Today is the last day of school and ten weeks of summer break stretch out in front of us. Whether you’re the Summer Bucket List kind of family or more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-shorts family, here are a few ideas to add some risky play to your summer break.
Build a fire: If the kids are old enough, teach them how. If they’re too young, let them fetch the sticks. Either way, reward their hard work with s’mores!
DIY Darts: These darts were no joke, which of course made them very appealing to my kids. Assembling them is a great rainy day activity, and if you set up a dart board in the garage they can hone their skills all summer long.
Rock climb: When the kids are climbing the walls, give them rocks instead. Traditional indoor climbing facilities are a great way to beat the heat, but don’t forget that even the littlest climbers enjoy tackling big rocks. Scout out parks and playgrounds that have rocks and boulders for scaling.
Explode something: This summer we’re going to work on our first rocket launching kits. Last summer we did the Diet Coke and Mentos explosion and it was a big hit. The kids are still talking about it.
Kayak: Lisa, our resident kayaking expert, shared some great tips on how to kayak with kids.
Organize a game: Whether you get them started in a game of kickball or flashlight tag, or they come up with their own game, getting a group of kids to play outside games together is such a valuable part of childhood. Keep in mind, this usually doesn’t happen naturally. Most kids aren’t accustomed to this, having everything planned and organized for them. Put in some time getting them organized, and watch the tradition unfold and take off on its own!
Water Balloon Fight: The perfect way to beat the heat!
Let the kids decide: I like to make our collection of books and magazines available and tell the kids to pick something that appeals to them. It’s a great boredom buster (they’ll usually spend a good chunk of time just looking at all the options) and I’ve found, especially with older kids, they’re more apt to be cheerful participants if they picked the activity. This year I’m also curating a Pinterest board they can turn to for ideas. Here are a few books I like to keep around for inspiration:
- Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction
- 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)
- The Dangerous Book for Boys
- The Daring Book for Girls
- The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun
- KidVentures: 50 Outdoor Experiences of Wonder, Discovery, & Childhood Memories
Most of our suggestions are outside activities because we’re so passionate about getting kids outside. If outside play seems daunting to you (and believe me, you’re not alone), check out our suggestions for making it more appealing.
Of course, don’t forget to do the riskiest thing of all: free time and a hefty dose of relaxing.
What are you doing this summer? We’re always looking for new ideas, so let us know that one thing you can’t wait to try with the kids this summer!