It’s June, the breezes are blowing, the sun is shining, and it is time to play outside! Here are 5 great activities to keep everyone entertained and having fun in the beautiful summer weather.
1. Soda Bottle Sprinkler
(Photo credit modernparentsmessykids.com)
I remember I loved running through the sprinklers as a kid. It cooled me off and I could enjoy some water park fun right in the backyard. This is a new take on old fun and is a great activity for kids of all ages. All you need is one empty plastic 2-liter soda bottle. Poke holes in the bottom half using a large needle and fill with water or attach a hose for constant sprinkling and hang from a tree or fence. SAFETY NOTE: you may want to use a hangable shower caddy or other mesh object to rest the bottle in for safety if you decide to hang it from a tree.
2. Make some “Land Art”
Ever notice how many cool leaves and flowers are blowing around the yard or in the park? Making nature art gets everyone walking around and admiring the outdoors. Try making a mobile and hanging it as a temporary outdoor decoration. Just collect leaves from different plants (go for ones you recognize like Maple, Oak, and Willow), arrange them on the ground, and then string them together with small sticks or reeds for display. Fishing wire tied around the end of the stick will make it easy to hang.
3. Create a treasure hunt
This activity is a little more involved because it requires writing clues and hiding them around the yard or inside the house, but the kids can use that time to read or finish chores, with the promise of a treasure hunt when they complete their tasks. Make about ten two-line clues (usually rhyming, but if you’re no rhyming wizard, not to worry! It’s just as fun in prose) and these two lines give a hint as to where the next clue is hidden. Keeping the clues in plain sight and at eye-level to keep the kids from getting stuck. As fun prize, hide a piece of chocolate or a letter promising to bake (or do another fun activity) as the final treasure.
4. Decorate Terra cotta planting pots
This is a fun short-term and long-term project.
You will need:
Flowerpots (however many you wish to make)
Letter or shape stencils
Mod Podge Washout (washes out of clothing better than regular Mod Podge)
Acrylic or Tempera paint (Tempera is washable but acrylic generally is not, so have the kids wear a painting smock or old shirt)
Use the stencils to paint the pots with a medium amount of paint on the brush (less is more). Keeping the brush reasonably dry after rinsing different colors off keeps the paint neat and when everything is dry, paint a coat of Mod Podge over the whole thing to seal it.
Another variation of pot decorating is with tissue paper squares and Mod Podge. Try painting the whole pot and then accenting it with different colors of tissue. There are so many ways to make a personalized flowerpot!
Once the pots are decorated, you can use them to store art supplies and pencils or as a long-term project, to actually plant flowers and watch them grow throughout the summer.
5. Outdoor Twister
Twister has always been an indoor, rainy-day kind of game, but why not move it outside when the weather is nice? To make outdoor twister you’ll need:
a large piece of cardboard
a large round bowl or other round object
spray paint in red, blue, yellow, and white
Make the circle first by tracing the round object on to the piece of cardboard and then cutting out the middle so that you have a circle stencil. You can measure out the game board before spraying, but estimating a several inch distance between each circle works just fine. Spray a four-by-four board with the four different colors on the grass (Note: you can make the game board bigger by adding more colors to accommodate more players). If you have a twister game board, you can use that to call each turn, otherwise an easy substitute is to cut 8 slips of paper and write Rt. Hand, L. Hand, Rt. foot, L. foot, and each of the colors and then draw a pair for each turn. And there you go, outdoor twister!