Looking for some fun summer activities to do with children this summer? We’ve put together five of our best tips for getting your little ones out of the house (or away from a laptop screen!) and outside enjoying the best of the summer months. Each idea will challenge your child to explore new skills, ignite their creative spark and have fun while doing it – because that’s what summer is all about, after all.
1. Keep cool with a water balloon tournament
Not only are water balloons fun and easy to make, but they’re a great way to keep cool while running around in the warm summer sunshine. Fill up your balloons in the sink and head out to the garden or local park to start with some water bomb target practice. Once everyone has the hang of it, time to move on to the tournament! Share the water balloons equally among your little ones and their friends and let them run wild. Whoever is driest at the end of the game is the winner.
Bonus tip: You can buy balloons made especially for water bombs from most toy shops, though any old balloons will do the job. Add a few droplets of food colouring to each water balloon for an extra touch of magic to make it even more fun for the kids.
2. Make memories with a magical outdoor movie night
The only thing more magical than movie night is an alfresco movie night. Make the most of the warm summer evenings with a backyard screening of your kids’ favourite movies, whether it be the latest comic book blockbuster or a timeless animated classic.
Make a few suggestions for adventure-filled movies or series, and let the kids choose a selection of movies themselves. Invite their friends or other young family members over to join for your at-home screening, and for an extra special evening, encourage them to dress up as their favourite film characters.
Bonus tip: Portable movie projectors are relatively affordable these days, and all you need is a large white bedsheet to use as a cinema screen. Stock up on tempting treats such as popcorn and nachos, and keep a few blankets and pillows handy for the ultimate garden screening.
3. Launch a lemonade stand
Spark your child’s entrepreneurial spirit with a truly zesty business proposal. Look online for healthy homemade lemonade recipes, and make a fun activity of creating your stock from scratch. All you’ll need is a few lemons, plenty of water and ice cubes, and a healthy dose of sugar. You can also encourage your little entrepreneurs to create signature drinks with special ingredients like mint and raspberry or cucumber and watermelon.
Once your lemonade is prepared, work with the kids to set up a small table and a sign in front of your house. Make sure it’s well away from any traffic and where you can keep an eye on them. Encourage them to get crafty with the decorations and branding of their new venture.
For a fun challenge for older kids, ask them to come up with a logo and slogan for their business, which will allow them to put their artistic and language skills to use. All that’s left is to sell your lemonade to passers-by – or invite your friends and family over to visit the newly launched store.
Bonus tip: Got more than one tiny tycoon in the family? Add an element of competition by offering a prize to whoever sells the most lemonade. Or set targets to work towards together throughout the whole summer and introduce them to the power of teamwork.
4. Race paper boats at the river
Nothing beats getting outside and by the water in the summer months. Inspire your aspiring engineers and architects to build paper boats and prepare them for a race at your local lake, pool or river (accompanied and supervised by an adult, naturally). Not only will this exciting summer activity for kids get them to use their creative skills, but it will also inspire them to engage with water and nature in a fun and respectful way.
Bonus tip: Take plenty of extra paper out with you so that you can make more boats and test out new ideas. You don’t want the fun to end after the first boat sinks!
How to make a paper boat in five simple steps:
- Vertically lay a piece of paper in front of your child. Then get them to fold it in half from top to bottom.
- Fold the top left and right corners into the centre of the paper to form a point at the top. Then crease the paper to set the shape.
- Fold up the flaps at the bottom of the paper to form a triangular shape.
- Open up the centre of the triangle as if it were a hat and fold the pointed sides together so that the triangle becomes a square. Then fold the top layer up to join the other point. Turn the paper over and repeat on the other side.
- Pull the top two points open and push out the bottom to form the boat’s base. You can use sticky tape to strengthen the boat and help keep it dry.
5. Let’s go fly a kite
A breezy summer’s day is best spent flying a kite! Delta (triangle-shaped) and diamond (diamond-shaped) kites are perfect for getting started, as they’re the easiest to launch. Then it’s just a case of finding a wide-open space, such as a park, playing field, beach, or even your back garden if it’s big enough.
The most important thing to consider when looking for a place to launch your kite is that you are away from power lines, buildings and busy crowds. You’ll need wind speeds of around 5 to 25 mph to successfully launch most kites. Use a weather app to choose the best day to head out, or keep an eye on the tops of tall trees to gauge local wind speed – if they’re swaying, you should be out playing.
How to launch a kite:
- Put your kite together indoors, so the wind doesn’t make it too challenging. Position the kite’s spine and crossbars, then connect the string. Every kite will come with specific instructions.
- With your back to the wind, face your kite and hold it up until the wind catches it. If the kite starts to spin, the line is too tight. If the kite begins to drop, it is too slack. Instruct your child to keep the string taut whilst letting out more lines, so the kite flies up into the sky.
- To land your kite safely, walk slowly towards it whilst reeling in the line. Once the line is short enough, you should be able to land the kite on the ground and grab it. Demonstrate a few landings for your little kite flier before letting them take the reins.
Whether you’re planning ahead and looking forward to a summer season full of football and cricket, or you’re ready to start right now to create a beautiful school yearbook to mark the end of a memorable school year, browse our library of awesome photo book templates and get stuck in!