This year we are all about local activities again. If you are also still playing it smart and cautious then you know that you need to get kids motivated to get outdoors and exercise while doing so safely. Don’t sweat it. I have a great list of summer things for kids to do. Refer to it when you are stuck and pin it for later.
Right now that might be a bit trickier than usual, but there are many summer activities for kids to do now safely as we wait for the pandemic to subside and vaccines to roll out across the country.
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Summer Activities for Kids
Visit a Splash Pad
If there’s a splash pad open in your city, pack a bag and go visit for the afternoon. Mid-week sometimes is less busy so consider going then.
Check out my post on scavenger hunts and set your kids up with a clipboard and a pencil and then head out on a walk around the neighbourhood to see what you can spy together.
Download this adorable summer observations for kids activity page and do it inside or outside. Sometimes I have given kids a clipboard and pencil and had them do these kinds of things outside too. It’s a good way to get them away from gadgets and computers.
Go to the Park
Everyone has a party nearby. Go find one and spend the afternoon, or morning swinging on swings and hanging out. Your kids will love having a huge green space to enjoy
Find a Trail
In 2020 we took all the walks and uncovered many trails that were new to us in the process. It was a bit of a positive side to the pandemic actually. At least we got outside and saw a bit more of our area and our city and frankly some of our trails are amazing. There are numerous apps that can help you find something perfect for your family.
Go for a Quick Hike
Find a nearby hiking trail or one that is age appropriate for your kids and your family. Also, numerous apps will help you with a hike.
My favourite part of the summer of 2020 was learning and committing to camping. We bought a tent and we booked a campsite and we LOVED camping in a tent. Tent camping is anything but fancy but there are some stunning Ontario Parks where you need not worry about social distancing expect maybe for in the restroom spaces. Stargazing at night was my favourite part of this experience.
With out tent set up on the back deck, the kids slept outside at least two weekends in the summer. It was a way of having fun and doing something uplifting in the summer months when we were clearly limited to our area. Highly recommend making this happen. Looking for fun summer things to do with kids? This is a hit!
Sidewalk Chalk or Sidewalk Chalk Murals
We actually got in on this back last spring and summer because we were in lockdown then and we needed to get outside. So, sidewalk chalk messages and drawings were a fun way to just spread some joy.
There are so many cute rock painting ideas on Pinterest. We made so many in 2020 and left them around out neighbourhood.
Plant a Garden
Kids love to grow things. You might even enjoy building some planters and watching them nurture plants. Sunflowers and beans grow fast and are great things to start with if your kids are younger. They can watch progress daily.
Find a neighbourhood pool that’s not too crowded and go for a swim. I have never been more grateful to have a pool than we were in the summer of 2020. It is my oasis. It provided me with the opportunity to get in daily laps and exercise. Frankly, most of us used it this year. My one teen still found it cold, even when heated up to 85, so she was in it less than we were. But it was the best investment ever for us.
Do an impromptu yoga session outside. Kids are excellent at yoga poses and really get into it especially when you tell them to pretend that these are animal related poses. That’s easy to do with several of the poses because they are animal themed.
Make Ice Cream
We did this last summer and it was so much simpler than I thought. Also, I loved that we knew everything that was in it. Making ice cream is a great addition to the list of activities and summer things for kids to do.
Go Berry Picking
There are so many U-Pick berry farms in southern Ontario. You should have no trouble finding one. Last season we visited several and grabbed all of the fresh fruits even making bread machine jam for the first time ever. SO GOOD!
Make your own bubbles or go buy some bottles of bubbles and go blow them in the yard. They bubble solution is so simple to make. You really only need dishwashing liquid and water with a bubble wand of course.
Hide and Seek in the Dark
When my kids were small at our old house, we used to go outside after dinner and play what we called dark tag. It was Hide and Seek when it was getting dark and it was so much fun. The kids still remember that game. Of course, now we have a pool so we can’t really do that well anymore.
Paint with Bubbles
My daughter came up with this one. As a camp counsellor last year and the year before she was responsible for creating the activities and scheduling them in for specific theme days. One day they did bubble painting which is super easy. Drop food colouring into the bubble solution and paint. I mean first you grab a bunch of bowls or containers for the bubble solution and make sure to have some droppers or wands, or both. Put different colours of food colouring into the bubble solution. Give each child either a huge piece of mural paper or large rectangular sized white paper. Blow the bubbles with the colouring over top of the paper and wait for them to pop. This craft makes a really cute design.
DIY Bird Feeder
You don’t need much to make this happen. It can be as simple as some twine, a pop bottle and birdseed.
My one daughter loves fishing. It is relaxing for her so we go probably once a season every summer. We have also been ice fishing before and that was pretty fun, even though we didn’t catch anything.
Last year after we went berry picking we also had a picnic. It was Canada Day and to be honest it was super simple and very sweet. That made me happy.
Download the app – Skyview and go for a walk anywhere at night together. The app helps you to identify constellations easily. After that maybe you can spy them on your own. It has really helped me a lot.
Fly a Kite
Go Fly a Kite. Literally. Nothing makes you feel more like a child than flying a kite.
Our extended group of parents did a weekly meetup (with social distancing in mind) at the beach. We have several great beaches in southern Ontario. We often visited Port Stanley. Can’t skip the beach! This is a must do in the summer months. Kids and parents alike love the beach. Just don’t forget the sunscreen and the sand toys.
Make a time capsule together and then bury it in the yard. Easy and fun activity that will also amuse you years from now.
Get your kids involved in this exercise. Gather all of the things that you are no longer using and have the kids price them. They can help make the signs too and decide on the date of the event. If they are heavily invested in the work, then they should also be able to get part of the profits. Maybe they want to choose a favourite charity to donate their money to. Give them the option and it will be rewarding for all.
Summer is Perfect for Kids…Even During a Pandemic
With a little imagination and planning you can have a wonderful summer even if you need to stay close to home. I am hopeful we can all explore a bit this season. But, even if we are still waiting for vaccines and need to stay close to home, then this list can help you make the most of summer adventures with kids.