Technology has made it very easy for kids to stay inside. The utilization of countless television channels, and the internet, have nearly stopped children from playing outside. It is up to you to ensure your child isn’t glued to a screen day in and day out.
Below are a few ideas to present for fun outside activities to get your kids off the couch, and into the fresh air:
Open a lemonade stand
Include your child in preparing the drink, whether that be putting concentrate and water into a pitcher and stirring, or creating from scratch with real sugar and lemons.
- Consider having snacks for sale. Rice crispy treats and cookies will sell well, and any leftovers will likely not go to waste.
- Have your child design a poster to advertise their lemonade stand. Go all out with glitter, stickers, flags, and paint. Eye catching signs will generate more interest. If you want to build a stand from scratch, check out this DIY video
- Location, location, location. The best place for a stand may not be directly in front of your house. Set up on a higher traffic street than your own, or kindly ask a neighbor if you may utilize their driveway if they are more visible than your home.
- Teach your child how to make the correct change. Smaller kids may not be ready for this task, but for older kids this is a great opportunity to teach important math skills.
- A lemonade stand is a great way to teach your child how to say “you’re welcome”. Kids are reminded to say “thank you” almost daily, but the opposite response rarely presents itself.
- Help your child decide how they will use the money they have earned. Encourage purchasing a small treat now, and saving the rest to put towards something “bigger” later. If this bigger treat requires more money, let them have another lemonade stand at a later date, or start giving out household chores so they can earn more cash. It’s never too early to instill a work ethic.
- If the weather is chilly, simply replace lemonade with hot chocolate.
Homemade Puppet Show
It’s easy to create a completely homemade puppet show theater and finger puppets. Everything you need are items that you likely already have in the house. Here are the some of the household items needed to get started to create a stage:
- A large cardboard box
- Construction paper
- Material for a curtain (an old pillowcase will work)
- Double sided tape
- Glue/glue gun
Set your child up at the patio table and let their imaginations run wild. Creativity is key. Encourage your child to create their own puppets for interactive play if they don’t have any.
Your kids can put on a show for you, or for other kids in the neighborhood. Consider sending invites to other kids in the neighborhood to come over for snacks and to watch the show in your backyard. Include on the invite for them to bring, or make, their own puppet before attending. You might just end up with several off-off-off-Broadway productions.
Go fruit picking
During the Summer months berries will grow just about anywhere. It is likely that berries are fresh for the picking within a short walk or bike ride from your home. Check out local parks or vacant green areas for wild berries.
If no wild berry bushes are to be found, consider asking a neighbor with a fruit tree if you may pick some of their fruit. Most people with fruit trees have more fruit than they will ever use, and will have no problem sharing their bounty. This is a great opportunity to have your child learn to ask permission from a neighbor before entering their property.
Make a pie or tarts with your haul and share with your neighbor. Kids will be proud to share their baked goods with the neighbor that shared with them.
Make a music video, mini movie, or neighborhood documentary
It is likely that you and/or your child have a device that can bring their inner director or actor to life. They can make a music video, write and direct a mini production, or turn the camera to the sights and sounds of the neighborhood for a documentary.
To make transporting smaller props easier while filming throughout the neighborhood, consider storing all their needed items in a luggage scooter. This will make it more fun, and give them more exercise, when deciding what to film. Check out cool luggage scooters here.
Have the kids create a carnival for their siblings, or for the younger neighborhood kids. Create games, rides and free tickets. Do not help them aside from giving them ideas, and providing the needed materials to make a successful venue. All materials should be what you have in your home. Some fun carnival games are:
- Water balloon games
- Fishing game
- Ring toss
- Ping pong toss
- Egg toss
Consider having small prizes on hand for the winners, such as stickers or single pieces of candy.
No carnival is complete without fun rides. Have your children utilize their bicycles, skateboards, scooters, roller skates, hula hoops…whatever they have. Give them cardboard boxes or old sheets and let them brainstorm and create their own rides.
From creative drawing to structured games, sidewalk chalk is a great tool for keeping children busy outside. Here are a few ideas for your kids:
- Drawing a maze for others
- Four square
Sidewalk chalk is inexpensive, and is definitely a product meant to be played with outside. Get your kids excited and let them loose in your driveway or street. Many people utilize open paved spaces at local parks for their chalk creations.
It’s normal in today’s world for children to want to stay inside and watch cartoons, or play around on their tablet. Don’t let them. Encourage them to use their imaginations, and be active. With time, you may not need to prompt them to go outside.