What’s bored and whiny and hot all over?
My kids in summer!
Summer is prime time for kids to be cranky from the heat or bickering with one other because they’re out of things to do. But with a little planning and creativity, you can channel your inner camp counselor and come up with some fun summer activities for kids, guaranteed to keep them cool and entertained. Oh, and guaranteed to help you keep your sanity.
Keep Kids Cool
When it’s hot outside, nothing beats running through a sprinkler or jumping in a pool. Check out these ways to beat the heat in Philadelphia or your own backyard.
Splash pads and swimming pools
There are plenty of splash pads, spraygrounds, and pools in the city, many of which are free. Refer to this list of Philly’s best pools and spray fountains to see what’s available near you.
DIY water fun
If you don’t have an oasis in your backyard, you may have to get a little more creative when you want to keep your kids cool at home. But the results can be just as refreshing!
- Have a carwash — Put your kids in their swimsuits, grab a hose and soapy bucket of water, and let your kids clean your car. Even if it turns into a water fight with the hose, your car is bound to be cleaner than when they started.
- Turn on the sprinklers — Whether you have in-ground sprinklers or a simple water hose attachment, sprinklers are an inexpensive and easy way to cool down on a hot day.
- Set up a water table — Water tables keep toddlers busy and cool since most of the water ends up on your little ones. They don’t cost much if you want to buy one, or you can make your own water table.
- Break out the water balloons and blasters — Both are inexpensive ways to keep several kids occupied, and you can find water balloon kits and water blasters just about anywhere — from your local grocery store to your pharmacy.
Keep Kids Busy
Start by writing up various indoor and outdoor activities for kids on slips of paper or popsicle sticks and place them in a jar. Stock up on any special supplies you might need (including sunscreen and insect repellant) so you can make sure you’re ready to act. Then, each time your kids arrive at your side in need of summer fun, simply have them choose an activity from the jar and point them toward the supplies.
Here are some fun summer activities for kids to get you started:
- Obstacle course. Head to your backyard, a local park, or other area with lots of space and bring an assortment of “obstacles”: hula hoops, mini traffic cones, rubber balls, cardboard boxes, etc. Pick a start and finish line, and set up obstacles in between. Next, have your kids come up with fun tasks for each item — do ten jumping jacks within the hula hoop, hop on one leg over a cone, balance a ball on your head for five seconds. Send the kids through the silly obstacle course, seeing who can complete it the fastest.
- Nature scavenger hunt. Take advantage of a nice day outdoors and educate your child about trees, flowers, insects, or birds that are common in your area. Create a treasure hunt list with photos, and hit a local park or trail to start your search. Try collecting samples from the ground or snapping pictures of your finds as you go! You could even place the items you want your children to find on a board, bingo-style — the first child to get bingo wins!
More fun summer activities for kids
- This hour-by-hour DIY home summer camp itinerary from Parenting magazine has plenty of ideas to help the days fly by for kids.
- Or maybe a week or so of classic day camp might be a good fit for your kids this summer. Check out the flexible programs offered at the many branches of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA.
- Don’t underestimate the fun (and valuable lessons) that volunteering with kids can offer — volunteering over the summer can be especially rewarding.
- And if you’re looking for kid-friendly activities in Philly, don’t forget to check out Summerfest at the Blue Cross RiverRink with roller skating, mini-golf, games, concessions, and rides.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have, or suspect that you have, a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.