Jun 21, 2017

60ish Ideas For Screen-Free Summer Fun

60ish Ideas for Fun Summer Activities with ZERO screens and (hopefully) minimal parental supervision required. Customize to fit your needs!

It's summer time!!! And if you are anything like me, you feel an equal mixture of glee at "No more lunch packing or homework!!" and abject terror of "I'm BORED" and "I'm STARVING is it breakfast/lunch/dinner time yet?" on repeat all.day.long.

For me, my goal, every summer, is exactly the same. To get them to do a little work in the morning. (Usually work books from Costco--my boys will actually do the Star Wars ones--and a few chores like read scriptures, practice piano, make bed, unload dishes.)

When chores are done, I want them playing outside in the backyard as much as possible.
(Yes, we will have trips to the beach/pool/ice cream parlor--just not every day!!)

If they've spent hours keeping busy in the morning and afternoon, I have no problem letting them chill literally and figuratively with a show or Minecraft session in the late afternoon/early evening. I just can't handle being begged for devices all.day.long.

Sure, this seems like a pipe dream, but I know it's possible because when I was a kid
For hours and hours.
Coming in as little as possible and only when absolutely desperate to use the bathroom or eat.

So last year I made this list and hung it on the wall, but it had one fatal flaw.
One of the items was...
"Make a Lego stop-motion video."

This was the ONLY item on the list that in any way involved electronics, so naturally, it was the only thing anyone ever wanted to do on the list. "Mom, can you un-lock the iPad so I can make a Lego stop-motion video??" That only worked like the first 23 times, and then I cottoned on.

This year, it has been dashed from the list.

Also, I thought I would add a few more specific details to my list to make it easier for my children to actually visualize the activity.
For example
"Go on a bike ride" became
"Go on a bike ride to the Meeting House."

I don't want them to get on their bikes and over-tax their poor, tired little brains by having to come up with a destination. (Lest they give up and come inside.) So I got more specific.

Naturally, if you don't have a turn-of-the-century German Meeting House within biking distance, you might want to amend the list to your specifications.

I recommend copying and pasting the list into a new document and customizing it to fit your kids--and the play structures you have available. ;)

(If someone wants to tell me how to make this into a printable and customizable PDF, I'm all ears.)

Here's to hoping this helps! Good luck to all of us!!!

Time for SUMMER FUN !

Take a walk to the look-out
Ride a bike to the meeting house
Ride a scooter up the hill and back down
Go for a nature walk and collect sticks, leaves and cool rocks (but leave them outside.)
Climb a tree
Play hide and seek
Play Sardines
Play Kick-the-can
Play Kick Ball
Play Red-Rover
Put on a Puppet Show
Write a play and act it out with siblings (Jane Austen style)
Play Basketball
How many free throws can you make? (100=$1 from Mom
Knock out
Jump on the Trampoline
Dead Man
Practice your flips
Freeze Tag!
Read a book
In your room
Outside on a blanket
In a blanket fort!
Play in the Playroom
Board games
Stuffed animals
Play a board game or card game with a younger sibling
Play with Play-Doh (outside with permission and you have to clean up after.)
Draw a picture
Jump rope (set a new record for consecutive jumps!)
Cut shapes for a picture and glue together Leo Lionni style
Make a collage with pics cut from a magazine
Play Kickball
Play Wiffle Ball
Play Badminton
Play Frisbee
Keep an Art or Nature journal of your summer
Make mud pies
Build with Legos
Make a Lego village outside
Make a Lego zip-line
Make a Lego universe
Make a Fairy House or Fairy Garden in the corner of the yard
Build a fort (EVERYTHING needs to be put away after)
Eat lunch outside on a blanket
Press summer flowers for an art project later
Run through the sprinklers
Blow bubbles
Draw pictures with chalk outside
Use chalk to make a Hopscotch game
Memorize a scripture and earn $1
Read 10 stories to little sibling and earn $1
Do 10 extra chores to earn Special Time (art/cooking/clay) with Mom
Do a secret service for someone
Write someone an anonymous love note!
Paint (with permission)
Paint beach rocks (with permission)
Make a panorama in a shoe box-but only if you can find your own shoe box. (Do not ask Mom to find you a shoe-box.)
Write a and illustrate a story. Bind with yarn.
Write in your journal
Write to the missionaries
Open and use one of the many How To {craft/draw/experiment} Books Mom has bought for you!
Draw an imaginary creature and write a story about it
Make dinner for your family with Mom's approval.
Brush your teeth and don’t forget to floss (--Your Dentist)
Go to bed and stay in your bed until 7 am tomorrow ;)
Get extra practice on your instrument so you’ll be extra AMAZING
Don’t veg away your summer! Fill it with FUN ACTIVITIES!!!

Have a FABULOUS and FUN DAY!!!

P.S. It occurs to me that I should have an alternative list of "Mom's Choice" activities for the times they refuse to pick something from the first list.  THIS list will have things like...

  • Move the Wood Pile from where it is, to three feet to the left of where it is.
  • Wash all the lower level windows on the inside and outside.
  • Pull 200 weeds and lay them out in stacks of ten so I know you actually did it. And...
  • White wash the fence...
I'll get right to work on that one...

P.S. What did I miss? Do you have any brilliant summer time activities your kids love? Let me know in the comments!!


Lyana said...

I don't have any better ideas! Wow! You have revamped my list:) Thank you:))
Our daily schedule has to involve a good 2 hour non-outside stuff as it's hot and humid in the middle of the day.

dalebud said...

Go to Wood Camp and clean up each day. With the ocean right there, why was nothing said about the beach? Like..."Find someone to take you to the beach".

acte gratuit said...

Dad: This is the list of things to do when we are not otherwise engaged at Wood Camp or the Beach. If I put Beach on the list, they will ignore all the other stuff and just ask to go to the beach! ;)

KT said...

You are a literal genius. I think I owe you a million dollars for saving my sanity this summer. I completely love this!

Crimen said...

kinda unrelated to your list of summer suggested-to-dos

impromptu trip to utah and a surprise visit to my home 01july

some cute boy/s, unknown to me, left a loving comment written on bathroom mirror
chapstick pencil ?
nice surprise
i didn't see "write messages on mirrors" on your summer activities list

i don't think he/they were yours because i think it ws really "sweet" of him/them
also don't think of you calling your kids "sweet"
so it could have been a burglar who had free access to the apt
or you brought somebody else's kids on the trip
thank them for me

any robot worth hard/firm/software is capable of checking the box below