When my kids were in later elementary and middle school, we’d mark the start of summer vacation with water balloons. I’d spend the last day of school filling and tying  (my fingers were so sore!) water balloons so they’d be ready when the kids got home. I stationed laundry baskets filled with water balloons around the yard, and mayhem ensued.

The final school bell is about to ring for the 2021-22 year. So what will you do to help your kids create summer fun? Like the water balloons, think old school. Write down ten or more activities that don’t require electronics and place them in a bucket or hat. Then, when the kids say, “We’re bored,” go to the hat, draw from the bucket, and let the fun begin! We’ve brainstormed with John and Crosley and put together some ideas to get you started.

  1. Build a fort! This even works for a rainy day! Indoors, grab couch cushions, boxes, or the kitchen chairs. Build your fort and cover it with sheets or blankets. Outdoors, use a picnic table, lawn chairs, and even the fence to form your structure. Once your fort is built, take a favorite book inside and read.
  2. Camp in the backyard! You can use your fort, a tent, or sleep under the stars. If you have a trampoline, sleep on top of it!
  3. Build a water rocket! This was tops on John and Crosley’s list. We don’t have room to give you all the instructions but take a look at this cool video. This is a family activity that requires some tools and adult assistance. How high will your rocket go?
  4. Write your own comic book! Create a story, then illustrate it like a comic. Make copies to share with your friends.
  5. Break out the sidewalk chalk! Take your sidewalk chalk game to a new level. You can play hopscotch, make a bicycle maze and create amazing murals. Get inspired by looking at some of these creations.
  6. Make homemade ice cream! Or better yet, Fro-Madge. Find Crosley’s favorite recipe here.
  7. Have family Olympics! My son was the master of planning the family Olympics. Pick three to eight events. They don’t all have to be sports. They can be board games, eating competitions, or even staring contests. Award fun medals after each event. Family Olympics can last for a weekend, a week, or even all summer, with one event each week!
  8. Try to visit at least ten parks in your city. 

Make it a goal to spend at least three consecutive hours of screen-free time each day! Have fun out there!