• #1 Show your talents! A kids’ talent show is fun for actors and audience: let them create their own tickets & invite family and neighbors. Pick a backyard, pop some popcorn, and on with the show!
• #2 Turn your backyard into obstacle course! Hula Hoop Course - Ring Toss, Jump Hoop, Football Toss through Hoop, Hop in Hoops, Wacky croquet –Aug 1st Sports Day
• #3 Cool off with a hot fudge sundae, coke float, homemade ice cream with sprinkles or snow cones. Aug 6th National Root Beer Float Day
• #4 Make Yarn bugs http://www.makingfriends.com/
• #5 Catch an insect in a clear jar so they can take a closer look? Follow a bug or dig for some.
• #6 Visit a new park every week
• #7 Hamburger buns aren't the only burger bookends. Think English muffins, tortillas, biscuits and rolls. May 28th National Hamburger Day
• #8 Snip off the ends of licorice sticks and serve with drinks instead of straws. A sweet treat and nothing to throw away.
• #9 Start a summer book club—for kids, adults, or both! How about a book swap? Make up a bookworm game, when a goal is reached you get a prize (candy, ice cream, movie) Sign up at your local Library. Mother Goose Day – May 1st
• #10 Take the scenic route! Some of the most memorable road trips happen on the back roads.
• #11 Kids are born with green thumbs! A little help from a handy tomato and herbs planter and watch their spirits – and your garden – grow. Make clay plant markers. Arbor Day April 30th
• #12 That's entertainment! Let the kid’s write, direct, act, and make their own movies with the family video camera. If you don’t have a camera, live performances are applause-worthy too. • #13 Did you know: While we’re enjoying summer in North America, in Australia, it’s winter? Have a snowball fight with paper snowballs or round white bean bags, make an igloo out of sugar cubes and icing, snow angels in the sand or how about ginger bread houses
• #14 Make cardboard box car, castle, pirate boat, tunnels or bus
• #15 Have a Easter egg hunt in July, fill the eggs with Gold Fish crackers, grapes or Cheerios
• #16 Paint with soapy water (large paint brushes are best)
• #17 Bake some bread, shape the dough into animals – June 17 bake your own bread day
· #18 Perform a Circus or Talent Show in your back yard with a concession stand & face painting May 19th is Circus Day
• #19 Decorate a pair of flip flops to match your personality (fishing worms, jewels, bugs, yarn)
• #20 Movie and popcorn party (Each kid gets a drink and popcorn ticket) Punch the tickets
• #21 Kids are natural entrepreneurs! Whether it’s a lemonade stand, dog walking or organizing a neighborhood car wash, a summer activity teaches responsibility, teamwork and the satisfaction of a job well done.
· #22 Chalk on Sidewalk (washes off with a water hose)
• #23 Pom-Pom Chip Clip http://www.freekidscrafts.com/ -All Themes
• #24 Have a rubber band war, build cardboard forts on opposite sides of the room and shoot rubber bands at each other
• #25 Have an indoor picnic. Spread out a blanket in the den and serve everyone’s favorite foods. Fun, and no bugs! Or, head to the closest park for an outdoor picnic.
• #26 Have a magic show – June 12th Magic Day
• #27 Run through a sprinkler or make a Deluxe Kid Wash - http://www.familyfun.go.com/
• #28 Make sun prints http://www.freekidscrafts.com/ -All Themes
• #29 Putt Putt Golf (make your own course, use ping pong balls and brooms or sticks)
• #30 Puppet Show with paper bag puppets or make paper dolls www.makingfriends.com
• #31 Nature scavenger hunt: Make a list of a dozen items from the great outdoors, like acorns, snail, flowers, leaf, and a grasshopper. Send the kids in small groups on a scavenger hunt to collect one of each item on the list. Make nature place mats or pine cone bird feeders. May 24th Scavenger Hunt Day
• #32 Good weather is good for your health! Put on a pair of Rollerblades, pull out the workout tapes, or strap on some sneakers and go for a nice leisurely roll in the cool morning.
