The lure of air conditioning, 24-hour kids’ television programming and live-connect video games makes it pretty tough to entice your kids to get off the couch during the summer months. Even though you may be tempted to throw the TV out the door and put every electronic device in a sack and toss it the car window on the interstate, Amish life really isn’t for you so let’s get some fun and realistic activities for kids in the mix.
1. Plan a modern treasure hunt
Instead of fighting the smartphone addiction, make one of your summer ideas a fun scavenger hunt. Create a list of things for your kids to find outside or around the house and have them take pictures of each item. They will think they are getting their way because they still have their phone in their hand, but when they are running around for three hours finding all twenty-five wacky things on the list you’ll know who really won this battle.
2. Do activities at night
Let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just too darn hot for outdoor games. But if you propose a jump rope contest, a round of hopscotch, or a game of tag outside in the dark, well that might just be crazy enough to entice them away from those screens.
3. Make home movies
This is another one of those times when the kids think they’re getting what they want. Kids love to sing, dance, make up stories and the like. Tell them you want to video them and watch what happens! Before you know it they will be writing scripts, choreographing dances and working on the next great independent film.
4. Let them mess up the house
Remember how fun it was to build a blanket for or play in a cardboard box? That hasn’t changed. Sure you will have to maneuver around a giant fortress with a crayon dragon and a moat made of your favorite sheets but the pictures will look great on Instagram…you know, if you’re into that whole mommy-brag thing.
5. Look in your area for free kids activities
For whatever reason, if you ask your kids if they want to glue macaroni to paper plates at the kitchen table they will groan but take them to the local library and suddenly it’s the coolest and most fun idea anyone as ever presented to them and you must display the subsequent artwork on your refrigerator for the next six weeks. Many cities have free activities for kids during the summer months that will save your sanity and provide your kids with a change of scenery so check your local paper or city website.