Searching for Easy and Free Summer Activities For Kids
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Summer is finally here! Long hot days, warm peaceful nights.
For those of us in Canada, kids have only a few weeks left of school, and already I’m stressing about keeping them busy this summer, so I don’t get the constant whines of “I’m bored!”. Luckily this year, my oldest is gone to summer camp with Air Cadets for 6 weeks (not sure who is going to miss who more), and my youngest is signed up for 2 weeks of Minecraft and Video Game Designer camps with Brickworks Academy.
But there is still a LOT of potential boredom time if I don’t get some ideas going, without breaking the bank! So here is some easy and free summer activities for kids you can do to keep everyone happy!
Go To The Park
When I polled my kids for what activities they wanted to do this summer, the overwhelming must-do was just heading to the park with a soccer ball or frisbee and playing together. We’re planning to do this in the early morning hours before it gets too hot. You can even plan a picnic snack or lunch and make a full morning outing! Check out other parks around town, especially those with playgrounds, fields, splashpads or trails.
Locally, we love visiting Victoria Park in downtown Kitchener. A newly renovated playground, splashpad, walking trail around the lake, even an island to explore! Mature trees provide plenty of shade, great for laying on a blanket with a book, or even catching an afternoon nap.
Walk Your Neighbourhood
Go for a walk around your own neighbourhood, or find a trail nearby. Although we do the walk to school everyday, let’s explore the other direction! Play a game every time you reach a corner, take turns deciding which way to turn. For us, we love to explore Huron Nature Area, a short 5 minute from our house. Different trails, with more being added, a natural playground, pond, streams and forest give us plenty to explore!
Play Hometown Tourist
Pretend you are tourists visiting your hometown for the first time! Where would you go? What sights would you see? Check to see if your city has a tourism board or website, and make a list of places or things you’ve never visited. It’s surprising how many people can spend their whole lives in one place, and take many of their own local spots for granted! Check out my article on Kitchener, Ontario as part of Hometown Tourist Project!
While you’re exploring your own neighbourhood, or venturing further afield, add an extra layer of adventure with Geocaching. Sort of a grown-up hide-and-go-seek using GPS and clues, you can hunt for hidden caches, and even find treasures! Learn more at geocaching.com and download the app. You’ll find different caches hidden all over the world, which might even develop into a new year-round hobby the whole family can take part in.
Check Out Your Local Library
Check out your local library. More than just books, many libraries are the hub for free activities, movies, guest speakers and so much more! If you have avid readers in your family, ask if they do a summer reading challenge! It’s a great way to spend the afternoon out of the sun in the air conditioning, or on a rainy day.
Fun In Your Own Backyard
You don’t always have to venture far from home. Plan activities in your own backyard! Outdoor games like Checkers, Yard-Ze, Bean Bag Toss or Croquet can entertain kids for hours. If getting wet seems like a good way to cool off, have water gun fights, water balloons or even just buckets and sponges from the dollar store.
Don’t discount the simple throwback pleasures of our own childhood. Give your kids some old sheets and lawn chairs and see what forts or castles they can build. A blanket in the shade under the tree for quiet time. Or like my mom did when we were young, drag a tv and blu-ray player outside and pop some popcorn for “cinema de outside”!
There you have it! 6 easy and free summer activities for kids! Give some of these ideas a try and let me know how it goes! You might not even hear that “bored” word all summer…well, for a few weeks at least! Got some other ideas for easy and free summer activities for kids? Leave a comment below and let me know what you would add!
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