(that you haven’t tried yet!)
Summer is in full swing-- the sun is bright, the skies are blue, and the boom! of Independence Day fireworks has fizzled. But it’s not over yet!
Summer break in most U.S. states is quite a lengthy affair, a vestige of days gone by, when families in the sweltering cities took the hottest months to vacation in the country or beachside.
So can you make the most of these fair-weather weeks before school begins? Keep the kids on their toes with new activities that will broaden their horizons, and get creative with making summertime memories that all will enjoy! We’ve come up with a list of ten fun, creative activities to keep everybody busy and happy. Watch out, because school will be back in session before you can blink-- Time flies when you’re having fun!
1. Go treasure hunting! Download any geocaching or GPS app on your phone, and take the kids on a modern-day hunt for hidden treasure. Geocaching adventures abound in both cities and small towns alike, so it’s easy to join in on the fun. Check out OpenCaching (opencaching.com/en) to plot out your own path to local treasure troves. Just remember: half the fun is that if you take something, you want to leave something-- a small item, token, or note-- behind for the next adventurer!
2. Try an outdoor concert! Many cities offer a free summer concert series, usually in a central park area. Grab the family and some friends, pack some snacks and drinks, and stake out your own square of green space to enjoy the outdoor beats. To protect the little one’s ears from the loud noise of the rockin’ guitar, use our Fun Earplugs!
3. Have an at-home spa day! Gather the girls in the house (and grab a friend or two!), and get ready to make those flip-flopped feet pretty! Who says you have to leave the comfort of home to get a pedicure? Find a relaxing spot in the house or yard for your beauty treatment, and then gather your supplies: nail files, a basin (or big bowl) filled with cool, sudsy water, a towel, and, of course, your favorite polish for that pop of color. Begin by gently filing your toenails in one direction (back-and-forth movements cause breakage!), then giving your feet a relaxing soak. Once you’ve soaked to your heart’s content, gently scrub the bottoms of your feet a foot file or pumice stone, then towel off your feet, making sure to get nailbeds completely dry. Follow up with a pop of summer polish: first, a clear base coat; second, your color of choice; and third, a top coat seal. Don’t forget to show off your pretty toes in flip-flops or strappy sandals!
4. Visit a national park. The National Park Service turns 100 this summer! Celebrate by packing up and taking an end-of-the-summer trip to the one nearest you, and making memories to last a lifetime. National parks too far? No problem! You can still get in the spirit of things by checking out a state or county park near you. Join the fun online by using the hashtag #findyourpark to post snapshots of your family’s smiling faces.
5. Pinaqua! Probably the coolest summer splash game we’ve come across, pinaqua is exactly what you’d guess: a piñata full of water! Fun for kids and adults alike, pinaqua is as simple as a big, durable balloon filled with water and hung several feet off the ground. All you need is a blindfold (a summer scarf will do!) and a stick, and you’re ready to play! Take turns trying to burst the giant water-balloon while blindfolded. Get ready for the splash!
6. Mix up a classic cold, sweet treat. Summer screams ice cream! like no other time of year, so why not take it to the next level by making a homemade batch with the kids? Whether you prefer slow-churn or no-churn, there are endless recipes with a quick Google search. Our favorite of the moment? This easy-peasy cherry ice cream recipe from Eater.com.
7. Create a pet rock. This fun activity is the ultimate in simplicity. Go exploring outside with the kids to find the perfect rock for decorating: maybe a smooth river rock? Or perhaps your kiddos prefer a craggy little thing, with corners and edges to add character? Once the rocks are chosen, wash and dry them, and then let the kids go to town with paint, glitter, googly eyes, or stickers!
8. Have a bake-off! Not just for the winter months, cookies are just as yummy by the poolside as the fireside! Check out this site for some great summertime baked treats. With the kids’ input, choose a few new cookie recipes to try out in the coming weeks.. Even your youngest can help measure, sift, and stir. Older kids might enjoy keeping a log of tasting notes, so that the family can declare a winner after all have been devoured.
9. Start a Small Herb Garden. Take this summer break as a time to teach the kids something new that they may not learn in the classroom. Build a small garden on the porch and teach them the different herbs and spices that you use in your everyday meals. Keep the garden bed fun and organized with our cute plant labels in the shapes of gnomes, scarecrows, and especially our hilarious Bodo Bonsai Dog.
10. Watch the Summer Olympics. The 2016 Rio Olympics Games take place from August 5th through August 21st. Get ready for the thrill of over three hundred competitive events! The Summer Games happen only once every four years, so indulge a bit: check out the schedule, and let the kids choose a night to stay up late for their favorite event!
Whether you’re on the road or staying home this summer, it is the perfect time to build memories with your family. Try out the activities from our top-ten list, and don’t forget to throw in some classics-- like roasting s’mores, catching fireflies, or walking barefoot on the beach-- too! Here’s to another summer full of moments to last a lifetime!