Summer is finally here! As a kid, few times of the year bring more joy. But for parents, all that unstructured free can bring its own share of struggles.
When you were growing up, summer probably meant spending more time outdoors than inside. It meant swimming, bike rides and games of pickup basketball. Today, however, many children are content to replace those activities with television, video games and social media.
According to health professionals, all that screen time can have a negative effect on your child’s development. So how can you get everyone outside and away from the television or iPad?
Here are some ways your family can enjoy together to help soak up those long summer days:
30 GREAT IDEAS FOR SCREEN-FREE SUMMER FUN
- Go camping. There’s nothing like the great outdoors – even if it’s only your backyard. So grab a sleeping bag and have a slumber party under the stars.
- Build a campfire. S’mores anyone? Roast some marshmallows and enjoy the sights and sounds of a crackling fire. Read our list of safety tips for backyard fire pits.
- Play catch. Baseball is a summer staple for a reason. Grab a baseball, softball or kickball and throw it around the yard.
- Visit a pond. Get out and enjoy nature. Skip some stones and enjoy watching the ducks as they swim near you. Live close to a lake? Try renting a canoe or paddle boat for the afternoon.
- Go fishing. Fishing can be a blast – and a great lesson in patience. Cast away, whether you’re at the ocean or a local pond.
- Ride your bikes. Hit up your local bike trail or explore some new areas of your neighborhood. And learn how to stay safe by protecting yourself from bike theft.
- Take a walk or hike. Find a trail system near your home or stroll down to your local ice cream stand.
- Play cornhole, foursquare or basketball. Enjoy one of these fun driveway games right outside your home.
- Run through a sprinkler. Cool off on a hot summer day with some sun-soaked fun in your own backyard.
- Create a lemonade stand. Have a budding entrepreneur in your home? Help everyone cool off with a refreshing drink, and maybe earn some extra cash in the process.
- Catch some bugs. Have you explored your own backyard lately? Learn together about the critters you see crawling or flying around.
- Host a backyard competition. Get all the neighbor kids together for some friendly competition. You can play a variety of games like tug-of-war, relays or obstacle courses.
- Put on a play. Have your kids show their artistic prowess, or just plain silliness, with a song, dance or sketch.
- Climb a tree. Find a safe spot on a branch to take in new views of your house and neighborhood.
- Build a fort. This one can work outside or inside. Get creative with sticks, branches or wood you have outside and crawl under when it’s done. Or opt for pillows, chairs and blankets on a rainy day.
- Have a picnic. Picnics are a great summer activity. Looking to add a little flair? Try one of these family dinner ideas while you’re at it.
- Plant a garden. Plot the seeds to grow your own tomatoes, cucumber or squash.
- Find a farmers market. Let your kids help pick out some fresh vegetables, fruits or meat.
- Go mini-golfing. Test out your putting skills at the local putt-putt course. And watch out for that windmill!
- Visit a museum or historical site. Chances are there are some fun and educational opportunities near you.
- Go to the beach or lake. Take a day trip to build a sand castle or swim in the open water.
- Travel to a national or state park. Experience the beauty nature has to offer at your local park or nature preserve.
- Jump into a pool. Find a park or a rec center nearby to splash around. For younger children, a kiddie pool in the backyard will do the trick.
- Fly a kite. Take advantage of that windy day by seeing how high you can fly. You can buy a kite from a kit, or try making one of your own.
- Go on a scavenger hunt. Hide household items around your yard for the kids to find. Then, create a list – and some friendly competition.
- Watch a parade. Check your town or city’s website for a listing of upcoming parades and festivals.
- Stop by the playground. Have some fun on the swings, slides or jungle gym. Bored with the playground in your neighborhood? Try visiting a new one across town.
- Splash in a puddle. Take advantage of a rainy day. But be sure to put on some boots or a poncho.
- Build a bird feeder. There are plenty of plans online or kits you can buy in store. Fill it with seeds and watch as birds fly in to feast.
- Lay in a hammock. Relax in the summer sun (or shade) after a long day outside.
Summer is a great time to make memories with your family. Whether you’re playing in the yard or taking a vacation far away, you should be able to rest assured knowing your home is protected with insurance you trust.
At Erie Insurance we believe one of the many benefits of complete home protection is your well-deserved family time. Learn more about homeowners insurance from ERIE or find an agent in your neighborhood.