Families have been spending a lot more time together these past few months, and with school out for the summer, parents are now facing the prospect of several months of full-time entertainer duty without homework and online classes to break up the day.
So how do you make sure your kids have a fun, activity-filled summer without breaking the bank or losing your sanity? Take advantage of the great outdoors!
No, we’re not saying to just tell them to go play outside until the streetlights come on, but by seeking out activities that are eco-friendly and good for the environment, you can take care of the planet and keep your kids entertained at the same time.
Here are our 6 favorite eco-friendly activities you can do with your kids this summer!
Tour de neighborhood
Whether they’re old pros or still getting the hang of training wheels, biking is fun for kids of all ages. Set up a route around your neighborhood and pedal around for a few blocks. Extra points if you add in challenges like hills or trails!
Make sure you don’t forget the sunblock or insect repellent! With a temporary blue color that shows where it has been applied, Avon’s two-in-one Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus SPF 30 Cool 'N Fabulous Disappearing Color Lotion will help you make sure your kids are properly protected. Get it from Avon for $15.
Go on a safari
You probably aren’t going to travel to see exotic wildlife any time soon, but that doesn’t mean the little explorers in your home can’t seek out interesting species! Look up plants and animals that are native to your area, from birds to insects to trees to flowers, and go on a hike together to see how many of them you can spot.
Help your kiddo look at plant life in detail with the Educational Insights GeoSafari Jr. Mighty Magnifier, available at Barnes & Noble for $14.99.
Make your own mini ecosystem
Are your kids into butterflies? Do you have a burgeoning chef in your home? Play to their interests and help them plant a garden that caters to things that they enjoy. If you don’t have the yard space for a full-fledged garden, no worries! Planters on a patio or balcony are just as fun, and apartment dwellers can get in on the action with potted plants on a sunny windowsill.
Put your plants on display with the Costway Outdoor Wooden Plant Flower Display, available at Overstock for $115.19.
Shoot for the stars
Help your little ones dream big by showing them the sky and teaching them about the wonders of the universe. Whether it’s pointing out constellations and learning about ancient mythology, or trying to spot shooting stars, the kiddos will have a blast!
Gaze at the night sky with the Educational Insights Nancy B's Science Club Moonscope available at Overstock for $51.49.
Inspire a driveway Degas
Do you have a pint-sized Picasso in your midst? Is your kid the next Frida Kahlo? Help their imagination soar and encourage them to draw to their heart’s content on the driveway or sidewalk.
Create a masterpiece with non-toxic chalk! You can get Prang Freart Large Drawing Chalk from Blick for $15.58.
Host a backyard party
You’ll need to social distance from these neighbors, but they prefer it that way: we’re talking about birds! Build an inviting bird feeder or bird house out of supplies that you have around the house, or if you’re up for a bigger project, make a bird bath so that they have a place to cool off this summer.
Want to know what types of birds are hanging out in your yard? You can look them up in “Backyard Birds of North America: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar Species,” available at Barnes & Noble for $7.95.