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Backyard family fun activities for early Summer

As school comes to an end, you are probably trying to think of what to do with your family now that your children have more free time. Why not get the family outside? Early summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the fair temperatures, before they get too hot. It’s the perfect time to introduce some fun family outdoor activities and convince everyone to get off their phones. Look through our list of backyard activities that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

Blow creative bubble shapes

kid with bubbles in back yard
Johann Rösch / Unsplash

From simple circles that are giant in size to smaller butterflies, you can blow bubbles in many shapes. Luckily, bubble wands can be handmade out of many materials. For handheld wands, have an adult bend a metal clothes hanger into the desired shape, be it a star or triangle. The end of the hanger can be taped to make it more comfortable and safer to hold. To make really big bubbles, it is ideal to have a vessel like a kiddie pool to put the bubble solution in. Then carefully dip a pool noodle whose ends are taped together into the bubble liquid. Remember that these are just a few ideas for creating your own unique bubbles. Allow your imagination to guide you in what materials can be used as bubble wands! Plus, you can DIY your own bubble mix using ingredients you probably already have on hand. There are many recipes available on the internet for bubble liquid, but the most basic one involves dissolving sugar in warm water, then mixing with dish soap.

DIY your own splash pad

On a hot early summer day, it can be refreshing to play in the water. If you live in a house, though you might not have a pool in your backyard. you probably do have a hose. With just a hose and a tarp, you can build your very own splash pad. The easiest way to do this is to simply place the hose at one end of the tarp and turn on the hose. This works best if you have an elevated surface in your backyard to let the water run down the tarp with the help of gravity.

Have fun with sidewalk art

girl drawing on sidewalk
Alina Reynbakh/Shutterstock

Kids and adults alike can enjoy drawing and painting on the sidewalk, as well as interacting with their creations. Hopscotch is a classic option when it comes to games to play with a chalk drawing, and remains a good choice. But have you ever heard of sidewalk Simon? To play it, use various colors of sidewalk chalk to draw wedges in the shape of a circle, then call out colors or step on them to make a pattern to be repeated. If you have no sidewalk chalk in your house but you do have cornstarch and food coloring, then you can still decorate your sidewalk! Simply mix one part cornstarch to one part water until no lumps of cornstarch remain, separate into a number of containers, add a few drops of food coloring, and mix again. Spread this solution onto sidewalks or driveways with multiple thicknesses of paintbrushes to create masterpieces. Both sidewalk chalk and cornstarch can be rinsed away with water for easy cleanup.

Watch movies on a big screen

With just a projector and a sheet or wall, you can create a makeshift movie theater! This family gathering is great for mild summer evenings. Hang a sheet in between two trees or face your projector toward a windowless section of your house’s wall for a large display surface. For more of a movie theater-like ambiance, hand out popcorn and candy to everyone in the family, and enjoy the movie in comfy lawn chairs. Keep in mind, though, that this is an upgrade from your usual movie theater in that you can simply look up for a beautiful view of the stars!

Sketch your surroundings

boy drawing outside
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

This activity combines art and nature. Give each family member a sketchbook or similar pad of paper as well as a pencil before venturing out into an area with abundant flora and fauna near you, be it your very own backyard or a local park. Perhaps choose a theme for objects to draw, such as flowering plants or birds. Next, let your artistic side take over and use the power of observation to carefully replicate what you see in sketch form. After everyone is done with their drawings, feel free to color them in with colored pencils or markers. To go a step further in your renditions, consider doing another craft based off of your sketch, like a papier-mâché model or clay sculpture. While these additional things can be done inside, you can continue to stay outside to do them to represent your subject even more accurately.

Your backyard and neighborhood park are truly great sources of fun. Though your imagination is really the limit, there are many activities we’ve just delineated that can be a source of amusement for you and your kids, no matter their age. Consider doing some of these pursuits or using them as inspiration for others involving the outdoors.

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