10 things to do with your kids

Summer is almost over for most kids.

I know that I will miss the extra free time with my family once school arrives.

Here are 10 things to do with your kids in these last few moments.

(from http://www.sparkplugging.com/the-man-page/10-things-to-do-with-your-kids-this-summer/)

1. Attend a Baseball Game

2. Go Fishing

3. Take Them To The Zoo

4. Go Hiking

5. Ride Bikes To The Ice Cream Shop

6. Have A Treasure Hunt

7. Go Camping

8. Fly A Kite

9. Gather Your Kids And Their Friends And Play A Game

10. Perform A Random Act Of Kindness

(full article below)

1. Attend a Baseball Game

Baseball Game
Photo credit: joeshlabotnik

Whether you take the kids to a professional game, minor league game, or even a local high school game really doesn’t matter – as just being at the ballpark with your kids is a great bonding opportunity for dads and the kids.

Nothing beats a hot dog at the ballpark or teaching your kids how to crack open a peanut with their teeth and spit out the shell.

2. Go Fishing

Fishing
Photo credit: binkley27

Grab the fishing poles and a handful of earth worms – although we always used hot dogs for bait when I was a kid – and head down to a nearby pond or river.

While it is fun to get out in a boat, you can have just as much fun standing on the shore casting out into the water.

It helps to have a tackle box with a few essentials, such as pliers, lures, etc. but don’t let the lack of these items prevent you from getting out there. If you plan to fish yourself, be careful as you may require a fishing license for your area and don’t want to get fined for breaking the law.

3. Take Them To The Zoo

Giraffe
Photo credit: brookenovak

Visiting the zoo can be a lot of fun. Not only will you get a little bit of exercise walking around the zoo, you will have the opportunity to learn about animals with your children.

As you work your way through the zoo, ask your kids about their favorite animals and why they like that animal the best. You might just be surprised at what your kids find interesting about the animals and their rationale for why they like a particular animal the best.

As an added bonus, all the walking at the zoo will likely leave your kids exhausted and provide an opportunity for quiet evening with your spouse when the kids crash early!

4. Go Hiking

Hiking
Photo credit: respres

Just in case the walking around the zoo is not enough activity for you, take the kids hiking.

Many of your local forest preserves likely have walking trails that can test your level of fitness on and have hte opportunity to enjoy nature.

To this day, one of our family’s favorite vacations was visiting the Smoky Mountains where we spent almost the entire trip hiking the trails within the park. We got great exercise and had fun exploring the unknown.

5. Ride Bikes To The Ice Cream Shop

Ice Cream
Photo credit: abbynormy

Getting out with your kids for a bike ride is a lot of fun. Seeing their eyes light up when they realize that the destination is the ice cream shop is priceless.

The exercise from riding to and from the ice cream shop is enough to offset the ice cream – well, maybe not but that is what I keep telling myself. Prepare for some great conversations as you sit with your kids on a hot summer afternoon with ice cream dripping down their face.

6. Have A Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt
Photo credit: crobj

Whether you break out the metal detector to look for buried treasure or just make up a treasure list like when you were a kid at a sleep over, you will have fun exploring.

Part of the excitement with a treasure hunt is just imagining the possibilities. Maybe you will find some long-lost artifact that would make Indiana Jones proud – or maybe you will just find a dime that has been buried for years. Most kids will be just as happy either way.

7. Go Camping

Camping
Photo credit: baronbrian

Camping is a lot of fun and can provide an opportunity to do a lot of the other activities on this list at the same time.

Sitting around the camp fire at night, roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories is a classic family activity.

If you’re nervous about heading out into the woods, don’t be afraid to set up the tent in your backyard and pretend like you are out in the wild. Our kids even get a kick out of setting up the tent in the family room and watching movies from inside the tent.

8. Fly A Kite

Flying Kite
Photo credit: tocs

When you think of summer activities, flying a kite is probably somewhere on that list. However, you don’t see many kids flying kites anymore.

Head down to the local hobby shop to pick up a kite and some string, or you can be adventurous and try to build your own.

Once you are out at the park, have a competition with your kids to see who can get the kite up the highest. Just prepare yourself for disappointment, as flying a kite as an adult seems much harder than what I remember as a child.

9. Gather Your Kids And Their Friends And Play A Game

Dodgeball
Photo credit: davidgrant

Tell your kids to gather up a group of their friends and play a game with them.

Play basketball. Play dodgeball. Play tag.

You against all of the kids.

Your kids’ friends will think you are the coolest dad ever and your kids will likely be feeling the same way. As the kids get older, you can get more competitive and try harder – until the day that you are trying your hardest and they are whooping your butt!

10. Perform A Random Act Of Kindness

Act of Kindness
Photo credit: glennf

Doing something nice for someone without expecting anything in return will teach your children a very valuable life lesson. It is shocking to see how many people only think about themselves, which is quickly picked up on by children.

Take your kids out to pick up trash in the parks. Take them down to the neighbor who has been working late and cut their lawn. Build a birdhouse and take it to a nearby senior center and share it with someone. Get creative about the activity, just be sure to demonstrate to your kids how rewarding it is to do something nice for someone else.

Get Out There

As you can see with most of these activities, it isn’t so much the particular activity that is important but the fact that you are out there spending time with your kids. Take advantage of the summer weather and enjoy some special time with your kids.

Speaking of kids, the crowd we have at our house right now is calling for more hot dogs on the grill. While I head out to feed the hungry monsters kids, share your suggestions for additional activities in the comments.

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