Summertime Kick-Off: 6 Outdoor Games & Activities

Summer’s almost here. Finally!

And while long summer days are welcome sight, with the kids off school, that means more planning on your part to keep them entertained and enthralled for the next several months.

Summer Calendar_Icon4“Summer Fun” calendar to the rescue!

Every Monday (starting June 3) we’ll reveal a new week’s worth of original activities, crafts, games, and more on our printable “Summer Fun” calendar. Our ideas are designed to give you a bit of inspiration, so you can help your child have magical moments of creative play, every day (with a little bit of learning along the way).

For today’s post, have we got a WHOPPER of a summer kick-off checklist for you!

Something MESSY. Something CLEAN. And everything in between.
Something FAST. Something SLOW. Tips that’ll make you a PICNICKING PRO!

We’ll help you kick off your summer right!

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Declare “Opposite Day” on Outdoor Games

creative-playGet kids usin’ their noggins by playing Simon Says or Red Light, Green Light in reverse. In Tag, have only the person who is “It” hide, and everyone else seek. Or start at 10 and count down in Hopscotch. You get the idea . . .  Kids will love coming up with their own clever ways to flip the rules of their favorite backyard games.




Throw Yourself into Some Big, Messy Outdoor Painting

big-messy-artFinger-paint, spatter-paint, use your toes or nose to paint! It’s painting done YOUR WAY.  Let kids get creative — and a little messy — by using their whole body to paint on a giant canvas in the backyard. This post has tips and tricks for creating an outdoor painting event.


Have Some Backyard Water Fun

bucket-relayNow that they’re good and messy, clean ‘em off with some backyard water fun. Play Water Ball, have Bucket Relays, and turn Duck, Duck, Goose into a water game using squirty toys. Get all the details for these splishy-splashy backyard games here.



Go on a Nature Walk

Nature Walk with Alphabet RocksStep outside and let your kids explore nature. Have them look high (with binoculars) and low (with a magnifying glass). Collect treasures along the way. Or make alphabet rocks you can hide outdoors to practice sounds or spelling words. Children can rest and get fine motor practice by sitting down to draw and/or write about what they found on their Nature Walk. Get more ideas for your Nature Walk here.



Get Artsy with Kid-Made Checkered Racing Flags

racing-flagsFirst make some checkered flags. Then hold the race. Kids will burn off some energy in the backyard taking turns racing and waving the checkered flags. Add some drama to your race by using streamers for a real finish line, and keep your camera handy to record photo finishes. On your mark… Get set… GO!

Pack a Picnic Lunch

best-picnicNuthin’ says summer like a good old-fashioned picnic. Slow things down and enjoy some bites, breaths, and books together as a family. Learn 5 ways to add some magic to a simple picnic lunch — rain or shine.





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Looking for even more Summer Kick-Off ideas? Why not ask your kids? Have them make their OWN Summer Bucket List. They can reach in the bucket each day to reveal a Summer Surprise Activity. (All parent-approved, of course.)

And, keep coming back each week to check out our “Summer Fun” calendar and our Summer Pinterest board — each full of educational activities, crafts, games, summer-sanity tips, and more!

Got ideas for YOUR family’s Summer Bucket List? Share them either in the comments below or on the Melissa & Doug Facebook page.

We look forward to spending the summer with you and your family!

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This post was created for our Summer Fun Calendar series. Click for more info.



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