Where did all these kids come from? Yep, it’s that time again – school’s out and the kids are home for the summer. What’s the plan? You’ve got a plan, right? If not, take a quick look here and use some of our ideas. We’ve compiled a pretty awesome list of DIY and out-door activities to keep them inside, outside, worn-out and unwound – whichever you need. We’ve got your back. 

Outdoor Activities

Let’s face it, we want these kids outside as much as possible – it’s good for them and good for parents. Here’s a quick list of sunshine activities and DIY games! 

Sponge Bull’s-eye – We can’t claim credit for inventing this one, but it’s a great way to beat the heat. Using some chalk, mark concentric circles on the driveway with point values (just like a dart-board). Fill up some buckets with water, and then take turns tossing wet sponges, trying to hit the bull’s-eye! 

The Beach – Kids love the beach, but come on, who doesn’t? Swimming is good exercise and sandcastles are about the greatest thing ever. Just remember the sunscreen! 

State Parks – No matter where you live, odds are you’re pretty close to a state park. Visit Find-A-Park (http://www.americasstateparks.org/Find-A-Park) and get your picnic basket ready. 

Pick Berries – A healthy fruit snack and outside time! What could be better? No matter your berries preference, there’s a patch somewhere that needs collecting. 

Canoeing – If you’ve got access to a lake, this is a great way to spend a day. Just be sure to wear floatation gear! 

Hiking – Many state parks have hiking trails, pack a lunch and get going. Remember, when you stop to rest, don’t take off your boots. Your feet will swell and it’ll be harder to get your boots back on! 

Museums – Beat the summer heat by spending some educational time indoors in a museum. Most museums have changing exhibits, so check back often and you’re sure to find something the family will love. 

Scavenger Hunt –Make a list of nearby things you might find outside and offer some prizes for the winners. 

Summer Crafts

Kid’s love crafts and these are safe, fun and easy to do. 

Bird Feeders – Quick and fun bird feeders can be made from old food, like dry bread or bagels.  Cover in peanut butter and sprinkle on birdseed. Tie the bagels together with a string and hang them outside – watch the birds gather! A pinecone or citrus rind/peel works too! 

Bead Jewelry – Bead kits are available in many places. Grab one and add some string – you’re on your way to making beautiful custom jewelry. 

Popsicle Stick Buildings – Popsicle sticks are a natural building material. A little Elmer’s Glue is all it takes to begin creating your architectural dreams. 

Cardboard Forts – Boxes and tape can become a mighty fortress or beautiful palace with a little work and imagination. Use markers to decorate the outside. 

Homemade Popsicles – Fill an ice cube tray with juice, cover with saran wrap and poke tooth picks into each section. Place in freezer and you’re done! When it’s frozen you have mini popsicles!

Image credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. /MaszaS