by Andrew H. Jones, Community Relations Coordinator, Sun Life Family Health Center
Summer break is upon us and in the age of cellphones and video games, it isn’t hard for kids to find something to do on a hot summer day. However, spending too much time with a phone or video game remote control in hand isn’t ideal for anyone, especially when there is plenty of good old-fashioned fun to be had. Here are a few fun and safe activities for children of all ages to keep them free from boredom.
1. Make a Family Flag – Cut a large rectangle from an old white sheet or pillowcase. Use markers and/or paint to make your own family flag.
2. Make a Puppet Theater – Turn a card table on its side or use a large cardboard box. Make your own paper bag or sock puppets, or use dolls and stuffed animals.
3. Paint Rocks – Find rocks and paint funny replicas of your family. Make sure to add googly eyes!
4. Play Tabletop Soccer – Pick teams and sit at opposite ends of a table. Use a ping-pong ball for the soccer ball. Players move the ball by blowing on it. To score a goal, a player must blow the ball off the opponent’s edge of the table.
5. Indoor Campout – Hang sheets or blankets over tables or chairs. Let children hangout, snack, and nap in the “tent.”
6. Measure Things – How tall are you? How long is the table? How big around is the tree? How wide is the sidewalk? Give your child a tape measure and work together to find out.
7. Make Paper Airplanes – Look up instructions online on how to make different types. Fold some paper airplanes and hold a contest to see which flies the farthest or stays afloat the longest.
8. Neighborhood Watch – Using old boxes, build a giant robot to protect the neighborhood from “aliens from outer space.”
9. Bowling – Maybe it’s the simple nature of the sport and the obvious lack of tension in the building that puts everyone at ease. Laugh at the gutter balls and cheer for each other’s strikes.
10. Water Balloon Baseball – My favorite – and even teens will have trouble resisting this silly task – is to try to hit a wobbly water balloon with a bat. Your yard will be littered with broken balloon pieces afterward, so entice clean up by offering an ice cream treat to each kid who helps out.
11. Play a Classic Card or Board Game – Playing cards is not only fun, it is a great way to keep kids thinking. A few of my kids’ favorites include War, Slap Jack, 21, Rummikub, Monopoly, Catch Phrase or even pull out the old school domino set.
12. Cook Off or Bake Competition – Anything involving food is always a hit with kids. Putting together a lunch or dinner is also a great way to practice teamwork. Better yet, try a food-tasting contest and have mom or dad choose the best tasting dish without knowing who made which dish. Loser does the dishes.
13. Library Story Time – Check with your local library for fun activities; libraries typically do several for each age group and you can find the ones that are of interest to your child.
14. Movie Marathon – Select a movie series to watch. A few suggestions that my kids love include Avengers, Batman or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Get everyone’s favorite ice cream or make popcorn. Make it a special event. Tip: Check your local library for movie rentals.
15. Volunteer Work – Whether it’s helping at a food bank or the public library, volunteers are always in need. It is important your children learn that the world really does not revolve around playing video games or silly apps on their phones. There are plenty of fun and rewarding opportunities to volunteer your time. Working side by side with your teen on something that involves sacrifice for the benefit of another will provide work experience, new friends and fun!
Take advantage of summer break and have fun spending quality time with your children. Let your children decide what they would like to do as an activity. You may learn something new about them and possibly even yourself. Let them take control and participate with enthusiasm! If you can create an experience that includes just one of these activities you will be off and running to fun-filled moments and creating memories.
Sun Life Family Health Center wishes you and your family a fun, safe and healthy summer break. To learn more about our office locations and hours, visit slfhc.org
Sun Life… Excellence in health, wellness and education.
Lauren Piro. (2017). 40 Boredom-Busting Activities to Do With the Kids. Retrieved from https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/craft-ideas/how-to/g1389/diy-kids-activities/?slide=24
The Myria Editors. (2017). 33 fun summer activities for kids and families. Retrieved from https://myria.com/33-fun-summer-activities-for-kids-and-families
Woman’s Day Staff. (2018). Fun Summer Activities That Won’t Break the Bank. Retrieved from https://www.womansday.com/life/work-money/tips/g1212/summer-activities/?slide=2