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Summer Fun Ideas

Summer has arrived and the kids are home from school.  The days are longer, warm and beautiful yet the kids are bored.  So what does that mean?  It's time for you to have some FUN with them.  There are plenty of things that you can do with your kids without spending a lot of money.

Fun things to do in the summer with kids are listed below:


Create a Cool Summer Drink -- Blue Crush

Ingredients for a single serving

  • Single serving of blue juice (Gatorade or Kool-Aid jammers)

  • 3/4 cup of ice

  • Gummy fish

  • Scoop of vanilla ice cream

  • Scoop of whipped cream or cool whip

  • Drink umbrella for decoration

  • Straw

Combine the blue juice with the ice in a blender.   Blend on high speed until the ice is crushed.  Pour this mixture into a clear glass.  Drop in a few gummy fish.  Add a scoop  of ice cream.  Top with whipped cream and a few more gummy fish.   Add a straw and a drink umbrella.


 Throw a block party

Select a committee of detail oriented people to get the job done.  You will need to collect a specific amount of money from each family and this will vary based on decisions made regarding festivities and food.

Kick off the party with a parade.   Kids will love to decorate their wagons, bikes and battery powdered vehicles.  You can select a theme or have them dream up something.  Give out prizes for the best decorated.  Have them parade to a specific area and then play some games and give out prizes.  We have in the past rented a machine that shoots candy into the air.  The kids loved it!!!  Talk to the local police and fire department to see if they would be interested in joining the parade.

Ask everyone to decorate the outside of their house/yards/decks for the festivities again give out prizes for the best decorated.

Provide music -- Hire a Disc Jockey or Band  or looking to save money have everyone on the block put their stereo on the same station and aim the speakers out the window.  Designate a dance area.

Food -- You can either have a common food table where everyone can make a salad/dessert and collect a specific dollar amount per family for meats OR you can have each family provide their own food.

Games/festivities --  Relay races, treasure hunts, variety show, karaoke, pie or watermelon eating contest, craft tables, face painting, dunk tank, moon bounce.

Check with the township to see if you need to get a permit and try and get the street shut down.

Make sure you start your planning and preparations in advance.  It does take time and effort but it is well worth it in the end.  Remember the first year is the hardest after that you will be able to plan and execute with precision.



Create Sea Shell Beach Shirt

Fabric paint and puff paint pens in a variety of colors
Clean, white Tee Shirt
Sea shells in a variety of styles and shapes

Start by placing a piece of card board between the shirt to eliminate paint from leaking through the fabric.

Place fabric paint in paper dishes for ease of use.

Dip sea shell into paint and lightly press onto shirt to create desired design.  Try not to move it around so that you get a clear imprint. Use puff paint pens to write your child's name on the shirt if desired.

NOTE:  Test  shell design on paper prior to putting it on the shirt.  You will find that some shells make a nicer design than others.


 Bears At The Beach

Compliments of:


Blue Jello

Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding

Bummy Bears

Mini umbrellas used in tropical fruit drinks

Clear plastic glasses or cups


Prepare Blue Jello as directed on package.  Divide evenly into clear plastic cups and refrigerate until set.  Prepare instant vanilla pudding according to  package instructions. To create a beach spoon some of the pudding on top of each cup of jello on one side only.  Add a few gummy bears and insert an umbrella and there you have Bears at the beach!  Note: can add some crushed graham crackers over the pudding to make it look more like sand.



Flip Flop Cookies

Items Needed:

Oval shaped cookies - Nabisco Cameos or Pepperidge Farm Milanos work well
Red rope licorice
Food coloring

Divide frosting into several dishes and add food coloring to get bright colored frosting.  Make a selection of flip flops by either frosting the cookies in a variety of colors or adding a dab of frosting where the straps will be attached to keep them plain.  For wide straps, cut the gummy worms in half after snipping the rounded ends and then slice it lengthwise leaving one end intact.  For thin straps cut the string licorice into four pieces. cut one end of each piece on an angle and pinch together the pointed end to form two pairs.  Press the straps, connected ends first onto the frosting.

Compliments of


Other Fun Ideas

  • Take them Bowling
  • Hit the beach or pool
  • Make lemonade
  • Have a movie day,  snuggle up together on the sofa and watch a favorite movie.
  • Go on an excursion to a local museum
  • Have a picnic.  Helpers will love to decide on the food, make the sandwiches, pick a location.  Going to a park that has play equipment will extend the excursion.
  • Go to story time at the local library and/or bookstore.
  • Create a fort with blankets draped over furniture -- make sure there is room for more than one person.
  • Create an obstacle course in the yard.  Have them jump, crawl, hop, and walk over and under things.  You can make it a relay to see who can do it the fastest.
  • Board games are always a great way to pass the time
  • How about teaching them to juggle?
  • Balloon animals was always a favorite in my house.
  • Build a sand castle
  • Make a home video -- have the kids put on a show and film it.  They will love preparing props, doing the skit, and then watching it over and over again.
  • Build with Legos or blocks.
  • Have a tea party. Set a table outside with tea cups, select a dessert (muffins, scones or cookies), invite some guests (favorite doll, teddy etc... and enjoy
  • Make chocolate covered pretzels
  • Make  a house/fort out of a big box.
  • Have a scavenger hunt.
  • Create some fancy footwear by decorating clean, white canvas sneakers with fabric markers.  Your kids can draw stripes, polka dots, flowers, or designs onto the fabric.  There is no drying time involved.
  • Make ice cream sandwiches with Graham Crackers.
  • Go for a stream walk and search for water creatures.
  • Wash the car.
  • Go on a hike.
  • Go on a boat ride.
  • Go kayaking or rafting.
  • Find treasures on the beach.
  • Learn to surf or boogie board.
  • Go skateboarding or in-line skating
  • Go dolphin watching.
  • Get a rod and go fishing.
  • Check out Barnes and Noble Reading Program -- This is a program for elementary aged children.  Once your child reads a specified number of books they return the completed log sheet and they pick out a free book.
  • Check out the free movies at your local theaters.  This is offered by many movie chains during the summer. 
  • Create life size pictures.  Get a large sheet of paper and have your child lay down on his/her back on the paper so that you can draw their outline.  Once this is complete provide all types of art supplies, material scraps, felt, buttons etc.. so that they can paint their face and add clothes.  When it dries cut out the shape and you have a life size self portrait.
  • Take them to a ballgame  A minor league or high school game will be fun and more cost effective.
  • Have a beginning of summer celebration or End of summer party.
  • Blanket Volleyball.  Create 2 teams of four players and give each a blanket.  Each player gets a corner of the blanket. Have one team serve the volleyball.  This is done by placing the ball in the middle of their blanket and then lowering the blanket and raising it quickly as a team so that the ball becomes air borne.  The other team must catch the volleyball with their blanket and continue the play.

