summer break lasting several months, finding things to do to keep the kids entertained can be harder than it seems at times. We’ve found that the more options you have, the better! Here are some fun ideas to add to the Lazy Days of Summer list:
1. Set up a scavenger hunt
Children absolutely love running around and finding things that you set them. If they’re too young to understand words, draw photos of things to find. A good scavenger hunt will keep them entertained for a few hours.
2. Go Bowling
3. Set up a campsite in your backyard
Play in the local park, just sit back and watch your children enjoy themselves.
5. Try Geocaching
This is a new craze where you can visit numerous locations around the world and find hidden ‘boxes’. Check out the Geocaching website for some ideas! There is more than likely some around your area, if not get your children to hide a new box. You will need a GPS device for this. If you own a smartphone you can download the app and do this on the go without a lot of planning. Plus it can act as your PGS.
Find local walking trails around your area.
7. Garden together
Get your children to help tend to your garden, it may be a little late to plant fruits and vegetables by the summer, but they can help put down some flowers.
8. Cook and Bake
Teach your children to cook/bake. This will teach them much needed skills for later on in their life.
Try “Dirt and Worm Cupcakes,” they’re easy and fun to make with kids!
9. Work For Money
Teach your children the value of a dollar. Make a list of chores and get your children to do them, reward them with pocket money.
10. Movie Theaters
Certain movie theaters on occasion offer free or $1 movies for children during the summer. Don’t expect the latest blockbuster, but it will help to keep the children entertained. Check the links below for theaters that have free or cheaper kids movie options!
- Graham Cinema
- Southeast Cinemas (Charlotte)
- Regal Summer Movie Express (Various locations)
- Northgate Theater (Durham)
- List of free and cheap movie options in NC
11. Craft Day
Have an arts and craft day, encourage your children to make something for you!
12. Visit The Library
14. Go swimming at a lake
15. Water Fight!
The Dollar Store has water pistols, water balloons and more supplies for you to keep your older kids entertained for hours.
16. Go fishing in a lake
17. Nature Walk
Give your children a little ‘check list’ that they can use to make a note of anything that they spot in the area.
18. Drive-In Movie Theaters
If you’ve never been with the kids the summer is a great time to go when they don’t need to be in bed so early. Grab blankets, pillows and snacks and check out one near you.
Check out this website for a list of NC drive-in movie theaters
19. Make Lemonade
Make lemonade and baked goods and sell it in the street, a good way for your child to make a little bit of pocket money or choose to do as my friend Melissa did last year and donate the money your kids make to children in need and teach them about giving back.
20. Movie Marathon
Dedicate one day to watching movies in the house, try to choose ones your child has never watched. You can of course use services such as Netflix to view a range of movies. Another idea: Pretend you’re at a drive-in movie theater and have the kids make their own cars out of card board boxes! Have different candy and drink options available to make it more fun.
Check out this site for more ideas for your home-made drive-in movie theater.
21. Board Game Event
22. Picnic In A New Park
23. Feed the Ducks
All you need is a little bit of bread and away you go!
24. Frisbee in the park
26. Play Sports
27. Play hopscotch
28. Play Dress Up
29. Go Biking
30. The Zoo
31. Forts and Tents
Build a fort in the yard or a tent out of blankets in your living room. They will be playing in it for the rest of the day. Make sure you serve breakfast and lunch in there too!
32. Create a Play
Have your children come up with a play by themselves, record it and cherish the memories.
Give your children a cheap camera that you no longer use and encourage them to take photos around the local area. This will help develop their artistic skills.
34. Read To Your Kids
35. Walk The Dog
If you have a dog take them for a long walk through nature with your children, maybe this is the right time to have a picnic as well.
36. Free Coloring Sheets
Print off activity sheets from the internet that your children can work through.
Crayola has great printable sheets, check out their website here.
37. Hold a yard sale
Hold a summer yard sale and get rid of everything you don’t use or need anymore. With your approval, let the kids decide what toys they’d like to get rid of and let them save/keep the money they make from selling their toys. Even better, give them the option to donate their old toys or the money from selling them!
28. Sidewalk chalk
39. Michael’s Craft Stores
Each year Michaels does something for kids during the summer. It’s called Passport to Imagination and is all about countries. More information here.
40. Visit your local Farmer’s Market