Outdoor Summer Activities for Older Kids

outdoor summer activities for older kids image

Let’s face it: 2020 has been rough. Really rough. I haven’t done a good job monitoring my kids’ screen time since we began sheltering in place for Covid-19 a few months ago. As summer begins, we’re still struggling with this because many of our typical summer activities (swimming pool, summer sports, concerts, fairs and festivals) have been cancelled. How do we fill the void? My youngest son will be going into 6th grade this year, so he’s outgrowing many of his toys (we’re pretty much down to Nerf and Lego). We always make summer bucket lists, but this year our go-to activities are limited. He and I brainstormed a list of outdoor summer activities, and today I’m sharing some of our ideas in case you’re in the same boat.

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Slip ‘n’ Slide Kickball

The whole family or friends from the neighborhood can cool off with a fun game of slip ‘n’ slide kickball. You can buy a small slip ‘n’ slide baseball set to use, or you can make your own larger DIY set like this or this.

outdoor summer activities slip n slide kickball example
Image: Epic Student Life Chicago

Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course

My boys always loved watching ninja warrior type shows on TV. Obstacle courses modeled after them can be a great way for kids (and adults!) to have some fun and get a little exercise in the yard. You can buy complete sets like this American Ninja Warrior Complete Competition Kit or this bigger set complete with a 50-foot slackline and obstacles. Or, use materials like pallets, tires, and PVC pipe to set up a DIY obstacle course. Check out these and this one.

Ninja warrior obstacle course DIY pallet tire example
Image: Pinterest

Backyard Pool

Because many swimming pools are closed this summer, lots of people are purchasing quick set pools for their yards. These above-ground pools are inflatable and most are relatively inexpensive. They’re bigger than the typical inflatable wading pool, so they hold more (and, well, bigger) people. Here is a popular quick set pool model. What I don’t know is how long these are designed to last. Anyone know if they last longer than a year?

outdoor summer activities quick set above ground pool example
Image: Amazon.com

Backyard Foam Party

Obviously you don’t want to have people packed together, but a little foam would make any of the activities above about 10 times more fun! Foam machines cost $500 – $800 and up, but you can purchase a DIY foam machine kit. Or, if you’re adventurous and handy, you can make your own. Foam machines can also be rented.

outdoor activities for kids foam machine DIY example
Image: PartyMachines.com

The Obvious

Finally, many traditional summer activities are still possible with current social distancing protocols.

  • Bike rides
  • Nature trail hikes
  • Jogging or running bleachers at a local school track
  • Chores (Mom’s favorite) can be outside when related to yard work, gardening, cleaning the garage, or washing cars or bikes.

These are just a few outdoor summer activities that older kids would enjoy. What are your kids up to this summer?

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