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29 Fun Things to Do With Your Kids in the Summertime

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Whether you go on a far-off vacation or simply take a staycation, summertime is the ideal time for family togetherness. If you want to have some fun with your kids this summer but you aren't quite sure what to do with them, this list of 29 fun activities could help to spark new ideas and get your gang motivated.

Have an Outdoor Family Adventure

Summertime is the ideal time to go outside and have an adventure -- whatever your idea of "adventure" might be. For some people, even the simple act of forsaking the air conditioning to step outside on a hot day seems like a daring action; and for others, summertime outdoor sports come so naturally that they hardly seem like a challenge. Whichever types of outdoor activities your group enjoys, the important thing is to pick an activity, get outside and get moving. Here are just a few of your options:

1. Prepare a Picnic -- A picnic outdoors can be an enjoyable way to spend family time together. You can picnic in the backyard, go to a local park or enjoy a picnic at the beach if you live in a coastal area.

2. Go Camping -- Sleeping outdoors can be a fantastic way to connect with nature and teach your kids about life beyond your own home. There are endless teaching opportunities. You can observe the presence of animals, birds, insects and native plants firsthand. If the night sky is clear enough to see stars, you can stargaze with your little ones after dark, identifying stars, planets and constellations. If it's been awhile since you brushed up on the sciences of astronomy and biology, be sure to hit the library beforehand; that way you can show up at your campsite with guidebooks and helpful information in hand.

3. Take a Hike -- If a picnic seems too tame for your idea of an adventure, yet you aren't up for the rigors of sleeping outdoors, perhaps a family hike would be more your style. Hiking offers you simultaneous opportunities for visual stimulation, rigorous physical exercise, nature observation and a prime family bonding experience.

4. Fly Colorful Kites -- Kite flying is fun, exciting and engaging, plus it offers your young ones ample opportunities to hone their hand-eye coordination and troubleshooting skills.

5. Teach The Kids How to Mountain Bike -- Mountain biking is the ultimate family-friendly sport. Despite its challenges and rigors, it can be much safer than road bike riding, since most of the time nobody is exposed to traffic when pedaling on the mountainside. To maximize both safety and fun for all riders, you should make sure to buy the best tires and choose the best bikes for the trails you'll be riding. It's also important to set up everyone's gear correctly and choose your cycling destinations wisely. For beginning mountain bikers, it's smart to choose a trail offering cross country singletrack that isn't too technical.

6. Go Fishing -- Fishing offers your family beneficial opportunities to learn important life skills and lessons. If your kids grew up in the city, it's possible they might think that the fish on their dinner plates generally comes from a restaurant or the grocery store. Fishing gives you a fantastic chance to set them straight.

Learn to Play a New Game or Sport

7. Get the Gang Together for Soccer -- Soccer is a budget-friendly sport that offers everyone in the family a fantastic cardio workout. It's also an excellent chance to bond and practice team building skills.

8. Hold a Neighborhood Tennis Tournament -- If there's a place to play tennis in your neighborhood, perhaps at a local park or school facility, your family can take advantage of its presence. It could be fun to round up the gang and organize a fun tennis tournament, complete with prizes. Tennis is another sport that offers all participants a heart-healthy workout.

9. Play Weekend Basketball Games -- Basketball is another budget-friendly team sport that offers your family the potential for camaraderie, team building opportunities and a fantastic cardio workout.

10. Set Up a Game of Croquet -- If you have a grassy lawn to play on or a nearby park to set up in, croquet is a fun game that allows virtually all family members to play, even if you have elderly participants who aren't as agile as the kids are.

11. Play Horseshoes -- The game of horseshoes offers your family a chance to get outdoors, soak up some sunshine and sharpen hand-eye coordination. It's a game that doesn't require excessive high-impact physical activity, enabling sedentary and less active family members a shot at participating.

12. Play Hopscotch on the Sidewalk -- Whether you live in the city or the suburbs, if you have a sidewalk in the neighborhood, the game of hopscotch is a possibility. This is a game that can encourage kids to improve their physical agility, hand-eye coordination and a range of other beneficial skills.

Enjoy Making Arts and Crafts Together

13. Make a Family Vacation Scrapbook -- If you take a family vacation this year, be sure to print out the best of the vacation photos and organize them in a scrapbook. It doesn't have to be fancy; a simple photo album is fine. Include the details you think you'll most want to remember in the future, and be sure to mark the dates. It's a sad fact of life that peoples' memories fade over time; but you'll always have the details fresh in your mind if you record them soon after the events took place.

14. Learn How to Paint -- If there are any budding artists in the family, it could be fun for your group to take a painting class together. A portrait painting class is one possibility that would enable you to paint family portraits you'll cherish for the rest of your lives.

