Finding enough summer activities for your kids can often be a never-ending task. With never-ending energy, they constantly want to go outside only to come inside a few minutes later. And they do this 45,000 times a day. Somehow they also remain bored for that same amount of time during the day. “Mommmmm, what can I do?” “Mommmmmm, I’m bored.” Sounds familiar right? It sounds very familiar – you likely did and said the exact same things as a kid yourself.
So how did you manage to stay busy way back when? Depending on how long ago that was and what neighborhood setting you had, those activities may have been very different. Unless there was a torrential downpour, my mom kicked us out of the house and said to come back when the street lights came on. But those were the days when we could hop on our bikes and ride all over the neighborhood for 12 straight hours. No helmets, no knee-pads, no paranoia. Nowadays, in most places, things are a lot different. Many parents have trouble even letting their kids out of site for more than a few minutes. So what are parents to do? Let’s explore a few ideas we can implement when those frequent requests for kids activities come up during the days of spring and summer.
Water Fun or Mud Fun
Kids love water. They love to spray water, jump in the water, and splash in the water. But not everyone has a pool, and even if you do, watching them the whole day is not always possible. I have witnessed my boys playing with a water hose for almost 3 hours, and if you don’t prepare for it in advance, they will dig huge mud pits in the middle of your backyard! Why? Because muddy watery holes are great fun, that’s why. Consider designating a place in your yard for such an activity. Let them know that THIS is the place where anything goes. (Be sure to contact your electric and gas companies to know where it is OK to dig!!) Dig, make mud, throw mud… make mud pies. The works. Have a water hose or spigot on hand to create that wonderful brown substance, as well as cleaning up your little piggies.
Even older kids like mud, but they may be up for a more intellectual experience. Water gravity games might be the answer. Using buckets, cups, tubes, or any object that they don’t have to hear from your house, have them construct water gravity contraptions where water is poured in from the top and flows along to each object in the series. You may be surprised how elaborate your kids can get with these structures.
So it’s raining and your kids are trapped in the house with you. This exponentially increased the number of times they inform you that they are bored. But if it is just rain and not thunder, lightning, and brimstone, consider actually letting them go OUT in the rain. Did I mention that kids love water… in any form. You could take the bathing suit approach if the weather is nice and warm, or provide them with raincoats and rubber boots. They can pretend they are deep sea fishermen trying to survive the rough ocean. There is something very magical about rain, and your kids will sense it. It will be an experience long remembered.
If going outside is not an option you are left with the TV and video games. But that isn’t what you did as a kid was it? No way, we climbed up into the linen closet where the old board games and puzzles were. They smelled like soap. There were pieces missing in every puzzle box. Remember that? But there are unlimited options other than boxed entertainment. This is the perfect opportunity to test their architecture skills by making the infamous “Fort”. The fort to end all forts. Indestructible… until the dog plows through it. Another rainy activity I remember was creating these bowling games. It wasn’t exactly bowling, but it was taking a ball and knocking down objects. Have them take turns designing each knock-down challenge. Hide your breakables.
Are Kids Mud Races the Answer?
The short answer is Yes. The combination of playing in the mud and climbing over the various obstacles in our kid’s obstacle races, make our kid’s mud run races the best solution of finding something for your kindergartner all they way up to teenager to do during the Spring and Summer months. Find a local kids mud run or kids obstacle race that you can participate with them Here.