Summer Activities For Kids & The Health Benefits of Playing Outside

Posted on 23/08/2021 by Room to Grow

Summer Fun: The Health Benefits of Playing Outside

Although the summer can be fun for both you and your kids, we also know that as a parent it can be a little daunting. Keeping the children entertained and happy on those endless summer days can be tricky, but don’t worry, Room to Grow are here to help with some fun children’s summer holiday ideas.

Summer Activities For Kids

For most kids, summer means a long break off. It’s important to have things to do in the long weeks off so your children have no chance to get bored – Room to Grow has got you covered! Check out a list of activities below, alongside our list of health benefits of getting your kids outside this summer!

Baking Cookies

Shot of a little girl having fun baking with her mother in the kitchen

Your kids probably love eating cookies, so why not help them to bake their own? There are lots of really easy cookie recipes online, including adaptions for children with certain allergies, so no one has to be left out. Let them get messy measuring out the flour, molding the dough, and licking chocolate off the spoon! For added fun, let them put on their favourite music channel, so you can all dance around the kitchen while you bake.

Have a Movie Afternoon

This one is great for a rainy day or any sleepy afternoon, giving you a chance to curl up and relax too. You can let your kids pick a film and set a time for the showing; like a proper movie outing. You can also let them pick some snacks to eat during the film such as the traditional popcorn (microwavable is the easiest) or maybe some sweets!

Frightened Family Sitting On Sofa At Home Watching Horror Movie On TV With Popcorn

If you want to get really creative, you could get them to design their own movie tickets, and maybe even transform your living room, placing cushions and the blankets on the floor for the ultimate movie experience.

Collect Leaves and Try Out Leaf Rubbing

This option is excellent for getting them outside, exploring the great outdoors, and looking at the world around them. You could get them to pick their own leaves, maybe picking a range of different colours and shapes. When you get back to the house, they can pick their favourite leaves and a favourite colour crayon, and you simply place the leaf under the sheet of paper and shade over the top.

It doesn’t just have to be leaves either, you can do rubbings of bark, flowers, or just about anything! The art technique is called frottage and it can teach your children about the texture of things, so they are learning as well as having fun.

Make Friendship Bracelets

Making friendship bracelets are a great way to keep your kids entertained for hours, and again this can be a calming activity. There are lots of different types, from the simpler candy stripe to the chevron, but all you need to start is some multicoloured thread and some perseverance.

Woven DIY friendship bracelets handmade of embroidery bright thread with knots isolated on yellow background.

A quick internet search brings up lots of how-to videos and posts, so learning is easy! Traditionally friendship bracelets are given to friends as gifts, but your kids could make their own, or make them for each other!

Play Snap

Card games are another great indoor activity, and once again provide a break from the world of technology our children are surrounded by in this day and age. Snap is a classic and is a great one for children of all ages, with easy rules and lots of explosive, competitive fun!

You can also teach them games like patience which they can play by themselves, so you can take a well needed break. There are so many different card games, again a quick internet search will teach you all you need to know!

Build a Blanket Fort

Female little friends enjoying snacks while watching film on laptop in tent during slumber party

This is another old-school idea, but definitely a golden oldie. It is best done between pieces of furniture, and you can hold the bedding down with books or other heavy objects. Sheets also provide a great roof or wall for the blanket fort, and afterward, the kids can design the inside with cushions and more blankets.  It provides the perfect place to read a bedtime story, or maybe just play.

Finger Painting

Let’s face it, kids love to get messy, and finger painting will let them do just that. You don’t need any equipment other than paint and some paper, although we would definitely advise putting your kids in aprons or some old t-shirts before you let them go crazy! It may also be a good idea to put a cover on your table and tape the paper to it so it doesn’t end up on the floor.

Boy with hands painted in colorful paints ready to make hand prints

You could give them a theme such as ‘under the sea’ or ‘in the jungle’ to give their artwork a bit of structure, or just let them do their own thing. Finger painting is a professional art form in its own right, so it’s great for all ages, from babies to tweens.

Go on a Treasure Hunt

Boy with treasure map in the forest wearing backpack during navigation activity in summer camp

A treasure hunt is great because it can be as long or as short as you like, indoor or outdoor, educational and clever, or simple and satisfying. Again, great for all ages, everyone can get involved. Probably the easiest way to start is by writing the first clue and giving them a description of a place, which when they work it out will lead them to the next clue, and then finally to the treasure! The treasure could be some chocolate, a little toy or maybe something else you know they’ll love.

Write a Summer Holiday Diary

As a nice early morning or evening activity you could get your child to reflect on the day before, writing down everything that happened and how they felt about it. They will not only probably love to do this, but it is also educational, helping their handwriting and ability to construct a narrative.

If every day seems like too much, it could also work on a weekly basis, reflecting on what a great week they’ve had. For added fun they could even turn it into a bit of a summer scrapbook, adding drawings and sticking in photographs, or movie tickets/ attraction passes.

Playing Outside

Playing outside is the ultimate summer activity for most kids. In our modern electronic age, many kids forego playing outside for video games and other indoor pastimes. Many of us spent our childhood outside riding our bikes and playing games such as hide-and-seek, hopscotch, and baseball. Unstructured outdoor play is critical to both the physical and mental health of your children. There are many reasons kids should play outside. In addition to being fun, playing outside increases the physical and mental health of children:

Physical Benefits of Playing Outside

many young children smiling running along the grass in the park. Childhood, Children's Day, vacation, vacation, adventure, friendship.

Mental Benefits of Playing Outside: 

Social Development

Handsome Father and Son Play Catch With Loyal Family Friend Golden Retriever Dog. Family Spending Time Together Training Dog. Sunny Day Idyllic Suburban Home Backyard.

In addition to these physical and mental benefits, when children play with other children outdoors, it encourages social development. Play gives children opportunities to learn how to:

Additionally, playing with others helps promote:

With these ideas in mind, there are plenty of fun children’s summer holiday ideas which can get everyone involved and keep you and your children busy for days! Being prepared is your best bet when it comes to the summer holidays, so as long as you have a few fun activities in mind you’ll be covered.

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