• #33 Have a weekly game night and invite friends, (Candy bar Bingo, Go Fish, Old Maid, set up dominoes to fall or Slinky downhill races)
• #34 National Bowling Day - August 26th
• #35 Board Games (with a tarp make a life size game board and you are the game piece- chess)
• #36 The big, soft plastic inflatable orb we know today as the beach ball was invented in California in 1938. Where would Beach Blanket Bingo be without them! Beach Ball Volleyball
• #37 Make some bean bags
• #38 Play flash light tag at night (hide & seek)
• #39 Play dough and cookie cutters
• #40 Finger Paint with pudding (play with your food)
• #41 Go to the beach, play in the sand box , make a mold of your foot in sand -Aug 11th Play in the sand day
• #42 Go Fishing – June 18th Go Fishing Day
• #43 Walk on stilts Day - http://www.kaboose.com/ -can stilts July 27th Walk on Stilts day
• #44 Summer Vacation Bible School – check with the Churches in your area
• #45 Cookin ‘n’ campin: hot dogs over a campfire / smores / jiffy pop…yum- July 21st National Hot Dog Day
• #46 Festivals, Parades, Fairs, VFW Halls, Community Centers, High School Baseball games – Memorial Day – last Monday in May
• #47 Fruit juice pops make popular moms! Pour 100% fruit juice into paper cups and put in the freezer. When juice is slushy, set a wooden stick in the center of each cup and freeze until hard. Peel off outer cup to eat
• #48 Water gun wars
• #49 Ever raced a rubber duck? Using only your noses, have everyone push a rubber duck from one end of the pool to the other.
• #50 Celebrate July 2nd, the middle of the year
• #51 Play beauty parlor, safari, princess, cowboys, fairies, or super heroes June 24th Fairy Day
• #52 July 14th – Tape Measures Birthday – Measure something
#53 Where’s the flip flop? Give every player one flip flop sandal, and then have them search the backyard (where the other is cleverly hidden) for its match.
• #54 Block party! Go potluck and share the cooking duties, bring along a karaoke machine, some blankets and comfy lawn chairs and it’s an inexpensive evening you won’t soon forget. BBQ / Chili Cook off or Spaghetti eating contest, don’t forget the meatballs, Tex-Mex or Italian Night – July 29th National Lasagna Day – May 5th Cinco de Mayo
• #55 Make your own bubbles: mix 1/2 cup liquid dish soap with 1-1/2 cups water, and 2 teaspoons of sugar and let the bubbling begin!
• #56 Need a break from the sun? Have a cookie-baking contest. Munch on the winners – July 9th National Sugar Cookie Day
• #57 If you see “wash me” one too many times on the family car, grab a bucket, some soap, rags and a hose and the family Car Wash is open for business! Wear bathing suits, and everyone can stay cool while working hard. Or how about a bike wash? Paint with soapy water (large paint brushes are best)
• #58 Make your own water slide with a tarp and a running garden hose.
• #59 Remember cat's cradle? Jacob's Ladder and kitty whiskers? String games are good old-fashioned road trip fun. Yarn friendship bracelets or Yarn Octopus (Google it)
• #60 Clean up! Take a walk through your neighborhood, town or park and collect empty bottles and cans. Recycle them or return to the store for a refund. Great exercise, good for the environment, and you get a little pocket money to share. Collect cans and donate the money to a local charity
• #61 Celebrate May Day, make May day baskets, place it on someone’s door knob ring the bell and run, if caught a kiss you must share – May 1st
• #62 Go Camping, In the backyard or Inside-out camping: Cover the kitchen table with a bed sheet and camp out underneath. Sing campfire songs, make smores. June 28th Great American Backyard Camp out Day
• #63 Puzzled about what to do on a rainy summer day? Make a puzzle! Cut a picture into fun shapes and then put it back together. How about felt wrist cuffs, wrap felt around your wrist & overlap, Sew a button on and cut a hole for the button & decorate
• #64 Have a parade for July 4th – decorate bicycles for a bike parade.
