This year it seems keeping the kids busy could be a little more challenging. They’ve been out of school since March and now with summer vacation upon us finding new, fun summer activities for them can be a challenge.
Yes there are still restrictions in place and social distancing is very much a part of our new normal but there are still countless ways to keep the whole family having fun this summer.
We are fortunate in that 3 of our grandchildren live only a few minutes away so we get to see them quite often.
We are very active and when the grandkids are with us we rarely if ever hear the words ”I’m bored.”
With a little imagination, kids can be kept busy and entertained while learning new skills.
Bicycling – Our grandkids have bikes and so do we so going for a ride together is fun. I tend to take a small backpack with water and snacks with us. We have a lot of fun exploring our neighborhood together while getting some exercise. It is a great summer activity that doesn’t cost anything since we already have bicycles.
Hiking – There are several trails in our local area and we love grabbing the small backpack and heading out for a hike. It is a great way to get exercise while also learning about the various plants and animals we come across.
Painting – Whenever we need to paint the deck it is fun to invite the grandkids over to help paint. They love being allowed to paint something. They enjoy that feeling of helping someone else. If there isn’t a project needing to be done we just take some construction paper and water-based paint outside and have fun being creative.
Backyard camping – Not every business is open again since the pandemic so camping in the backyard is fantastic. Pitch a tent on the lawn and sleep outside. The fact that the bathroom is so handy is a bonus since you don’t have a long walk in the middle of the night if necessary.
Bonfire – who doesn’t love sitting around a fire telling stories or roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. The grandkids just love doing this and when combined with sleeping in a tent it feels more like real camping.
Tour a Factory – When my kids were young we took them on a tour of the local Hershey factory. The kids loved it and even got some chocolate and the end of the tour. We no longer live in that area but may take our grandchildren to the Ganong factory that is fairly close by. They get to see how candy is made and likely get to taste a sample.
Outdoor Movies – a sheet and PVC pipe can make a great screen and you can rent a projector if you don’t have one. Make some popcorn and have a fun night at an outdoor movie right in your backyard so there is no line-up for the bathroom.
Learn a New Recipe Together – Look for a new recipe together and then make it. I have always enjoyed baking with my grandkids but I have learned they enjoy other types of cooking as well. We have made home-made pizza, subs, and various salads together. They enjoyed cooking and then eating the results of their efforts. Great rainy day activity.
Scavenger Hunt – We live in a rural area so I create a list of things I want them to find in the backyard. This could be anything from nature objects like dandelion flowers, pine cones, maple keys, or certain insects. Sometimes I place certain objects outside for them to find.
Backyard Obstacle Course – Get creative and put to use pool noddles, hula hoops, hopscotch made from sidewalk chalk, skipping ropes, balls. Then time the kids as they go through the obstacle course and see who wins.
Blow Bubbles – Younger kids love bubble blowing. You can buy prepared mixes for this purpose or make your own with dish soap and water. You can buy the little hoops for blowing bubbles or make some with pipe cleaners or floral wire.
Host a Sleepover – The kids love sleepovers at Nana’s. We plan fun activities to do while they are here. Normally we may go for a hike then come home and cook supper together. We then may have an outdoor movie or a bonfire. We are fortunate to have a swimming pool so there is often time spent in the water. Usually, once bedtime arrives everyone is exhausted and sleeps well.
Build a Sandcastle – Sometimes a drive to the beach is a fun way to spend the day. It is a change from the pool and they get to build sandcastles. We all work together to see what kind of massive castle we can build. It can take hours and we have a lot of fun.
Attend Story-time at the Library – now that some businesses are starting to open attending storytime at the local library is a great way to spend time in the shade on a hot day. Most libraries offer storytime and the kids do enjoy it.
Attend a Local Museum – A local museum can be a fun way to spend an afternoon. There is a multitude of paintings and sculptures to see. It is very enjoyable and the kids tend to come away with ideas for their paintings and drawings.
Beat the Heat
Swimming – We are fortunate enough to have a swimming pool in our backyard. If you don’t have a pool you could set up a slip’n’ slide or just run through the sprinkler. Most communities have a public pool or splash pad you can take the kids to. Or you could head to the local beach. These are all fun ways to cool off and beat the heat on a hot summer day.
Make Homemade Ice-cream – Most of us love ice-cream so why not find a recipe and make homemade ice-cream together. It is fun to work together to make this tasty treat and then you get the fun of eating it.
Make Popsicle – Popsicles can be made easily from juice or lemonade and are also a fun treat to cool off with.
Look for Shapes in the Clouds – What can be more relaxing than laying on the grass and watching the clouds as you look for various shapes or animals in the clouds. I have spent many lazy afternoons looking for shapes in the clouds with my kids and now with my grandkids.
Naturally, the summer heat has its dangers so it is important to always remember to take safety precautions. In our case, this is extremely important as one grandson has type 1 diabetes.
Drink water – whether diabetic or not it is important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue or dizziness so get that water into you regularly. If you will be away from the house always take a water bottle with you. If you find you are tired of the taste of water try adding cucumber slices or cut up strawberries or peaches to infuse a bit of flavor without adding unnecessary sugar.
Wear Sunscreen – It is important to wear sunscreen and re-apply frequently. You don’t want to end a fun-filled day with the discomfort of a sunburn.
Healthy Snacks – It is also a good idea to keep some healthy snacks available at all times. While we tend to be more active during the summer that activity can make us hungrier than usual. For our grandson, it is important to always have healthy snacks available to treat lows if they occur.
Diabetes Management – Our grandson is type 1 diabetic so everywhere we go we must have his little black bag. Since the heat and the increased activity of summer affect his blood sugars his sugars must be checked before, during, and after exercise.
We ensure we always have water and healthy snacks along with some fast-acting sugar snacks to treat any lows that may occur.
It is also important to remember that insulin and other diabetes medications are heat sensitive so they should be kept in an insulated bag. The heat can also affect CGM’s (continuous glucose monitors) and insulin pumps.
We try to schedule our outdoor adventures so they are not between 10 and 2 as this is typically the hottest part of the day and also when the UV rays from the sun are the most damaging.
With a little planning to ensure you have what you need with you at all times, diabetics can enjoy summer like anyone else.
As you can see countless Kids Summer Activities are either free or low-cost.
Keeping our kids and grandkids busy and entertained throughout the summer is truly limited only by our imagination.
Finding things to do that are educational as well as fun is a cool way to build lasting memories.
I have fond memories of picnics in the park with my grandparents when I was a kid so it made sense that I wanted to create those kinds of memories with my grandkids.
Kids don’t need expensive activities they just want to do things with you.
I have given you several ideas to get you thinking of your adventures.
What are your favorite kids’ summer activities? Please share your ideas in the comment section below. I look forward to reading your ideas and even trying some out.
Take care and stay safe this summer.
“I am not in any way a medical practitioner, please do not rely on the information on our website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or another healthcare provider. We only share our experiences.”