School’s out and with it comes the three words you dread to hear this summer: I am bored.
Worry not! We have your ultimate list of 45 fun and healthy activities you can do with your kids this summer.
Summer can be tons of fun. Be that healthy role model for your kids this summer and use these 45 healthy and fun activities to keep the kids happy and healthy.
1. Go to the farmer’s market.
The best way kids learn healthy habits is by watching your healthy habits. Teach them well by letting them tag along to the farmer’s market.
Load up on fresh produce. Better yet? Let them each have $5 to spend on something healthy. When you get home you can make healthy snacks or let them help you prepare a healthy dinner with the items you just purchased.
2. Make smoothies.
Little ones find it fascinating to blend things up. Let them help you put fruit, almond milk and veggies into your smoothie maker or blender.
Buy some reusable color straws and your smoothies are guaranteed to please.
3. Take a day trip.
Mixing up the routine prevents boredom. Head to a neighboring town and try something new.
Take a dip in a lake, head out for a hike on a new trail or let your kids enjoy an all-new playground.
Let your kids appreciate a little change of scenery and schedule.
4. Go to the gym.
Does your gym have childcare? Let your kids see that you prioritize exercise and they will too.
Give yourself an hour of me-time while they play with other kids at your local gym.
Don’t forget to explain why mommy is going for a workout.
5. Plant a garden.
Herbs, veggies or flowers? Pick your favorite and dig in the dirt with your kids to let them see that they can grow things with their two little hands.
Then you can show them how to make good use of what you grow.
You can even get them their own gardening tools for some pride of ownership!
6. Cook together.
Nothing is better than making something healthy for your kids and watching them eat it up, sans whining.
7. Go to the playground.
Swings, slides, sandboxes and tunnels are easy breezy active fun for your kids. While you keep one eye on the kiddos, you can do your own playground workout.
8. Do a penny hike.
This may sound silly, but when I was a little kid, my mom used to take us on penny hikes. Back in the day when a penny was worth something, we would flip the penny at each corner; heads we went right, tales we went left.
Each time the walk would be different. My siblings and I loved penny hikes and I’m sure it was a way for my mom to get outside and stay sane. Try a penny hike with your little ones.
9. Go swimming
Member at a pool club? Own a pool? Buy some of those colorful noodles and make a splash this summer by having regular swim time with the kids.
Practice different swim strokes or floats or just see who can make the biggest splash.
10. Create your own race.
Ready, set, go is all it takes if you have toddlers. They will love to run, run, run in an open park or on a walking path.
If your kids are older, make it a fun race to see who can run the fastest.
11. Go bowling on a rainy day.
Any age can appreciate the easy fun of knocking things over, especially on a day when you are stuck inside.
While it might not always be simple to have a good bowling score, bowling can be easy fun and usually good for lots of laughs (gutter ball!).
12. Paint, draw or write.
Pull out that inner artist and let your kids keep a summer diary or have regular time to paint or draw.
Take your budding artist outside in the shade to avoid the indoor mess. Use watercolors, chalk, colored pencils, markers or crayons to create some new artwork for your fridge or bulletin board.
Does your child love to write? Encourage them to capture what they love best about summer.
13. Host a dance party.
Tune in to Pandora, Spotify, or your favorite radio station and dance. Simple as that.
Ask your kids to show you their moves.
14. Let your kids put on a show.
Magic shows, puppet shows, dances, or jokes–kids of all ages love to entertain their parents with silly shows.
15. Let your kids have unstructured time.
When kiddos entertain themselves, they learn to daydream, be independent, and creative.
Plus, we all could benefit from remembering that not every minute of the day needs to be scheduled.
Look at you nurturing mindfulness at a young age.
16. Ride bikes.
Get everyone moving with a family bike ride. Good exercise for everyone and something you can do at every age.
Not only is hiking a great exercise (especially with hills) but is also is a great way to explore nature with the kids.
Don’t forget to pack a backpack and have lunch at your hiking destination.
18. Take a trip to see animals.
Whether you head to a zoo or nature center, let your kids enjoy and learn about animals of all types.
Plus, you will spend a lot of time on your feet which is good for the whole family.
19. Grab some sidewalk chalk.
I used to spend hours when my kids were little creating art on the driveway.
The rain would wash it away and we would start over, or we would make our driveway into a game area by drawing four square, hopscotch and agility ladders.
20. Bake together.
Show your kids that desserts can be healthy. Talk to them about real ingredients like honey instead of artificial sweeteners.
Soon they will see that healthier desserts can be made at home and don’t come out of a box.
21. Grab a ball, Frisbee or kite and head to a park or field.
Bored of the backyard? Head to a park and kick a soccer ball or toss a Frisbee with your kids.
