Do you remember when snow was on the ground and more was predicted in the forecast? I still do, but I’m happy to say, we have made it to summer. That’s right, today is the first day of summer, so to celebrate, I’ve listed out 12 super-fun things to do with your kids to kick start summer. Have fun!
1. Make Snow Cones. Nothing’s better on a hot day than a snow cone, so grab some ice and toss it into a blender or use an ice shaver, like the Rival Frozen Delights Snow Cone Machine. It’s easy to flavor snow cones with a simple syrup recipe using your choice of Kool-Aid mixes.
2. Play a Round of Mini Golf. Everyone loves a good game of mini golf, and it’s not hard to find a fun course whether at the beach or in your hometown. If your town has one, play on a course with a fun theme, like Around the World Golf in Lake George, NY.
3. Make Crafts from Travel Maps. Pull out those maps that are tucked away in the closet and have your kids put together crafts to help preserve fun vacation memories. A few to consider include map coasters, holiday ornaments and scrapbooking pages. Here are seven kid-friendly crafts to make from paper maps.
4. Create a Local Parks Passport. Have fun making passports with your kids that include each of your local parks or playgrounds. Stamp the page for each park or playground once you go for a visit. Expand the passport book to include parks in neighboring towns and counties.
5. Canoe Down a River: Grab the sunscreen and life jackets and head out to the nearest lake for an afternoon of canoeing. Teach your kids how to hold a paddle and paddle in tandem with you and you’ll be on your way. As kids grow older, it’s a good idea to teach them about different canoe strokes.
6. Try Geocaching. Geocaching is a real-world treasure hunting outdoor game. You and your kids will try to locate hidden containers, called caches, using your smartphone. If you find a cache, you must replace it with something, so have the kids pack a variety of trinkets for trading.
7. Create a Butterfly Garden. Children love digging in the dirt and planting flowers, so go ahead and plant a butterfly garden to attract these fluttering insects. Choose a sunny location, then add flat stones and a small butterfly pond. Next, choose colorful, blooming flowers, and don’t forget food for larva.
8. Take a Nature Hike. Grab your backpacks and hike a park trail with a waterfall or lake. Caves and hollowed out trees are also fun to check out on hikes. Bring water and protein-rich snacks to keep energy levels high. Use TrailLink to find local trails for hiking and biking.
9. Go to a Botanical Garden. Botanical gardens are great places for children to learn about plants, wildlife and environments. Look for children’s gardens and fountains. Some botanical gardens even have scavenger hunts, which make it fun to spot different varieties of plants and flowers across the garden.
10. Teach the Kids Frisbee Golf. Once your kids know how to throw a Frisbee, it’s time to take them to a Frisbee golf course. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon and also offers educational opportunities for little ones as you can teach about colors and counting.
11. Go to a Water Park. On a hot summer day, nothing beats cooling down at a water park or a splash park. Even better, you can often find discount tickets on daily deal sites, like Groupon. You may also want to look to the Entertainment books for coupons and two-for-one deals.
12. Make Tie-Dye T-Shirts. Grab some old white t-shirts from your children’s closets and get ready for an afternoon of tie-dye fun. You should be able to purchase fabric dye at any craft or fabric store. Then, check out this do-it-yourself tutorial for different ways to tie-dye a t-shirt whether you want to make polka dots, stripes, spirals or various other patterns.