25 Ways to Capture Summer Before It Ends

by jen webb

As the summer is nearing its end, there are many activities I have yet to do with my charges. These are 25 things to do and places to go this summer while you still have the chance. Act now!

  1. Build sandcastles at the beach.

    Photo by lupinoduck via Flickr Creative Commons.

    Bring some pails and shovels to the beach and build sandcastles with water-filled moats leading to the shore.

  2. Go to the park and fly a kite. On a breezy day, take the opportunity to fly a kite at a park. There are kites of differing shapes, sizes, and colors, and your charges will enjoy choosing their favorite to fly.
  3. Run under a sprinkler. On a hot summer day, what is more refreshing than running, skipping, and dancing through the sprinklers?
  4. Enjoy the rides at an amusement park or local carnival. Is there a local carnival or amusement park nearby? Take the kids to enjoy the rides, festivities, and maybe get a little treat.
  5. Play outdoor miniature golf. Children love the challenge of playing a competitive or unscored game of golf.
  6. Swim in an outdoor pool or go to the beach.

    Photo by cutemosaic.com via Flickr Creative Commons.

    Cool off from the summer’s last days of heat by swimming in an outdoor pool or head to the ocean.

  7. Visit the zoo. This is a great educational activity. Learn about animals while getting some exercise!
  8. Play sidewalk chalk games. Hopscotch, four square, and shadow capture: these are just a few fun games you can play with nothing but a sidewalk and some chalk. You can also have the kids write messages on the ground for their parents to come home to.
  9. Toss water balloons. Stand close to your charge, toes touching, and pass the water balloon back and forth. Take a step back and toss again. Continue this process until the water balloon drops to the ground and pops. Try to see how far apart you can get before the water balloon bursts.
  10. Have an outdoor picnic. Place a blanket on the ground and fill a picnic basket with lunch, snacks, and cool drinks. The children will enjoy eating outside, a break from their routine.
  11. Hit up Nature Trails. Take a nature walk or bird walk. Collect nature items in a bag along the way (leaves, rocks, bark, twigs, flowers, etc.) to bring home for craft activities.
  12. Catch fireflies. When the sun sets and the sky turns to night, catch fireflies in a cup. Release them later to show kindness and compassion.
  13. Go to a frozen yogurt or ice cream shop.

    Photo by johpan, Flickr, via Creative Commons.

    Enjoy a cool flavorful ice cream on a hot and humid day. Let’s face it, it just won’t be the same in the fall.

  14. Play Frisbee in the park. Teach your charges how to play Ultimate Frisbee. If you don’t know the rules yourself, you can see them here.
  15. Eat a slice of watermelon. Take a bite out of this fresh healthy summer treat while it’s still in season.
  16. Blow bubbles. Purchase a bubble wand and blow bubbles in the yard as your charges try to catch them. Is exercise ever this fun?
  17. Set up a lemonade stand. This educational activity can teach children how to make lemonade, count money, and start a business.
  18. Collect seashells at the beach. Be creative and do crafts with the shells afterward. Make necklaces or glue the shells on paper or put them in bottles.
  19. Read outside. Find a shady area outside in the back yard or at the park and read your charges’ favorite books with them.
  20. Play outdoor sports. Some fun summer sports include volleyball, tennis, and badminton. Head to the back yard or the park and have some fun.
  21. Make homemade baggie ice cream. Combine 1/2 cup milk, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla into a small plastic bag. Put 1/2 cup rock salt, ice cubes, and the small bag filled with the mixture into a larger bag. Shake the bag rigorously for ten minutes. Enjoy your tasty homemade ice cream.
  22. Hit up a Farmers’ Market. Go to a local farmers’ market and allow the children to pick their favorite produce.
  23. Hula hoop and jump rope in the back yard. Have a contest with your charge to see who can hula hoop or jump rope the longest. Encourage the kids to count how many times they hula hoop or jump rope. Math + Exercise = Win.
  24. Ride the wheels. Ride bikes, scooters, skateboards, or roller skates at the park (with helmets on).
  25. Go berry picking. In Connecticut, it’s nearing the end of blueberry-picking season and beginning of blackberry-picking season. Look up your local farm to see what berries are in season where you live.