Water Games

Water Bottle Relay Race: Give each team a bucket of water, Dixie cups and a large, empty soda bottle.  One "lucky" person sits on a lawn chair, opposite end from the water bucket, holding the soda bottle between their legs.  The rest of the group proceeds to fill their Dixie cups with water, run to the other end and pour the water into the bottle.  The first team to completely fill the bottle wins.

Water Balloon Toss: Fill balloons with water.  Have everyone form two lines facing each other about three feet apart.  Each pair is given a water balloon. On GO  they carefully throw their balloon to their partner. If the catch is successful they take a large step backwards so they gap between them gets greater and they throw the balloon again.  The winner is the last group left with an unbroken water balloon.

Play Hose LimboFollow the rules for Limbo only use your hose instead of a stick.

Water Balloon BaseballGet a collection of water balloons and tennis balls that are the same color.  The pitcher selects either a balloon or ball and pitches to the batter.  The batter decides whether to swing or not.  If it is a balloon he/she may get very wet!!  Be sure to switch positions to make it fun for all.

Ice ExcavatingFill a large container with water.  Add some artifacts that the kids can discover (plastic insects, dinosaurs, action figures etc.. ) and put it in the freezer until it is frozen solid.  Remove it from the container.  Have your child put on eye protection.  Give them a hammer and a screw driver and have your paleontologist go to work.  You should do this outside.

Squirt the BallUsing soaker-type squirt guns and beach balls have your kids fight or squirt to the finish line.  The first to blast their beach ball over their opponents finish line wins.

Create a Car Wash -- Have the kids line up toy cars/trucks, bikes and scooters.  Put them in their bathing suits and give them a bucket with soapy water, a scrub cloth and the garden hose.  Let the fun begin.




Create a Portable Sand Box

Purchase a plastic full size wheelbarrow at the hardware store and fill it with sand.  You can easily roll it into the garage for storage to keep it dry and clean.  You can move it to any location in the yard to follow the sun or shade or to keep the kids in view when you are doing yard work.  It is a great rainy day toy because the kids can play with it in the garage.  Best of all when the kids get tired of it or outgrow an sandbox you still have a wheelbarrow for yard work.

Fun Outdoor Games

Red Rover:   A great game for a large group of kids plus an adult to supervise.  Divide kids into two teams and form a line facing each other.  Select the team to go first in a fair fashion such as a coin toss.  Members of the team hold hands and call by chanting : "Red Rover, Red Rover send (Fill in a name) right over!"  for someone from the other team. The object is for them is to run and try to break the weakest link and go through their line. If he/she succeeds in breaking the line they pick anyone from the line to go and join their team.  If they fail to succeed they join the line. The game continues until everyone is on one team.

Freeze Tag:  A tag game with a twist.  When you are "it" the players that you tag are frozen in their place.  The only way they are set free is if they are tagged by another player.  The game ends when whoever is "it" is very lucky and freezes everyone or when any player has been frozen three times.  At that point that person would be "it".

Over the Ocean:  Establish two base lines at opposite ends of the yard.  One person who is "it" stands in the middle while all other players stand along the lines.  Whenever someone yells go the groups runs to the other end.  The person who is "it" tries to tag them as they run past.  If you are tagged you move to the middle and help catch runners.  The play continues until all are caught.

Soccer Sharks and Minnows:  Establish two base lines at opposite ends of the yard.  One person who is "it" stands in the middle while all other players stand along the lines.  Whenever someone yells go the groups dribble their soccer ball while they run to the other end.  The person who is "it" tries to kick the balls out of bounds as they run past.  If your ball is kicked away you move to the middle and help catch runners.  The play continues until all are caught.

Ghost in the Graveyard:  Great game to play at night.   Start by selecting someone to be the "ghost".  The ghost hides while the remainder of the players count to 100 at the base.  They then start out to find the "ghost".  When someone sees the ghost they yell "Ghost in the graveyard" and everyone runs to get back to base before the ghost tags them.  The person tagged becomes the new ghost.

Kick the Can:  Set an empty can on a flat spot and call it base. The person that is "it" counts to 100 while the other kids run and hide in a designated area.  The object is then for the person that is it to search for the other kids. When you find one the two of you race to base to kick the can.  The first to reach the can is the winner and the other person is then "it". 

Noodle Toss:  Hang a hula hoop from a tree branch.  Give each kid a pool noodle and place him/her several steps away from the hoop.  Have them throw the noodle through the hoop.  Success means on their next turn he/she takes a giant step backwards (away from the hoop) and they try their luck again.  Once you miss your play stops and you mark your spot and the others continue.  The player who is the farthest away from the hoop in the end is the winner.