There was no escaping the heat. It was just plain hot! Hot inside, hot outside. I was inside, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, trying to stay cool under the breeze of the ceiling and box fans.
The kids were outside. Running and jumping through the cool shower of the sprinkler. Their laughter rose louder and louder, their joy permeated through the drawn shades causing me to stop and listen.
I should be out there with them.
The thought was a brief one. Overpowered by the pictures of friend’s vacations, soap box opinions, inspirational memes, and requests for prayers in my view. Other people’s lives played out and captured in posts and squares. All the while my own life was happening right outside my window. Little moments were fluttering and flying by as quickly as the news and pictures came across my screen.
I should be out there with them.
Once more, I returned to my screens smiling at the happy faces of my friend’s kids and funny short videos from my favorite comedian. Then I read an unexpected update of a cancer battle and then the news of a friend’s illness in which the doctors could do no more. I felt like I was shocked awake. Life is so precious and short- a beautiful mix of joy and sorrow. I sighed. Tuning into my kids’ voices and laughter again.
I want to be out there with them.
With that, I put down my phone, closed my laptop, ran to put on my bathing suit, and joined the family fun outside. The looks on my children’s faces were of surprise and delight. I grabbed their hands and together, over and over, we ran through the sprinkler having more and more fun each time we went through. The heat and heaviness of the day dripped off into the coolness and joy of the moment.
Sometimes having more fun means getting off your rear end, moving away from the comfortable couch and chairs, and putting a little more effort into the mix. Sometimes having more fun means thinking about others more than yourself. It might mean planning ahead. It could mean making a beautiful mess and definitely could add more cleaning up to your to-do list.
BUT having more fun means fully living the life you’ve been given with more joy and delight. It means making memories that stick in hearts and minds and blossom into lasting interests and creativity. It means being present with the ones you love. Having fun is a gift of life.
Here are 101 Ways to Have More Fun with the kids in your life! Try some of these activities together. You might cringe at the mess, laugh at the fails, but you will not regret the time you spent and the memories made with your loved ones.
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- Run through a sprinkler .
- Blow bubbles.
- Nature Sunprints
- Make popsicles.
- Design and make Coffee Filter Butterflies
- Go on a Mystery Ride (any destination works!)
- Paint Kindness Rocks.
- Bake a treat together. My daughter loves this cookbook
- Have a dance party!
- Color with coloring books.
- Write and put on a skit.
- Design a mural with sidewalk chalk.
- Take a trip to Hawaii without never leaving your home.
- Go on a Nature Walk.
- Build a fort.
- Play the Scribbles and Lines game. Each person needs a piece of paper. Everyone draws a simple line or scribble on the paper. Switch papers with each other and turn the scribble into a masterpiece.
- Identify wildflowers. I LOVE these two books for identification. Audubon and Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.
- Collect and press flowers. Please be sure you are not collecting rare or endangered species. Check this list here.
- Raise and Release Monarchs
- Have a hula hoop competition.
- Karaoke (find lyrics online or use a karaoke app)
- Have a Lego challenge.
- Make shadow hand puppets
- Play hide & seek
- Sew a mini treats, animals, and garden felt crafts.
- Play tag.
- Collect trash around your community and make art.
- Create a boat and watch it float.
- Play card games. We love Uno and Sushi Go
- Water gun war.
- Glow Stick toss (at night)
- Set up a Mud Kitchen and make Mud-cakes
- Play Red Light, Green Light
- Play Hopscotch
- Play I Spy
- Noah’s Ark Memory Game– The first person starts by saying, “Noah was boarding the ark, and he took…” The person then completes the sentence with something that begins with the letter “A,” such as “an aardvark.” The next person would then say, “Noah was boarding the ark, and he took an aardvark and ….” completing it with a word that begins with B. Continue going around until the entire alphabet has been completed.
- Make Rainbow Bubble Snakes
- Play Simon Says
- Thumb Wrestle
- Floral Butterfly Wings
- Mad Libs
- Take turns making up stories.
- Water balloons fight
- Make a fly paper airplanes. Fold’ N’ Fly has a ton of great ideas! (check out Wonder Wings launching later this year.)
- Nature Scavenger Hunt
- If you have a gas stove, make stovetop s’mores
- Animal Guessing Game
- Play dress up.
- Balloon Pop Painting
- Have a tea party.
- Do a science experiment. Or a STEAM project.
- Read books aloud. Here are a few of our favorites.
- Write a story together.
- Work on a puzzle.
- Make Popsicle Sticks Bookmarks
- Play BINGO
- Wet Chalk Art
- Play with Ice Boats
- Write letters of gratitude to family, friends and community members. Need ideas? Check here.
- Make a collage with magazines.
- Number Hunt
- Go swimming.
- Have a watermelon spitting contest.
- Playdough bug fossils.
- Make lemonade.
- Have a lemonade stand.
- Go on a picnic.
- Make ice cream in a bag.
- Paper dolls
- Learn to identify birds and their calls.
- Choreograph a dance.
- Make Star Crystals.
- Build rock towers.
- Paint pet rocks.
- Make and play with playdough.
- Create pictures with glue & sand, salt or instant coffee.
- Make sock puppets and put on a puppet show.
- Paint with shaving cream.
- Design peg dolls. Need inspiration? Summer Boredom Buster Board
- Kool-Aid Scented Glue, Colored Window Clings
- Texture rubbings with crayons and charcoal – leaves, barks, even gravestones
- DIY Soap and Scrub Bars
- ABC Scavenger Hunt There are different variations of how to do this, from magnetic letter to paper plates. I like the paper plate option with the notches.
- Tissue Paper Flowers
- Create a fairy house.
- Frozen t-shirt game.
- Ice Age- freeze a bunch of small figures, coins, and animals in a block of ice and have kids excavate the items.
- Create a sensory bin
- Do a random act of kindness or an act of service.
- Turn a pool noodle into a racetrack.
- Paint with flowers and nature prints.
- Suncatchers (see ideas on Summer Boredom Buster Pinterest Board)
- Create Nature Windchimes
- Make Friendship and paracord bracelets
- Create Fuse Bead Magnets
- Enjoy quiet time to rest!