- 3 mins
Summer Activities for Kids
Summer is approaching, and with that also comes a new school year on the horizon. As much as we love our children, keeping them entertained while also learning can be challenging. Alan Lakein’s famous quote goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. And when kids are involved, failure sounds rather distressing to me.
I’m a single father, and this year the kids are coming to stay with my partner and me for the summer. While there are tons of amazing things to get up to during the warmer months, here are a few we plan to focus on.
Summer Activities for Kids
We all know keeping active is important for not only our children but also ourselves. My partner suggested we sign my kids up for a sports summer camp. We’re lucky and live close to the ocean, which means surfing may be in the cards. It’s important to check in with your kids before you sign them up for summer programs, though, to ensure the program focuses on an interest of theirs. If they already have a sport they want, then you’re in luck! Otherwise, this is an excellent opportunity for your child to try something new.
I plan to set up a makeshift bed on our small terrace, get cozy with the stars, and see if we can recognize any constellations (or perhaps spot some shooting stars). If this is a success, it will undoubtedly become a reoccurring activity and one that will remain in their memories for years to come!
When I was little, we loved playing with water balloons! Times are changing, though, and it seems super soakers and water guns are what’s hot. These are widely available and go from cheap and simple to over the top and expensive. While the latter can seem unbeatable on all fronts, the most inexpensive water guns for sale are very popular in our local bargain store! Water fights in my household are known to escalate, so I would encourage monitoring your children closely for this one.
Time to dust out that pizza oven you bought during the pandemic! It’s safe to say that pizza is one dish most kids (and adults) love. I am pretty partial to it and I plan to make homemade pizzas with my kids this summer. There are many simpler tasks that you can delegate to your kids, too. If you were disciplined with your finances and didn’t succumb to the impulse of buying a pizza oven, barbecues are also very popular with kids. Cooking can be fun, and even when the results are sub-optimal, it always feels like time well spent.
While we do not have a garden, we have space for a few pots on our small terrace. Soil is inexpensive, and so are seeds – which makes gardening a great low-cost summer activity for kids! A 2018 study by A. Chiumento et al. ran a pilot scheme in the UK where researchers used horticulture to help children aged 9 to 15 with behavioral, emotional, and social issues. The results showed that the project contributed to an improved state of mental well-being in the 36 children that participated in the study. If that doesn’t convince you of the benefits of gardening with your children, I do not know what will!
Cameras are something everyone has plenty of nowadays, whether it’s on your phone or an actual hand-held one. If your children have cameras or camera phones, invite them to take photos and choose a few to print. Maybe even start an album! Call me old-fashioned, but I love looking at old photos of previous family adventures. I will definitely be encouraging my children to take as many pictures as they like this summer.
If you plan to spend a lot of time under the sun this summer, be sure to check out our article Signs of Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion in Kids.
McGinnis M. Gardening as therapy for children with behavioral disorders. J Child Adolesc Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 1989 Jul-Sep;2(3):87-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6171.1989.tb00366.x. PMID: 2769590.