The Best Ways to Keep Kids Busy in the Summer

Summertime is seriously the best time. I really do love all of the seasons, but even the hot weather haters have to admit that being able to be outside – without seventeen layers of winter clothes – is pretty amazing. And if you’ve got young kids, one of the absolutely, positively, best things about summer is that there’s a never ending list of things that you can do to stay busy.

Here are some of my all time favorite outdoor activities that we’re finally able to start partaking in this summer, since Ricky is big enough to run around on his own a bit more.

The splash pad. Ricky and I love going to the splash pad. One of the neighborhoods by us (we have friends that live there) has two of these things. And there’s also one in the town next to us (best part? It’s free!). One of my favorite things about the splash pad is that there’s no standing water, so it feels a little less dangerous as the parent of a very small child. Despite the lack of standing water, it’s still a super fun place to cool off on a hot day, my little guy has a blast and I literally feel like mom of the year every time we go, because we get some quality time together.

Have a lemonade stand. We actually were just part of Carson’s Lemonade Stand today through the mom’s club that I participate in – which means we were there to raise money for St. Jude. Ricky is a little young to really understand exactly what was going on, but the older kids thought selling lemonade was a great time!

Plant a garden. We actually re-landscaped our entire front yard a few weekends ago, and Ricky had so much fun helping – but you could even just get some special pots for flowers or veggies on your deck for your littles to take care of. Now that the gardens are planted, my little guy likes to go out and help water the gardens and dead head the plants at the end of the day. He especially likes it when I set up a sprinkler for the plants – because he can run through the water, too. Who knew that water was the best entertainment EVER for an almost two year old?

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Have a picnic. There is just something so silly about putting down a blanket and eating in the front yard that Ricky loves. And hey, if it’s that entertaining for him I am happy to oblige! Picnics are so ridiculously easy to put together, especially when you’re going from your kitchen to your own backyard.

And when the summer sun is just too much to handle, here are some of our favorite indoor things to do in the summer:

Go to the Children’s Museum. We’re lucky to have a great resource like our Children’s Museum just twenty minutes away from our house. It’s a fun way to let the little guy run some energy off, learn something new and get out of the house on the super hot days (or in the middle of winter – but let’s save that for another day). I even heard a rumor that the little guy might be getting his own membership for his birthday in September!

Hit up the library. We live in a really awesome county that has great libraries – so we love to go to story time when it works with our schedule, or just stop in to check out some new books. Our library is upstairs from our city’s indoor park, which is another place I like to let Ricky run off some excess energy when we can’t get outside due to the weather. Ricky loves to check out new books, run around the children’s reading section and meet new friends while we’re there. It’s a great way to break up those extra hot summer days!

Go to the indoor pool. We belong to the YMCA, who has some great pools in our area. Here’s the thing about rainy days: there’s just no way to get outside, no matter how much you try. And yet, kids still have so much energy to burn. So instead of sitting in our house with cabin fever, we like to head over to our local Y and let the little guy splash around in the water inside. It’s a great way to keep him entertained and happy when all he wants to do is go to the park or run around outside.

Tell me in the comments: what are your favorite summer activities?

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