2011 15/08

14 Weeks of Summer: Backyard Fun

With Summer winding down and many school/sporting activities already underway, you’re probably ready to our this Summer in the bag. But, if you’re still looking for something fun to do and still remain low-key, then get ready for some Backyard Fun!

We spend a good portion of our Summer right in our own backyard, especially this Summer with the new baby in the house. So we’re always on the lookout for ‘new’ things to keep us occupied!

Depending of the size of your yard, you can definitely modify some of these activities to fit you.  If you don’t have a yard at all (I’m not going to leave you condo and apartment dwellers out), see if you can take over some of the common green-space in your neighborhood or complex (make sure you clean up afterwards) or pack it all up and head to the area park. Or you can always butter up to friends and families who have yards!

1.  Backyard Water Park — grab all of your kiddie pools, slip-n-slides, sprinklers and hoses and create your own water park. If you have a swing set, incorporate that and create a ‘water slide’.

Backyard Water Sprinkler Fun

2.  Bubble blowing contests — set out a variety of bubble wands and dishes and see who can make the biggest bubbles, the smallest bubbles, the most bubbles in one blow; who can keep their bubbles up in the air the longest; who can blow a bubble and then catch it on their wand. Make little prizes or awards for the different contests. Better yet, have your kids make all the awards/trophies…two activities = keeping them busy all afternoon!

3.  Sidewalk Chalk Art Gallery –time to put all that creativity to use! Set out buckets of sidewalk chalk and let the kids go to work. Lots of different options here:

    • Have an art contest with prizes.
    • Decide on a specific theme and have everyone create a mural around that theme.
    • Give each child a section of the driveway or sidewalk and let them create their own art in that space. Invite friends and family over for a “gallery opening”. Let the guests walk around viewing the ‘art’ and serve them some lemonade and cookies.

And you can always make your own sidewalk chalk (via Mad Maggie Designs), create your own sidewalk chalk shapes (via Instructables) or create your own sidewalk paint (via Petit Elefant)!

4.  Obstacle Courses — Let your imagination run wild. Look around your yard and the toys you have sitting around and create an obstacle course. Gets the kids moving and I’m sure they will want to run through it a few times! {You can thank me when they crash for a nice long afternoon nap!}

Use jump ropes, jump over buckets, use bikes {make the big kids ride on a little bike}, use boxes to create tunnels, set up targets and do a water balloon toss, and more!

5.  Scavenger Hunts — Kids love spying for things, so create a list of items for them to find and put ’em to work! Create your own list or check out Jodimichelle.com’s I Spy! printables or Weelife’s Scavenger Hunts:

Weelife has all of their scavenger hunts located on their Downloads/Printables page (scroll down to the bottom) or you can visitliving.weelife.com for more inspiration. I LOVE her Find Your Own Treasures Hunt idea, too!

6.  Throw a backyard bash! Want to end the summer with a bang? Then invite the neighbor kids, friends, or family over for some backyard fun! Don’t worry, it’s not going to be as much work as you think…well, maybe. You can take all the ideas above and create the ultimate backyard adventure! Set out some snacks and water/juice or have each guest bring a snack to share. Or have your guests each bring an activity to share (you’ll probably want more sidewalk chalk and jump ropes, etc).

That’s what I’ve got for now! I hope that gets you started.

What backyard fun did your family enjoy this Summer? Or do you have a fun ‘End of the Summer’ event planned? 

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