Summer comes with the school holidays, a time where the structure of school with its endless classes, intervals and lunchtimes, is replaced with unstructured time at home. For some, this means rest, others, activity. But without a plan, unstructured freedom will turn to nothing else but boredom. Bored kids do not make for easy parenting — however, we have a bucket list of fun things to do with kids this summer holiday.
1 — Beach Activities for Kids
A giant sandpit is attractive to people of all ages. From the fauna: birds, fish and crabs; to the flora, sea lettuce, glasswort and kelp; there is something for everyone to enjoy at the beach. And don’t forget the sand and water, because sandcastles are always fun to build and the water is a great way to cool off after playing in the sun!
2 — Bike Activities for Kids
Learning to ride a bike is something of a rite of passage for children, and there is no better time to learn than in summer, when it is warm, and the days are long. Go to the park and ride! Or, if your children are older, go find your nearest cycleway or BMX track — there are hours of fun to be found going on a bike ride.
3 — Fun Chalk Activities
Chalk. Coloured chalk is cheap, coloured chalk is fun. There is no better artsy activity than decorating the driveway or the pavement outside your house with flowers, sailing ships, and super fun drawings of people. Chalking allows kids to get creative and use their imaginations. Have fun while teaching your children the arts.
4 — Tent Making
No complicated tent making kit is needed, just stretch a tarpaulin with some nylon cord. Children can be kept busy by even the most basic of shelters. Kids can play out on a hot day and keep sheltered from the sun, or other weather. Once your tent is complete, kids can use the power of their imagination to turn it into a fort, a house, or a ship. Later on you can use it for this next activity –
5 — Star Gazing
With warm weather, summer is the perfect time to hang outside at night staring up at the heavens. Look at the stars, learn about the constellations, or even find out when you can see the International Space Station, using a schedule!
6 — Backyard Camping
Closely related to stargazing is sleeping outside, close to nature but not too far from home. All you need is a tent (or even a tarp), something comfortable to sleep on and a sense of adventure. While the safety and utilities of home are close by (hooray, no leaving the pegs in civilization while you are stuck in the middle of nowhere…) your children can recalibrate to the great outdoors.
7 — Feed the Ducks
At the park, at the pond, or near the river, there will be ducks. Mallard ducks, with the distinctive green headed males or the handsome shelduck, will appreciate broken bread thrown their way. Your children will love having fun feeding these magnificent birds. In fact, this could even be a child’s first lesson in birdwatching. You could then go home and get creative making bird crafts.
8 — Sprinklers and Water Fights
Summer is hot. Kids love water. But you do not need to go to the beach, or the pool to experience the fun that cooling off in water brings. Get a sprinkler, attach it to a hose, and watch as the kids have hours of fun running in and out of the water. Alternatively find some water guns or water balloons and have an epic a water fight! And then, when you are all cooled off, dry yourself out in the summer sun!
9 — Build a Fort
Sometimes it rains in summer and for a time, the great outdoors is closed off. Then it is time for the dining table, couches, and sheets to disappear, all to become one in a fort. Hide out from the weather, inside your fort, and give your children their first lesson in engineering (no, you cannot put a chair on top of a clotheshorse (do not ask why this author knows this.)
10 — The Park
Sometimes with children, it is the simple things in life that counts. Wide open spaces, a playground, some trees to climb — simple pleasures that are the bedrock imaginary kingdoms are built upon. Parks are also the perfect place to take your kids to play, while inviting another family along. Without the hubbub and socialisation of school, being able to see their friends during the summer break is a special treat!
11 — Hunt Lions
Walk through your neighborhood or town, with your kids. Count how many lions you can see. Are there lions on the buildings? Are there lions on the door knockers? Are there lions in the picture books at the library (spoiler, there are.) Then, make a map, and colour it in. Babies first exploration, finding new lands, and that mythical urban lion.
Summer can be filled with fun. Without organisation and planning — without the help of ideas — summer can devolve into an experience of staring (or climbing up) the walls. Get entertained, get moving, go outside, explore the inside, this is summer, have fun.
What will you be adding to your summer bucket list this season?