Fun Family Activities for Summer

Beach Activities

Scavenger Hunt
There’s no better place to scavenge about then at the beach! Look for different shell varieties, various seaweeds, interesting driftwood, coloured sea glass, sea-loving creatures, different types of birds, etc. A family could spend a whole day just exploring and observing and sharing their finds with one another.

Beach Art:
Collect seashells, seaweed, sea glass, driftwood and other cool beach debris and then get creative! Write messages in the sand, create 2 or 3 dimensional pictures or sculptures, or just arrange it all into interesting patterns. Remember to capture a photo of your temporary art to display when you return home!

Sunscreen Art:
After applying your first layer of sunscreen, try decorating each other up with sunscreen (or if applying that first layer is a struggle with the younger members of the family, make it more enjoyable for all by using this method before smearing it all in). The trick with sunscreen art is to stay as simple as possible: happy faces, kitty cats, a sun, moon and stars motif, or little fishies are all pretty easy and will cover a body rather quickly when rubbed in.

Sand Dough
1 cup cornstarch
½ Tbsp cream of tartar
2 cups sand
1 ½ cups water

Stir together in an old pan (avoid non-stick surfaces) over medium heat until thick (about 5-10 mins). Cool and store in a sealed container until ready to use.

When you’re ready, pull it out and create whatever your heart desires, though sand castles do come to mind as the perfect form for this dough. Decorate with shells and sticks and leave it out in the sun for a few days to dry and harden. If you want to use molds with this dough, be sure to oil the mold before packing it in to make it easy to remove after. Molded dough makes great wall hangings.

Garden Activities

Bubbles are such terrific fun! This is a great activity when you find yourself overwhelmed by this and that in life. Make a great batch of bubble solution, a couple of different wands, then sit with your kids and immerse yourself in the moment. Watch where your bubbles dance to and enjoy the company.

Bubble solution:
1 part corn syrup or glycerin (glycerin can be found at any drug store)
4 parts liquid dish soap (Dawn works really well)
16 parts water

for example:
¼ cup corn syrup or glycerin
1 cup dish soap
4 cups water

Wand ideas:
Shaped Pipe cleaners
Re-shaped Coat hangers (you’ll need a big bucket of bubble solution to make these wonderfully giant bubbles)
Copper wire or jewelry wire – shaped as big or as little as you’d like

If you’re feeling creative, make your wands with a double bubble blowing head, or add a pretty ribbon onto the bottom to create a magic wand! Get inspired!

Mud Pie Delight
Been awhile since you’ve all gotten good and dirty together? Tired of trying to keep everyone clean? Let it go and embrace the mud by making a big pit for yourselves and have a family party in it. If it hasn’t rained lately, just grab a bucket of water and pour it on whatever patch of dirt you can find.

Let it squish between your toes and fingers, draw in it with your fingers and sticks, make mud pies and mud muffins and mud cakes, create fabulous works of art by adding stones and leaves and flowers and whatever else you can find and just enjoy it. If you’re really worried about the mess, have a bucket of water on hand to play in right after.