15. Make Collages -- Collage is a child-friendly art form that allows your group to experiment with a variety of colors, textures and surfaces. This art form encourages creative thinking; when you explore the vast variety of collage materials that are available, you realize that everything -- even trash -- could be made into creative art pieces. It's an empowering thought, and it's beneficial for children to learn this lesson.

16. Discover Clay Sculpting -- Whether you break out the Play Doh or try more sophisticated types of clay, the whole family can have fun making intriguing clay sculptures. You can have even more fun turning it into a guessing game: What exactly is that fascinating piece your toddler just created?

17. Make Origami Animals -- With nothing more than some simple supplies and a dose of creativity, you and your kids can learn how to transform ordinary paper into fun origami animal shapes.

18. Learn How to Crochet -- This constructive pastime will enable you and your kids to make a broad variety of projects including blankets, scarves, hats, doilies, sweaters and baby clothes.

If you plan ahead, your family can utilize the carefree days available during the summer months to crochet a great deal of the Christmas gifts you'll give to your neighbors and other acquaintances next holiday season. One idea is to make simple snowflake ornaments that can be enclosed in the Christmas cards your family sends out over the holidays. This will free up more hours during the holiday rush for you and your loved ones to spend family time together.

To succeed with crochet, you'll need a few simple, affordable, low-tech and commonly available supplies such as yarn, patterns, crochet hooks scissors and needles.

Crochet is so simple that even children of 5 or 6 years old can learn how to do it; and once kids are "hooked", crochet is a pastime that can provide them with many hours of enjoyable entertainment.

19. Create Gorgeous Flower Arrangements -- Summertime blooms abound in many neighborhoods. If you have flowers growing in your yard, you and the kids can pick them and transform them into stunning bouquets and arrangements to decorate your home. Having a lovely floral centerpiece on your table at meal times can make each meal seem much more special and enjoyable.

If you don't have any flowers blooming at the moment, silk flowers are available to work with at many craft stores, and they're also available for sale online. Thrift stores and antique stores almost always have abundant supplies of lovely and unique vases available for sale at attractive prices.

20. Tie Dye Some T-Shirts -- Just about everyone wears t-shirts. If your family is in need of some colorful new shirt designs, you can have fun designing and making them yourselves. You'll need a tie-dye kit, preferably featuring fiber reactive dyes, plus some t-shirts, rubber bands and a space for dyeing. A space outdoors, close to a hose, is ideal.

21. Start a Family Band

Each family member can learn to play a musical instrument, or advance their skills if they're already musically inclined. This could be a fun endeavor for the entire family; kids as young as 2 years old can learn to play bongo drums or shakers.

22. Check Out Some Live Music

Whether your family enjoys classical music, country music, rock and roll or any other musical genre, seeing a concert can be an enjoyable way to spend time together.

23. See a Play

There are bunches of advantages to turning off the TV for a few hours and heading out to see a play. When the actors are right in front of you, there's an immediacy to the performance that is far more compelling than that of your average TV show. It's also lovely to support your local arts venues and spend time among others in your community.

24. Visit Interesting Museums

Fascinating, real-life educational opportunities exist in abundance at the USA's 35,000+ historic museums. Whether your kids want to learn about fine art, decorative arts, the sciences, natural history or other sorts of history, you are likely to find suitable museums to enable their exploration of these topics.

25. Go to the Fair

Fairs offer your family members the chance to play challenging games, gaze at prizewinning livestock, sample tasty snacks, view interesting exhibits, see stimulating shows, ride fun rides and participate in a variety of great contests. No matter which types of activities your family members enjoy, there's likely to be something of interest for each family member to do at the fair.

26. Plant a Flower Garden, Herb Garden or Vegetable Garden

Children need to learn that their food does not originate at the grocery store. Some simple gardening experiences can teach them this crucial information; it's a more powerful science lesson than any that takes place in a classroom.

27. Take the Kids to Tour an Organic Farm

Touring an organic farm can foster increased awareness and understanding of where food really comes from. It can also teach kids a number of important things about the local ecosystem and environment. They'll probably even have the chance to learn about what pests are active in the area and low-impact ways that farmers and ordinary citizens can deal with those pests.

28. Go to the Farmer's Market

You can support your local farmers by making a trip to the local farmer's market to purchase some of your family's groceries. Most farmers markets offer you the opportunity to select a tempting variety of delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables. It's also possible that the vendors at the market might offer other agricultural products such as herbs, flowers, seeds, meat, milk and eggs. Some farmer's markets also offer artisan-made crafts, personal care products and even music, games or other entertainment opportunities.

29. Hunt for Treasures at a Flea Market or Antique Store

Furniture made of plastic, MDF and particle board was not always the norm. If you take your kids to an antique store or flea market, it is possible that you might find opportunities to show them high-quality, hand-crafted furniture from before the age of Ikea.

I hope you've enjoyed this list of 29 fun things to do with your kids in the summertime. Perhaps the list has sparked some ideas for family activities your loved ones might like to do as a group during the vacation months this year.

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