Free Summer Activities
Concerts — Odds are, your city or one nearby has a free summer concert series. For example, Miller Outdoor Theatre in Houston, Texas, has a full performance schedule including many concerts and theater events just for kids. Families can bring picnics and sit back to enjoy the show. Just search “free summer concerts” and your city’s name to find shows in your area.
Backyard Fun — Send the kids out back to play. Armed with just a magnifying glass, they can pretend to be explorers with this guide from the No Time for Flashcards website. Or try this fun activity from the Chasing Cheerios blog, which involves freezing small toys into a block of ice for your kids to excavate. They even learn a little science in the process as one of the suggested excavation tools is salt.
Fun Games for Kids
Kick the Can — This classic game incorporates a can or bucket into hide and seek. Gather together all the kids on the block, and you have an outdoor activity that can last for hours. Check out the Disney Family Fun website for a rundown of rules.
Water Balloon Fun — Water plays a big part in summer fun, but not everyone has a pool in the backyard. No biggie. Just give the kids bags of water balloons and point them toward the hose. Games can be as simple as water balloon toss or as involved as this Angry Birds-inspired game from the No Time for Flashcards website. Kids who love playing the video game will have a blast in this real-life version that involves blasting the piggies with Angry Birds water balloons. The Motherhood on a Dime website also offers a fun water balloon target-practice game. With just chalk, balloons and water, you can fill your kids time. Bonus: Your driveway will be clean by the end of the game.
With any of these games, bring out the competitive spirit in your kids by offering prizes. They don’t have to be big. Think: toys you find in the dollar aisle.
Summer Craft Projects
At certain times of the day, it will just be too hot to have fun outdoors. Call the kids inside for a craft project. The Disney Family Fun website has tons of project ideas, including this 4th of July sticker star twirler craft, this recycled-robot activity and this paper mobile craft, just to highlight a few.
Have your kids pitch in around the house during their many hours of free time. Don’t ask them to vacuum or do the laundry. Instead, pick fun chores that they won’t moan about and pay them with rewards such as a trip to the ice cream shop or an extra hour of video game time. Washing the car and walking the dog make excellent chores for kids during summer, and they also teach responsibility.
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