Downtime is essential to give your kids rest between their summer activities. These lazy-day ideas require little preparation and will help your kids spend more of their dog days either outside or using their creativity instead of simply watching TV.
- Cool down with an icy treat. When the kids are bored and don’t want to go anywhere, try making some homemade frozen treats. Recipes for making ice cream, popsicles, ice cream sandwiches or shaved ice are surprisingly simple! Try this Ice Cream in a Bag recipe for a simple activity that doesn’t require any special equipment. These Cookies and Cream Popsicles are also a favorite among the kids. Need more ideas? Check out “20 Yummy Popsicle Recipes to Cool Down With.”
- Go on a reading picnic. Encourage your children to keep reading all summer long by making it an activity they will look forward to. Lay a blanket in your backyard, bring their favorite snacks and pile up the children’s and young adult books. This activity requires little effort, and you may just find your kids lost in what will become some of their favorite reads of all time!
- Paint flowerpots. Clay pots are terrific for painting. Wash the pot to remove any dirt, and lay out newspaper before you get started. Let your kids get creative as they decorate the flowerpots and help them find a place to show off their artwork when they’re dry. Not only are flowerpots perfect for summer, but you can also plant flowers or healthy produce that the kids can eat later.
- Play some backyard badminton. Badminton is an affordable and easy game to set up in your backyard. It’s also a great way to get the kids outside and active. Inevitable laughter erupts with each toss of the birdie!
- Explore a cave. Get everyone up off the couch and into a curious mood by exploring a nearby cave. Depending on the cave, your kids may discover new rocks, plants and maybe even bats! This is a learning experience and an unforgettable summer excursion all wrapped in one.
- Fly a kite. Let the kids design and decorate a kite and then help them launch it! Try this DIY Kite from How Does She for a simple tutorial for each child to make his or her own kite at home.
- Be lazy by the lake. Whether your kids want to try canoeing, kayaking or fishing, a lazy afternoon by the lake is the classic summer activity. Fishing is ideal for those feeling truly lazy, while canoeing or kayaking are active opportunities to help children appreciate their surroundings and satisfy their curiosity as they search for turtles, snakes and birds lurking the shore.
- Open a lemonade stand. This is a must for every child! Opening a lemonade stand is a well-rounded activity that includes making homemade lemonade and cookies, enjoying a sweet and savory treat, designing table décor and learning some basic business and mathematical practices.
- Go on a homemade scavenger hunt. Create a scavenger hunt for your kids either in a local park or your own backyard. List items commonly found in nature for them to track down, or have them draw or take pictures of “something green” or “something prickly.”
- Play sidewalk chalk games. Sidewalk chalk is an activity that every child enjoys, but you can turn the fun up a notch by drawing games with the chalk in your driveway. Let them create their own hopscotch course or game boards for tic-tac-toe or four square. (Find the official rules of four square here.)
Need more ideas? Check out “10 Fun Summer Craft Activities.”