Summer fun

My favourite thing about summer is the unscheduled days with my kids. We don’t have to get dressed for school or pack lunches and our days are wide open for any adventure we choose. As a work-at-home mum, my weekdays are flexible during the summer, but we save the big family excursions for the weekends when my husband can join us.

This summer, we’re looking forward to trying new things and creating new family memories. If you’re looking for out-of-the-box summer ideas, here are 10 fun experiences for you and your kids to check off your bucket lists:

1. Pick your own food. Visit a local farm to pluck fresh blueberries right off the bush, or pull juicy red beets right out of the ground. My kids still talk about how they cut huge heads of broccoli right from the fields. Not only is it fun, kids will learn where their food comes from and might even sample a new vegetable when they harvest it themselves. Click here to find your nearest pick-your-own farm.

2. Go geocaching.  Geocaching is the modern day treasure hunt. Use a GPS enabled device (like your smartphone) to search for a waterproof container filled with “prizes.” After you’ve tracked it down, you add your name to the log book, take a treasure from the box and leave your own. Be warned, geocaching can be addictive! Click here to find more about geocaches in your area.

3. Host a movie night in your backyard. Nothing beats watching a movie with your family on the big screen as you lounge about the backyard. Hang a sheet or pull your television outside to watch something amazing.  Try a not-so-scary monster movie or a girl power movie or a movie with an important life lesson.

Related content: Build a backyard movie theatre

4. Join the circus. I have a friend who sends her son to circus school every summer. The kids learn how to be a clown, juggling, acrobatic feats and other circus disciplines. The classes culminate in a circus performance so kids can show off their new-found skills. As a bonus, your kids can now say that they’ve run off with the circus. Click here to find a circus school near you.

5. Live in the past. Visit a living history museum or a Renaissance or Medieval Faire to learn how people lived during those times. Last summer I took my kids to a Medieval Faire where they learned how wool was spun, sat in a one-room schoolhouse and watched an artisan make dolls out of corn husks. They enjoyed seeing history in action and learned to appreciate modern conveniences like indoor toilets!

ice-cram  image: Getty/Schon & Probst

6. Host an ice cream social. Make small batches of ice cream at home and hold an ice cream social. Such an easy way to bring your neighbours, friends or family together. Using simple ingredients, ice and plastic bags, kids can shake their way to customised ice cream flavours in just a few minutes. Human powered ice cream makers are more fun than electric ones. For detailed instructions, check out this video. Of course, you can always just buy a few tubs of vanilla ice cream and add dishes of lollies, chocolate, syrups and sprinkles for people to customise their own flavour. Too easy!

7. Become a backyard Olympian. Create an obstacle course in your backyard (or head to your local park) and challenge friends to complete it. Jump over boxes, dive through a hula hoop and climb over the monkey bars right to the finish line. Award all finishers with medals made of cardboard and ribbon in a ceremony afterwards. Particularly fun when the medals are edible.

concert-kids

8. Attend an outdoor concert or play. There’s something about eating a picnic lunch or dinner on the grass while enjoying live music that just screams summer. Many towns offer free concerts or plays, so it’s a low-investment way to expose kids to new types of music or even Shakespeare in the Park. Check with your local council for what’s on in your area. Bonus points if the event is held at night under the stars.

9. Star in your own movie. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love making videos on my smartphone. Take the adventure up a notch by encouraging your kids to write a script, creating props and film their own movie. Make a big deal about the movie ‘premiere’ when it’s time to watch.

volunteer

10. Volunteer for a non-profit.  There is no greater adventure than helping others in need. Kids can spend a day at an animal shelter, food pantry or arts organisation. Your kids can learn new skills and be of service to their community. Not sure where to volunteer? Go to Volunteering Australia, click ‘more options’ in their search box area and then select ‘Good for Families’ from the drop down menu.

No matter how many adventures your family crosses off this list, you’ll be creating unforgettable memories. Have a wonderful summer.

What family adventures do you have planned this summer?

More ideas for summer fun:

Images: Getty