Rather than Hot Potato, try Cold Potato for a refreshing game. Use a pin to poke a hole in a water balloon, then fill it with water and make sure the balloon has a slow but steady leak. Have everyone get into a circle and toss the leaky balloon from one player to the next, spraying everyone in the process. Be sure to toss it quickly, as the goal of the game is to pass the balloon before it runs out of water.
Play Marco Polo Without a Pool
Don’t have a pool? No problem. Put a twist on this classic and it becomes a cool backyard game on a hot day. Decide who will go first and blindfold that person or have them keep their eyes closed. The searcher should be armed with a water gun. Have the searcher turn around and count to 10, while the other players silently move to new locations in the backyard. When the counting ends, the searcher calls “Marco” and the other players respond with “Polo” while moving about the yard. When the searcher successfully shoots a player with water, it’s time to switch roles.
Play a Game of Splat
Fill a dozen water balloons and then draw a large target on your sidewalk or driveway and mark the rings of the target with point vaules. Take turns throwing the water balloons at the target and calculate the points to see who can get the most points to see who won.
Create your Own Water Park
Get out the hose and fill up the plastic pool, spread out the Slip ’N’ Slide, or turn on the sprinkler to turn your back lawn into your own private water park. Set up an obstacle course with pool toys, lawn chairs, baby pools and sprinklers, and let the games begin! Have people on the sidelines of the obstacle course toss water balloons for an extra challenge. However you play, just have fun!
Have a Car Wash
Put on your bathing suits and have kids wash the cars or their bikes. Have a couple of buckets and plenty of rags. Let the kids go to town and hey, if a water fight breaks out, it’ll be a great time to bond.
Visit your Local Farmers Market
This is a fun way to purchase produce that allows you to visit and talk to farmers that grow the food. Buying locally not only helps sustain your local economy, it lessens the impact the shipping industry has on the environment. Farmer’s Markets tend to have local artisans and activities for children, making it a fun trip rather than a boring trip to the grocery store.
Serve Up Indoor Volleyball
Or more accurately, volley feather. Give everyone a large feather (you can find them in the craft aisle of major superstores or even outside, if you’re lucky) and see who can blow the feather overhead for the longest time. Once you’ve got the hang of making the feather float, play as a team and try to pass a feather back and forth between players without letting it fall to the ground.
Play Hide-and-Seek With Stuffed Animals
In this new edition, stuffed animals do the hiding while you and the kids do the seeking. Everyone gets one stuffed animal. Split up and hide the stuffed animals anywhere in the house (or pick one room if you’re playing with younger kids). Then, each searches to find the others’ hidden objects. When you’ve found a hidden animal, take it and put it in a new hiding spot for them to find — the kids should do the same with yours. Continue playing for as long as you all are having fun.
Act it Out
It’s easy to pop in a movie and relax in front of the tube, but that’s not how memories are made. Instead, take turns acting out your favorite flicks as one-person plays. Set a five-minute limit and watch the plot unfold. Help the kids dress up using clothes, blankets or objects around the house. Wait until you see an imaginative 6-year-old perform Shrek. Better have the camera ready!
Have an Indoor Picnic
We all love picnics; there is something about eating on the ground that makes it special. Keep it inside to enjoy the air conditioning and spread out on the living room floor. Lie on a blanket and enjoy a healthy lunch like turkey and cheese roll-ups in a whole-wheat tortilla, fruit salad, and “ants on a log” (celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins).
Skip the ice cream treat and make something healthier. Blend a nutritious, delicious frozen fruit drink. Let your kids help load a blender with a half cup of ice cubes and whatever fruit they select (mangoes, strawberries, bananas, and pineapples work best). Add a little water or juice to allow it to mix smoothly. Then help the kids blend until the mixture is smooth. The natural fruit is sweet enough that no extra sugar is needed. Garnish with a straw or paper umbrella and enjoy.
(You can use the fruits you picked up from your local farmer’s market from Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market tip)
Make it a Game Night
Bingo! Sorry! Yahtzee! What do these exclamations have in common? They’re all popular games that are perfect for playing with your family. A family game night is an excellent way to stay connected with your kids. Choose games that are age-appropriate and of interest primarily to the children. That way children can feel successful playing with family members who are older, are more experienced, and have a competitive advantage. So pull up a seat and let the games begin!
Whatever activity you choose make sure to have fun and enjoy the summer!