Summer is here! Kids in Aransas County School District finished their work last Thursday. Summer is the time when kids build memories, and kids will look back at day trips, fun outdoor activities, picnics and outings with nostalgia. They have been cooped up trying to homeschool for weeks, and, work-at-home parents need ideas for enjoyable summer activities that school-age kids can do on their own. As businesses and places of interest open, now is a good time to plan some fun activities. With social distancing, of course!
Here are some ideas for low cost fun this summer in our area. Try to make some definite plans to accomplish some of these activities – put them on the calendar. Create some hype as the date for the activities approaches. You might even make a game out of the kids guessing what the upcoming activity is going to be.
• Aransas Wildlife Refuge
• Port Aransas and the beach
• Goliad: Goliad State Park & Historic Site, Presidio – La Bahia, Mission Espiritu Santo, Markethouse Museum
• Corpus Christi: Aquarium, Museum of Science and History, Botanical Gardens, USS Lexington (when they open)
• Walk on the Rockport beach
• Go to the Rockport, Fulton and Lamar Cemeteries … find the oldest graves and turn it into some history fun
• Visit Lamar – go to Big Tree, Stella Maris, and Schoenstatt Shrine
• Ride a scooter or skate downtown or in other safe areas
• Ride bikes! To make it interesting try creating a bike obstacle course with cones, etc.
• Try a kayak outing (with life vests)
• Have a car wash
• Create a backyard obstacle course
• Set up a tent in the back yard and do some star gazing … download an app and see which stars and constellations you can find
• Swim in the Salt Water Pool or the beach …with supervision!
• Create your own backyard water park – get creative
• Do some bird watching – we live in a great place to do this. Download an app and see how many birds you can spot. You could turn this into a summer long contest!
• Take a picnic to your favorite place in Rockport
• Science experiments
• Read…or find some audiobooks for kids to listen to
• Board games
• Cook – lots of great YouTube videos to help kids learn some basics
• DIY Projects that you get the kids involved in (paining rooms, building a fort, etc.)
• Make homemade play dough
If indoors, set up an art space - with paper, coloring books, glue, scissors, colored pencils, and crayons are all readily available - will encourage kids to make art part of their daily routine, while making it easier to clean up. But even if you have an art space, you might have to provide some inspiration in the way of ideas and easy summer craft projects. You can find a variety online on Pinterest and other sites. Have the kids find one they might want to try.
• Paint rocks with inspiring messages
-Find the rocks out in nature or purchase at Lowes, Home Depot, or a landscaping company
-Wash and dry them
-Purchase acrylic paints and brushes…you can paint a white or black undercoat on each rock if you want but it is not necessary
-Spay a sealer on the rocks
-Take your painted rocks around town and leave for our residents to find…the beach, downtown, etc.
• Paint with frozen paint (this is an outside activity – messy but fun)
-Buy poster paints and add dishwashing liquid (a small amount)
-Put poster paint/soap mixture in ice cube or Popsicle trays and place in freezer. You might even try some multicolored ones! Once the mixture has frozen a bit, place a Popsicle stick in each compartment.
-Take out when fully frozen and paint on butcher paper, newsprint, etc. As the paint melts, it will become more like finger paint…you can use that for smaller pictures.
• Make a homemade birdfeeder
-Clean and dry a plastic milk carton
-Cut a hole big enough for a bird
-Punch a hole in the top and thread string or twine through the hole
-Decorate the outside with acrylic paints or Sharpies
-Fill with birdseed and hang in your yard.
• Tag – come up with some new variations
• Steal the Bacon, Duck Duck Goose, Red Rover…all of the old games can still be fun
• Shoot hoops – make your own setup with wastebaskets, etc. Use any size ball – be creative!
Flashlight games are great fun! Most children and teens have a fascination with flashlights – it is pretty to cool to shoot a beam of light out into the dark.
• Flashlight tag
• Firefly – the opposite of tag. All players try to capture the one who is holding the light – the firefly
• Capture the Moon – all players need a flashlight or headlamp. One person throws a ball out into the yard (needs to be dark) and all players try to capture the ball (moon). For extra fun add some glow in the dark paint to tape to the ball
• Scavenger Hunt – give the kids a list of items to find (define the boundaries for them) and set a time limit. You can do this in teams. You can also leave a trail of clues…but only visible with a flashlight.
These are just a few ideas of some fun and low cost activities for your family this summer. This has been a stressful spring for all of us. Take some time to have fun, play and enjoy our beautiful summer weather.
Until next time, happy parenting!