Take advantage of a windy day by flying a kite. Once you finish, you can explore the park too.
Bonus for you and all of those steps you are racking up.
22. Take a picnic lunch.
Who doesn’t love to eat a meal outdoors? Make it a fun activity by making a healthy lunch with the kids and letting them help pack it up.
Cut up veggies and make some hummus. Fill a container with some fresh fruit.
Eat lunch on your deck or put a picnic blanket down in the backyard. If you want, head out in the car to picnic at a nearby lake or park.
23. Break out the sprinkler or Slip and Slide.
I know you remember your days of using a Slip and Slide. Running, splashing and sliding; what could be more fun?
Or give the kids some sprinkler time. If you have wee ones, you can’t beat a baby pool for some shrieks of laughter and splashes in the water.
24. Jump rope.
Jumping rope is great plyometric workout for you and it’s so fun for your children.
Get a few jump ropes so you all can jump together or see who can jump the longest.
25. Climb trees.
With a little supervision, tree-climbing is good for the muscles, gives kids a sense of accomplishment and it is fun to do.
26. Build a tree-fort.
Depending on your vision for your tree-fort and your carpentry skills, this could be a summer-long project.
Add a ladder and it becomes good exercise for the kids too.
27. Play kickball.
I remember hours of time devoted to kickball.
You can give other parents a break (and hopefully they will return the favor) and have your kids’ friends over, form teams and play away.
28. Make juice.
Your kids just might be amazed that you can make your own juice and with lots of crazy things they might not expect, like carrots.
New to juicing? I’ve got you covered with my Beginner’s Guide to Juicing.
29. Host a car wash.
Nurture your aspiring entrepreneur. Plus, it takes a lot of energy to wash a car by hand.
30. Turn cups of water into a fun game.
Have fun in the backyard by seeing who can balance a cup of water on their head without spilling.
31. Camp out in the backyard.
Teach a love for the moon, stars and the great outdoors by setting up camp in your backyard.
Flashlights and giggling encouraged.
32. Blow bubbles.
I don’t about you, but there’s something magical about watching your little ones chase after a yard full of bubbles or try and blow their own bubbles.
33. Set up a lemonade stand.
Teach your little ones about the concept of money by letting them host their own lemonade stand.
34. Play miniature or putt-putt golf.
Enjoy the warm weather with a game of miniature golf or putt-putt with your kids.
It’s a lot more fun than typical putting drills and it works on hand-eye coordination. You just might discover a talented little golfer in your family.
35. Head to the beach.
Go in search of sand to build the biggest sand castle ever or dig the biggest hole.
36. Make water balloons.
Water fun and chase all wrapped up in one activity. Your kids will love it and you will love the very little clean-up.
Plus, now you can now blow up 100 water balloons in just 60 seconds!
37. Go boating.
Make the most of your canoe, rowboat, sailboat, or motorboat by getting out in the water with your kids.
Your kids will love being little helpers (well, most of the time, right?).
Older kids? Pull out those paddle boards.
38. Have fun in the mud.
You know you love those mud runs as an adult for a reason … you probably loved playing in the mud as a kid.
Let your kids get dirty in the mud by making mud pies.
39. Take pictures of nature.
Your kids have probably discovered your iPhone and they probably want to use it.
Go on a walk to appreciate nature by letting your kids take pictures of what they see and think is beautiful.
40. Learn to DIY.
Are you crafty or want to be? Try a weekly craft with your kids. Here’s an awesome Buzzfeed list of DIY projects you can do to prevent boredom.
41. Make popsicles or ice treats.
Popsicles are so easy to make and they are a fun and refreshing afternoon snack.
Or you can take my favorite, watermelon, mash it up a bit and put it in a cup in the freezer for an icey-snack.
42. Go to the library.
If you can walk to your local library, even better.
Show your kids how books and relaxation can be fun by letting them check out books of their interest and having designated reading time each day.
Use a hammock in your yard as their new reading corner.
43. Make a music list.
Music motivates. Let your kids work with you to create their own playlist and let them groove or play to their favorite tunes.
44. Sign up to a family 5K.
Summertime has lots of family-style 5ks where little ones and even dogs and strollers are encouraged on race day.
Your kids won’t forget wearing their own race bib and jogging next to you as they cross the finish line.
45. Help with yard work.
Little kids love to pretend they are mowing the lawn with daddy.
While it’s harder to recruit the troops for help as they get older, you can turn your yard into active family time with small projects where everyone can pitch in.
Check things off your to-do list and active time too.
Go high on the activity and low on the whining by trying some of these healthy activities. You just can’t put a price tag on the value of teaching your kids a healthy lifestyle and active life.
With a little creative-thinking, you can make this summer your healthiest yet!