It's almost summer and the idea of keeping kids busy in the yard and at the beach sure comes to mind!
We have a list of fun activities that not only practice the 4 r's, but some that are just plain natural. Some of these summer games you can make from recycled materials, others use nothing but that which nature gives us.
Why not try one or all this summer!
Have kids create a raceway for bikes or scooter using chalk and other recycle items. Use bottles (fill with a few rocks or sand to weigh them down) in place of cones as obstacles. You can paint them orange or leave them as is.
We don't recommend this on the street! Best on a large driveway.
Have kids make a golf course in your back yard. Draw large numbers on cardboard or paper plates and attach to a stick. Have kids draw fun pictures on the signs. You can even make it a theme, such as pirates.
To make it more difficult, use large juice cans, oatmeal tubes or cut out boxes and challenge kids to hit the ball through them for extra points.
Have kids paint ten water or soda bottes to make bowling pins. Put a little water or sand in each one to weigh them down. Make a bowling lane on any flat yard or driveway surface or why not the beach! Use a beach ball, basketball or volleyball in place of a bowling ball.
Panning for Gold:
Bury small rocks in a sandbox. Find yellow rocks or have kids paint some rocks gold. Kids can search for "gold" using plastic colanders or sand sifters. This also works at the beach but do it in the soft sand. Great for a summer birthday party for prizes!
(I have also seen this done with pennies for gold-but be careful with very small children)
Backyard Obstacle Course:
Create an obstacle course for kids to crawl under through a picnic table and/or tunnels made from large boxes. Walk or hop along a curving garden hose, and dodge an water sprinkler. Make it a little more difficult each time they go through it. MAKE sure any obstacle item you use is safe!
This is a simple and no carry game! Everything available at the beach. Use rounded beach rocks as marbles. PLay where sand is still damp and flat. Make a hole to roll the rocks into. Each child can search for a particular color rock so they have their own set.
Another no carry game for the beach. But can be done in a yard, too! Have kids tie six to ten feet of string between two chairs for a net. Use any ball including a beach ball or use a balloon! If using a balloon--it's ok to have people sitting in chairs. If using a ball-make sure the chairs are empty!
Have kids make sandcastle sculptures. Challenge them to make animals like turtles , fish or other themes. Used paper cups, and natural items found on the beach such as shells or rocks to decorate for eyes etc. Don't leave any litter on the beach!
Draw big bingo cards in the wet sand. Use stones in place of bingos. Draw a big square. Make 4 lines on each square, 2 across, 2 down. in the center put a "B" and in the others mark random numbers 1-20. Have a parent call out numbers. Keep the numbers small when playing with small kids and use only 4 squares.
Make a hopscotch pattern in flat damp sand. Not too wet it will disappear! Good exercise :)
Sand Writing and Drawing Challenge
Challenge kids to draw their names, words or draw pictures in the sand. You can even challenge them to do math problems. What a great way to extend homeschooling at the beach!