• #65 Make bean mosaics or paint noodles for a necklace or make clay beads
• #66 Have you lost your Marbles? http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/ - Treehouse
• #67 Peaches are the No. 2 fruit grown in the United States, second only to apples, bake something with peaches
• #68 Make a straw sculpture with straws and paper clips or Make & Play Pick-Up-Sticks - http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/ – Treehouse (see below)
• #69 Make car fun kits http://www.familyfun.go.com/
• #70 This land is your land: Take some day trips to the Lakes or Historical Markers, many wonderful sights to see in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
• #71 Sew with yarn, back a coloring page with cardboard, punch holes & sew. Or go to http://www.makingfriends.com/ for more yarn crafts.
• #72 Color with your kids (crayons, markers, water colors, colored pencils), melt old or broken crayons to make new ones
• #73 Trade tablecloths for butcher paper and outdoor dining cleanup’s a cinch. Stamp on a few designs, add a few crayons, and watch your guests “decorate” it for the occasion!
• #74 Have a Tailgate party in your driveway or on your block
• #75 Make a windsock
• #76 Make napkin rings
• #77 Father’s Day – June 3rd Sunday : breakfast in bed, flowers, cut out letters from a magazine and make a card
• #78 Hey kids - take a hike! Hiking with children can be a great way to enjoy time together--and get some good old-fashioned exercise. Since it can be strenuous, especially for little ones, start easy with a 15-minute nature “stroll” and work up to 30 minutes or an hour.
• #79 Lets Rock…Everyone needs a Pebble Pet! Collect rocks and decorate with paint and colorful magic markers. Watch ladybugs, frogs and other critters come to life.
• #80 Have a Full Moon party…with Moon Pies, Milky Way Shake, Full Moon Pizza
• #81 Karaoke sing along - ? http://www.oldfashionedliving.com/ – Treehouse – make instruments
#82 Delicious without doing the dishes: Hollow out fresh lemons or oranges (cut 1/4 off the top, trim base if necessary to create a flat bottom), freeze. When frozen, fill with your favorite ice cream, sorbet or sliced fruit. Fun, nothing to wash, and makes great compost when you’re through.
• #83 Fun at the beach: Beaches around the world are made up of more than just sand. Look under the microscope and you’ll find everything from tiny bits of shells, to lava, coral.
• #84 Make the kids a grocery list with pictures and let them do the shopping
• #85 Stargazing after dark with a flashlight and on astronomy guide is free, fun and educational. See if you can find all the constellations.
• #86 There’s nothing like kicking back on a boat to help you relax – all you need is some open water, some sunscreen, a refreshment or two, and let the unwinding begin.
• #87 Go fly a kite – June 15th – National Kite Flying Day
• #88 Water balloon toss
• #89 A host of compost: Paper napkins, grass clippings, egg shells, soap scraps, used tea bags and grounds, houseplant trimmings and animal fur all make great composting material!
• #90 The License Plate Game is a perennial favorite: each player writes down different state license plates spotted on the trip. Bonus points for Canada and Mexico.
• #91 Decorate magnets
• #92 Write a book and illustrate it or make a Story Sack (look it up - Story Sack ideas)
• #93 Local Schools, Community Centers and Stores (hobby, hardware, outdoor, grocery) will hold free clinics – Tennis, Photography, Cooking, Sewing, Archery, Woodworking, and Health Awareness
• #94 Try a Hawaiian luau with tiki torches, a Western Hoedown with ribs and country music, a “backyard” black-tie affair, a dessert swap or night under the stars with big band-era music.
# 95 Rubber Duck or homemade boat races
• #96 Hold a swap (stamp, coloring book, recipe, cookie, candy or goodie bags)
• #97 Make a summer scrapbook. Each take a disposable camera to use over the vacation. Before back-to-school, create a family scrapbook together of all the things you did and fun you had.
• #98 Check out Lowes free clinic www.lowesbuildandgrow.com
• #99 Visit www.theknackkids.com for free family events at Michael’s Art & Craft Store
• #100 Make sea shell critters http://www.kaboose.com/
#101 - Have a Pajama Party
Summer fun How Tos-
Wacky Lawn Croquet -lawn care stakes or garden stakes, permanent markers in a variety of colors, croquet mallets and balls or lawn bowling balls. Using the permanent markers, create your playing stakes by writing instructions such as, "HOP", "SING", "DANCE", "CARTWHEEL", "YODEL" etc. Kids can have fun adding dots, stripes flowers etc.
