5 Summer Activities That Get Kids Outside

  • 01 of 06

    Take it Outside

    Getty/Tony anderson

    Sure, it's hot, but kids don't melt. And some outdoor time every day is good for children. They don't have to spends hours outside, but make getting a little outdoor time part of your everyday summer activities.  If the kids are old enough, work-at-home parents can stay inside and watch from a window. If not, you'll get used to the heat plus it doesn't have to be too long- just enough to burn off some excess energy. And then maybe they'll be ready for a nap!

     

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  • 02 of 06

    Picnics for Kids

    Getty/Laura Doss/Fuse

    I know what you're going to say. "Picnic! But I have to work! Aren't these ideas supposed to be ideas for work-at-home parents?"

    Yes, but you have to eat too, right? So pack it up and take it outside and have a picnic with the kids. It doesn't have to be elaborate or far (think backyard, if time is tight). Kids love picnics. It can break up the day if you do one at lunch, or it can be something to look forward too at dinner. Try one of these 4 simple picnic ideas for families.

     

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  • 03 of 06

    Chalk It Up

    Getty/Hero Images

    Sidewalk chalk is a great investment. It's cheap but provides hours of fun, as kids create art on walkways or driveways. But chalk can be used for more than just art. Kids can make a hopscotch, four square or tic-tac-toe game. They can create the boundaries of their fantasy world, draw a foul line for the driveway's basketball goal, write clues of a treasure hunt or mark the finish line of a race.

    Chalk inspires kids to be, well, kids.

     

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  • 04 of 06

    Get Wet

    Water play kids
    Getty/Brand X

    Now that you have chalk all over your house and driveway, it's time to break out the hose. Kids love to get wet. And there are so many ways for them to enjoy water play. Let them spray each other with the hose, set up the sprinkler, get a water table, fill up a baby splash pool or even take them too a pool.

    I know water play is not the easiest activity for a work-at-home parent to oversee, but kids love it and will keep at it for a long time. So embrace the messiness and let them get wet!

     

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  • 05 of 06

    Play Games

    Getty/Bryce Pincham

    You might be surprised at how many outside games your school-age kids know. They may well play them at school recess or phys ed class but may not think about them in the summer.  So it may take a little prodding from you and some friends visiting before playing an outdoor game occurs to them.

    Here are a few ideas for outside games: jump rope rhymes, swing the statue, HORSE, red light, green light, hide-and-seek, kickball, freeze tag, four square, hopscotch, and capture the flag. And, of course,...MORE playing ball works great for any age, and hopscotch is always good for  just one.

     

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  • 06 of 06

    Bubbles

    SXC

    I have a bubble and balloon addict in my family. Ever since she was a toddler, she couldn't get enough of them. Her obsession has led to the other kids making up games with balloons to keep her entertained when she had to play inside. But if she's outside then it's time for bubbles!

    As she has grown we have gone through gallons of bubble solutions, dozens of bubble toys and even learned the science behind bubbles and made slow-motion videos of water balloons bursting. Now I know...MORE bubbles won't provide hours of entertainment for every kid, but blowing bubbles is a fun break from the monotony of being indoors on a nice summer day. 

    Ready for more things to do this summer? See Week 4 Summer Activities: What to Do When It Rains.

    This is Week 3 in a slideshow series of kids' activities for summer weekdays. Each slideshow has 5 ideas. To start at Week 1, click here.