Two words every parent hates to hear in the summer? I’m bored. We all know that we can’t entertain our kids day and night. Some of it has to be left to their devices, but there are things we can do to avoid having them play on their Nooks and iPads all summer long. I’ll share 5 of my favorite fun and inexpensive summertime family activities below. Please feel free to share your own as well!

Embrace the Dusk: ‘Member the old days when you used to go out at 9 a.m., return for lunch, and then play again until bath time at 8 p.m.? Sadly, many of our neighborhoods don’t offer the safety for that kind of lifestyle anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there with your kiddos and create some mischief during that magical time of night. Pull out some games from you old school bag of tricks, like “Capture the Flag” or “Kick the Can” and let the giggles ensue.

Mini Golf: Frankly, I had kind of forgotten all about this until recently, and a friend mentioned taking her family. My husband and I decided to take our boys, ages 2 and 4, last weekend and, boy, was it fun! Of course, you have to realize that they might not play by the rules, per se, which was sort of hard for me at first. I’m a competitive person by nature, so when they began to pick up the ball and run all over, willy nilly, I had to let my Type A-ness take a back burner. Once I did that, we had an absolute ball.

Movie Night: Of course, a good old-fashioned movie night where you pop the popcorn (like the good old days; not in the microwave!) is always fun. But even better, many towns offer movie nights under the stars. Google it! We do it every summer. There’s nothing better than laying out a blanket, some snacks, some wine (if you’re into that kind of thing!), and getting in some cuddle time with your wee ones as a movie plays on the big screen.

Backyard Olympics: Cheap and fun? You can’t beat that! Invite some friends over or keep it in the family – either way, this one’s a riot Potato sack races, beanbags, and bocce ball come to mind, but of course the world is your oyster when it comes to this. Need some inspiration? Try some of the games NBC used on their show Minute to Win It!

Enjoy a Water Bonanza: Not all of us have inground (or even above ground!) pools, but you don’t have to in order to get wet on a hot day. Fill some water balloons, get out the kiddie pool, or dust off that slip ‘n’ slide. Another thing we like to do is fill our Nerf water guns and have an all-out war. Bathing suits are recommended!

What are some of your fave summertime family activities?

 

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