The last bell has rung, homework is done with (for now), and teachers are secretly celebrating – summer is finally here! And while school may have given your A+ student a reason to engage in some serious screen time, summer break means it’s time for a change. The challenge is, how exactly do you pull them away from all of those hypnotic internet cat videos? Try some good ole’ fashioned fun! Gear up to logout, shutdown, and unplug with these great ideas for entertaining summertime activities, none of which require electronics.
#1: Make mini-popsicles. This is a super easy way to cool off and have fun doing it. If you’ve got popsicle molds, all the better, but a simple ice cube tray and handful of toothpicks works too! Pour in your favorite juice and pop the tray in the freezer for a healthy and chilly treat. Insert toothpicks when the cubes are close to being fully frozen. If you’re feeling patriotic, try making red, white, and blue popsicles for less than $10 with this star-worthy recipe!
#2: Create your own obstacle course. Get creative with household items and create your very own obstacle course in the back yard, front yard, or even in the living room. Set out chairs to jump over, use ropes to create barriers, and set up the water hose as a hurdle!
#3: Plant a garden. Is it a mystery? Or is it magic? Answer the age-old question, “Where do the vegetables in the grocery store come from?” by planting your own garden. Get tips on where, how, and when to grow a vegetable garden from The Farmer’s Almanac.
#4: Play a board game. A game that doesn’t involve a screen? Yes, they still exist! Search the attic, scour the basement, or dig deep into your closet and brush the dust off a few classic games. Rediscover the games your parents played as kids and try not to get too competitive when Monopoly comes out.
#5: Cuddle with puppies or kittens! Get out of the house and into the playpen by volunteering at your local animal shelter or humane society. Many shelters rely on volunteers for dog walking and cat socializing. It’s good for the animals, but it’s also good for you: hanging out with animals could improve your emotional and psychological health! Find volunteer opportunities near you at AnimalHumaneSociety.org.
#6: Have a water fight. No pool? No problem. Bust out the bathing suits and the water hose and get ready for fun! Fill household containers (Tupperware, buckets, pots and pans) with water and form teams – the driest team wins!
#7: Pitch a tent. You don’t need a national park to get a killer camping experience – your backyard can do just as well! Set up a tent and catch fireflies, make s’mores over candlelight, and do everything you’d normally do camping – just a lot closer to a nice, clean bathroom.