5 Easy Ideas For Summer Fun With Your Kids

(image credit: Adobe Stock)
By Sarah Bohn
CFB member and content contributor

The Summer of Matlock. That’s what my middle sister and I called the first summer our family had satellite TV. We went from 3 channels to hundreds in an afternoon and to us it was magical. We loved Ben Matlock. During this particular summer, whatever channel we discovered that aired our newfound favorite show had “Matlock Marathons” every week. We’d park ourselves in front of the TV and even make hotdogs to eat while we watched it. If you know Matlock, then you know why this was particularly on point. We spent hours watching that show until my Mama finally had to put limits on our TV and processed meat consumption.

I think about that summer often and realized recently that my mom had it right. There’s a time and a place for TV shows and movies and games. They can be a memorable part of childhood too, but that shouldn’t be our knee jerk response to entertain our children.

Psalm 127:3 says that “Children are a gift from the Lord, a reward from Him.” Let’s not waste that gift. They’re only little once.

We are stewards of their lives and their innocence until they are grown -- and part of that stewardship is helping them delight in childhood. I’m so thankful my Mama sent me to have adventures outside, or with my siblings/cousins or in a book. I looked for fairies. I bird watched. I even had a pet dandelion. That’s right. Her name was Dandy.  I’m not ashamed of it.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. Screens are easy, and some days in parenting, you just need something to be easy. But hear me, friends: easy is not best. Easy is not necessarily holy. God demands more. Our kids deserve more. You don’t have to break the bank to make childhood bliss and whimsy blossom in your home.

Try this list of 5 fun free or inexpensive activities to help your kid delight in being a kid. Use the time together as opportunities to speak to your child about God and creation.

1. Catch fireflies
It requires nothing but your hands and is such a beautiful and enchanting experience for you and them. I just did this for the first time with my four year old and it was truly amazing.

2. Play in puddles on a rainy day.
I put my daughter in her swimsuit on a rainy day. We go to Heritage Park and splash in the epic puddles there. It’s easy when she’s in her swimsuit, she gets good play time out and cleanup is easy

3. Birdwatching is not just for retirees.
I spent hours sitting at my Grannie’s kitchen window watching her bird feeders. She kept a bird book at the window for us to spy all the different kinds plus it was a fun science lesson

4. Pinecone Bird Feeder
It’s so easy! Find a good pinecone. Coat in peanut butter, roll in birdseed, then hang from a tree with some string. Easy.

5. Ultimate Hopscotch
Get some chalk and break the mundane mold of plain hopscotch (which is a blast just as it is). Draw a normal hopscotch board but then add fun things after it like “dance like a chicken” or “spin like a helicopter “ you and your child can get creative with it.

Be sure to share with us some other easy ways to spend time outside with your kids.

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