How To Play:Place the stakes into the ground with plenty of distance in between stakes.Designate one stake for the start and one for the finish. Use lawn bowling, croquet, or other heavy balls to play. Each child will have their own ball. The children will hit, or roll their balls from one stake to another, attempting to touch or get very near the stake in one roll. Only one roll per turn. When they do get their ball near the stake, it's time to perform the task...hop, jump, skip, sing....Variation: you can also use the entire croquet set and placing the garden stakes near the wickets.
Scavenger Hunt -make a list of common house hold objects that you know you have. Each team or child will receive a list and a bag for the items (make the lists before gathering the kids).The lists can contain anything:A dandelion, rock, Pill bug, worm, leaf, ball, roller blade...Pre-readers will need pictures. The object of the game is to be the first team to find and retrieve all of the objects on the list. Play inside or outdoors.
Dribble, Dribble, Drench!This game is just like "Duck, Duck, Goose ", except that as "IT" walks around the circle with a cup or pitcher of water. When they say dribble to each player they dribble a few drops of water on their head. BUT...you know this is coming don't you?When they say "Drench" that player gets the rest of the water on their head or back. Then the wet player chases "IT" and tries to tag her before she gets to the wet players place. Got that?...this is really fun with kids age seven or older on a very hot summer day. Younger children can play if they are not sensitive about being drenched.
Water Balloon Toss with a Twist -Empty Bleach Bottles, Water Balloons and scissors. Cut the bottoms out of the bottles. Make the opening a bit bigger by cutting a sloped edge so that it resembles a scoop. Take off the bottle top and discard. Toss the water balloon using the scoop instead of hands. Play with as many players as there are jugs/scoops.
Splash Tag -A big, soft sponge, like the kind you use to wash the car, and buckets of water. This version of the classic tag requires one person to be "IT". "IT" tries to tag running players with a wet sponge them. Once tagged, that person becomes the new It. No denying who's been tagged...The wet mark on their back is a dead give away!
Mommy Polo -swimming pool or lake, a group of kids and a group of moms or dads.Kids and moms get into the pool, and each mom closes her eyes. All the moms count to 10 in unison while the kids spread out in the water (shallow end only, unless the kids are all strong swimmers), with siblings grouped together. Moms search for their own children by listening to their voices. Kids call out "Mommy!" and the moms must respond "Polo!" The first mom to touch her bunch of kids wins.
Don't be a Drip!You'll need: Balloons, a safety pin and a faucet Poke a hole in a balloon using a safety pin.Then fill it with water and tie the end to create a time bomb with a slow leak. Players stand in a circle and toss the balloon around. The idea is not to be the one holding the balloon when it runs out of water. The focus really isn't on winning or losing, it's on how much fun you have while cooling off!
Water Volleyball, a badminton net, two old sheets and water balloons Divide into two teams of four and stand on opposite sides of the net. Each team holds one sheet (a person at each corner). Place a water balloon in the center of one team's sheet. The idea is to toss the balloon over the net, into the other team's sheet. It helps to do a countdown to the toss: "One, two, three...Up!" TIP: This can be played with large beach towels and only two teams of two as well!Ice Ball Surprise For each child, insert a small toy or piece of plastic jewelry into a balloon. Fill the balloon with water, knot and freeze solid over night. Before giving out the goodies, cut away the balloon Young guests will have fun pushing their ice ball around a kiddy pool and watching it melt into something special.
Bonus activity:Perfect party favor for a hot summer day? Keeping empty frozen balloons in the freezer provides a quick response to "I'm hot and bored"
Straw Sculptures You'll need: bendable straws, tape, paper clips, cardboard for a base if desired.Cut straws to different lengths. Snip a slit at one end of some of the straws. Insert straws into each other to form desired shape. Paper clips can be used for angled joints by bending into S & U shapes and inserted into the straws.
To make "fireworks" or trees, cut several slits on the end of the straws and curl with scissors as you would do to curling ribbon.
Use marshmallows as connectors.