Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s still time to fit in some outdoor fun! Throughout this summer, I had to think about what I was going to do everyday to entertain all four of my children. For me, it’s a balance of finding budget-friendly activities that will entertain all age ranges of my girls, and keep us away from our life-sucking devices. So here is my list of summer playdates with older and younger children.
Take a Nature Walk.
Head to your local state park and pick a path. Your child can create a nature journal and take sketches of his findings or pretend he is an explorer discovering a new world. Let his imagination run wild in nature.
I remember my favorite nature walk as a child had a little creek flowing into a small cave. I loved watching the tadpoles that had grown legs and when I was feeling very brave I would stand in the mouth of the cave and feel the cold water on my shins. Make sure you bring lots of bug spray. California Baby Natural Bug Blend Bug Repellent is an all-natural, deet-free, safe for baby, bug spray:
Host a Water Gun Party.
Invite your child’s friends over for a water gun playdate. Have everyone bring a water gun, or provide water balloons, and let them have a blast! This playdate is sure to rank you at BME (Best Mom Ever) Status!
Picnic in the Park
Load your picnic basket or cooler with sandwiches and meet your friends for playdates in the park with a frisbee or a kite. Take along the Skip Hop water-resistant blanket and cooler for a dry picnic.
Take your dog (or borrow someone else’s) and find a dog park. We do not have a dog, so I love taking my mom’s dog out with us. I am not ready to take the plunge and get a dog, but we get all the perks of borrowing my mom’s. My kids still get to be around a dog and form that bond, we get to watch him play and then we get to drop the him off and never deal with any responsibility of owning our own. (Ha ha, I have a feeling that shortly we will be joining the rest of society and owning our own four-legged best friend.)
Check out some swimming pools close by. My girls have learned all their swimming skills just by going to the pool. I like finding a pool with a baby play area so my little ones can be entertained without have to be all the way in the water or constantly held. You can also bring along some pool toys.
Help your Child Make a Lemonade Stand
Develop your child’s entrepreneur skills and make a lemonade stand. This is a great way to practice making change and talking with adults. My girls did this when we had a garage sale, and it was such a fun experience for them.
Many playgrounds have splash pads open in the summer. Splash pads are wet playground/ sprinkler type areas for your child. I love these because I don’t have to get in my swimsuit for my girls to have fun in the water. Don’t forget the sunscreen for baby.
Become the Playground Expert
Each week try a new playground. Turn it into a math project and have your children create a graph to discover which
playground they like the best based on fastest slides, highest swings, dizziest equipment, etc.
Spend a morning at a farmers market. Let your kids discover treasures at each different booth. Have your children taste
seasonal produce that is new to their pallet. Keep your baby close and out of reach of roaming chickens or breakables by wearing them.
Have friends meet you at a park for a Bubble Playdate! Everyone brings their own bubbles for hours of fun. Find colored, scented or yummy bubbles.
This has to be done at night, but it is so fun and such a sweet memory. Lay outside on a blanket on a clear night and stargaze.
Find constellations and shooting stars. I have found that this type of activity fosters great conversations. This can also be done in the day, just with clouds instead.
Foster your child’s artistic abilities by visiting a local art museum. Take along a pad of paper and pencils and let your child copy
Grab a large cube of ice (We have found them at gas stations) and a beach towel and slide down a hill. It’s the same idea of
snow sledding, but this is done in the hot summer with ice.
Google Search your City
My city has such wonderful events during the summer. A lot of them are free or have discounted times certain days of
the week. We have gone to concerts in gardens, Shakespeare plays in the park, the zoo, movie nights, fairs, all types of exciting events just by being aware of what was in our city.
Do you have more to add to the list? Leave me a comment with some of your family’s favorite things to do in the summer.