Everybody looks forward to summer, but after the first few weeks, or even the first few days, parents start to run out of ideas to keep their kids entertained. Kids start to stay inside, watching TV in order to avoid the heat. Although TV can be a fun way to pass the time, people often spend too many hours binging their favorite shows. In fact, surveys have found that 96 percent of respondents watched approximately 5 hours of TV every day.
If you’re feeling like your family has been watching too much TV, or you just want to shake things up, you may be needing ideas to help fill the time. There are plenty of fun activities that you and your family can enjoy during the summer, but here are just a few:
1. Take a Vacation
According to a Gallup poll, approximately 62 percent of Americans took a vacation in 2017. Not only are vacations a great way to get out of the house, see new sights, and stay away from screens for a while, they can also be relaxing and offer a much-needed break. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to get the time off you need for a vacation or to work around other events that are going on. Even if you aren’t able to take a full-blown vacation this summer, you may want to consider a staycation since it can have the same effects but may be more affordable and will keep you closer to home.
2. Hit the Pool
What says summer better than swimming pools? If you have a great local pool, purchasing a season pass is a great way to keep the family active and off of the TV. Even if some family members aren’t really interested in swimming, attending the pool gives them the chance to enjoy the sun, (with sunscreen on, of course), and participate in any other activities your local pool may offer.
3. Pick a Podcast
What are the advantages of a podcast? When it comes to listening to podcasts, there are plenty. For one, they tell stories and can entertain just as well as, if not better than the TV, but don’t require you to stare at a screen. They also cover all different kinds of topics, such as which free video editing software you should use to edit your YouTube videos and can be enjoyed by people of all different ages.
Not only can podcasts act as a great substitute for TV, but they can also be listened to while doing other tasks such as working, doing yard work, cleaning, or working out, making them a great alternative to TV for the summer.
4. Tour the Town on Bikes
A lot of cities are installing bicycles that can be rented and used throughout town for a few hours or the entire day. Instead of staying in when the weather’s good, why not head out and take a tour of the town on a bike? On a bike, you’re bound to see some things you may not have noticed before and may even find a few new favorite stores or restaurants in areas you don’t go very frequently on your regular route or in your car. On top of all that, it’s always a good idea to get some fresh air.
5. Picnic at the Beach, River, or Lake
Whether you only do it once or do it once a week, it’s worth taking the time to picnic near a local body of water this summer. You can enjoy your family’s company, cool off by getting your feet wet, and just relax and enjoy the benefits of being out in nature. Plus, Pinterest is chock full of ideas for picnic food besides just sandwiches so you can get creative and show off your summertime meal skills while you’re at it.
6. Fill in Coloring Books
Coloring can be very therapeutic, and it’s a great way to keep eyes off screens. Plus, there are coloring books for people of all ages. Just take a quick trip to the store, (if you don’t have coloring books and supplies already), and you’ll be able to fill up hours of the summer afternoons that are too hot to play outside by coloring in pictures and designs. And maybe some of the pages will even make the cut to go on the fridge.
7. Build a Treehouse or Fort
There’s something so satisfying about working with your hands and creating. If you have a large yard and are able to build a treehouse, then buy some lumber and get to work. If you aren’t able to build anything permanent, then getting supplies like cardboard boxes and old pillows and blankets and building a fort in the backyard, (or basement in case of bad weather), is a great way to pass the afternoons. Plus, once the treehouse or fort is done, your family can spend many more afternoons playing and imaging inside.
8. Host a Tea Party/Brunch
When was the last time you sat down to a semi-formal brunch or an organized tea party? If you need something to break up the week and want to avoid watching the TV, then hosting a tea party or mid-morning brunch is a great way to do it. Your family can invite their friends, dress up, and pretend they’re a whole different person if they want. Or you could always take the opportunity to teach about etiquette and other “old-fashioned” or “fancy” customs that aren’t as common today.
9. Go on a Scavenger Hunt or Go Geocaching
Instead of watching people on TV have adventures, why not have some of your own this summer? Scavenger hunting is a great way to get out of the house and keep your family entertained for a few hours or even days. If you’re not in the mood to set up a scavenger hunt, then you might want to give geocaching a try. Through the geocaching app, you can use the GPS on your phone to find containers that others have hidden in your local area and see what it is they have left for you to see.
10. Go to the Movies
It may seem like going to the movies is the same thing as staying home and watching TV, but when you go to the movies your screen time is limited by the length of the film. Plus, depending on the film, the entire family can go together and enjoy a little outing. If the weather is bad, too hot, or you just need to get out of the house for a bit and don’t know how else to fill up time, check out the movies that are coming out soon and plan a trip to your local theater. Better yet, if you have a drive-in theater nearby, make a tradition out of it and go every summer.