Activities to do with kids is probably at the top of every parent’s list of things to learn about this year. With no summer camps in sight, it’s up to us as parents to keep our kids entertained, engaged, and doing activities outside of being attached to devices all summer long.
Most kids including my own are so excited to go try new things and make new friends at camps, whether it be day camps or longer summer camps. With those out of the equation, we’ll have to come up with ideas for our kids. Never fear, I have a list of activities to do with kids this summer that will keep both kids and adults happy.
Activities to do with Kids That Everyone Will Love
Of course, most kids would be perfectly happy playing Minecraft or Fortnight all day, everyday. But for my own sanity I can not idly standby and watch as my kids virtually entertain themselves. Contrary to popular belief, video games do have some educational value and mental stimulation properties, however, being on them all the time isn’t the best, especially when you have ADHD. In addition, a camp-free summer is the perfect time to promote some extra family togetherness. So let’s take a look at some fun activities that everyone in the family will enjoy.
Hiking and Biking
Hiking and biking are both great ways to get out and enjoy nature together as a family. Both of these activities get the family moving in addition to making great memories.
You don’t have to take a trip to a state or national park to enjoy great hiking and biking. Chances are, you have some trails near your home that you can enjoy as a family. The Bronx is actually home to the largest park in NY city, Pelham Bay Park. It consists of Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, two golf courses, and a breathtaking 13-mile saltwater shoreline that hugs Long Island Sound, with miles of bridle paths and hiking trails.
The Bronx River Forest trails offer a river respite from the busy Bronx nearby. Walk through a floodplain forest on the banks of the restored Bronx River, and marvel at how clean and natural this once-polluted river has become. See native plant and animal life, and look out over the man-made Bronx River Island right in the heart of the borough, mere steps from grounds of the New York Botanical Garden.
Family Game Night
Family game night is always high on my list of activities to do with kids. There’s nothing like some good-natured, friendly competition with the family to quickly eat through the hours, create lots of laughs, and forge some strong family bonds.
Game night is a super versatile activity, as well. It’s always a coin toss whether we will spend our time playing a few board games or break out the Minecraft, Mario Kart, and the like. Kids are always excited for the opportunity to try to beat their parents at something especially Monopoly, so family game night is always a winner.
Movie night is always a winner when it comes to family time. Pick a movie (or two), fix up some snacks, and settle in for a few hours of actions, laughs, or whatever the family is into.
If you have younger kids, amp up the fun by making a fort and throw in tons of pillows to sit on while you watch your flick. If you have a projector and a flat wall, you can do an outdoor movie night when the weather allows. It’s a fun way to switch things up.
Fun with Zoom
Thanks to Zoom, the kids might not be able to go to camp, but they can still hang out with their friends. Schedule a virtual playdate with their friends with activities like paint or plant night.
You and your fellow parents can whip up the same snacks so the kids can even enjoy treats “together” throughout their time together. It’s a fun way to add a bit of normalcy to the disruption in their lives.
Crafting is one of the best family activities to do with kids, be sure to check out our DIY section for family crafting ideas. Parents can help the kids set up painting stations, guide them through paper crafts, make slime together, and so much more. It’s fun for the kids, and for parents, there’s nothing better than watching the kids stretch their creative muscles.
Have a Picnic
Picnics are always fun, and they’re so easy to do. You don’t have to go further than your backyard to enjoy a nice family picnic with the kids. Just whip up some sandwiches and snack mixes – preferably with the kids help – and then lay a blanket out under a tree or on the back deck.
Chances are, you haven’t done this very often, if ever, which makes it even more fun for the kids. Don’t forget to layer in a water gun battle after you eat! It’s like a mini-adventure without ever leaving the yard.
Whether you’re outdoorsy or have never held a rod in your life, fishing is always fun. For experienced fishers, going out as a family becomes a competition to see who can land the most fish. For the newly initiated, it’s an afternoon of laughs as everyone struggles to get the bait on the hook and squeals from the kids when they finally hook a fish.
These days, museums, aquariums, and other places are hosting virtual tours so people can enjoy their exhibits without having to leave the house. Virtual tours are great activities to do with kids because they offer exploration, discovery, and learning, all from the comfort of your home.
- MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art): New York’s extensive collection is available to view online.
- National Women’s History Museum: View online exhibits and oral histories from the Virginia museum celebrate International Women’s Day at anytime with your kids.
- The Louvre: The Louvre has free online tours of three famous exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: Are you Shark Week obsessed? Check out this live footage Monterey Bay’s Habitat exhibit, to get your daily Shark Week fix.
- Atlanta Zoo: “Panda Cam” livestream
- San Diego Zoo: live cam options, that lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers
- National Aquarium: Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.
Activities to do with Kids When Summer Camps are Closed
There are so many activities to do with kids that you’re sure to find something here that everyone will love. From movie night to casting a line, these activities to do with kids are all the kinds of things that help build strong family bonds, promote lots of fun, and build great memories. Give them a try!