By Meagan Ruffing
Summer is the epitome of fun. The kids are out of school and their days are filled with hours upon hours of outdoor entertainment. Neighborhood kids come by on their bikes to see if your children can play while you sit back and watch the memories being made.
There is an endless amount of ideas when it comes to playing outside but what if it’s too hot? And by too hot, I mean, heat wave. No matter where you live there is bound to be one sultry, summer day where you have to keep the kids inside for their own safety. Look over this list of 68 things to do to keep them happy and busy until it’s nice enough for them to go back outside.
1. Play dough (store bought or homemade)
3. Board games
4. Hide & Seek
5. Watch a movie
6. Play in the bathtub with your swimsuits on
7. Build a fort
8. Make brownies, cookies or cupcakes
9. Shrinky Dinks
10. Plant an herb garden using indoor starter pots
11. Water the plants in the house
12. Dust (make a game of it)
14. Learn a new song
15. Read books
16. Indoor picnic
17. Skype with long distance family
19. Have a tea party
20. Race cars on the floor using painter’s tape to make the roads
21. Lincoln Logs
22. Play kitchen
23. Dress up
24. Finger paint
26. Rock out using your kids’ toy instruments and create your own song
27. Sticker collage (have kids put stickers on paper any way they want)
28. Have a friend over
29. Take a nap
30. Make handprints using ink pads
31. Molding clay
33. Card games (Old Maid, Go Fish)
34. Look through baby books with your children and tell them stories of when they were born
35. Rice bin (Hide small toys in a large bin filled with rice. Have your child try and find things).
36. Guess what? Put an object in a brown paper bag and have your child close his eyes while trying to guess what the object is just by feeling it.
37. Grocery store (Let kids ‘shop’ for items around the house and have them ‘checkout’ using fake money).
38. Take them to a bounce house
39. Mall play area
40. Discovery Center
42. Go to a friend’s house and play
43. Indoor sports complex with a pool
45. Bookstore for story time
46. Puppet show
48. Start potty training
49. Craft basket (Anything and everything having to do with crafts goes in one basket. Kids can use their imagination to make up all sorts of things).
50. Take silly pictures (Use your camera to capture special moments or make it funny and have your kids make silly faces into the camera).
51. Switch-a-Roo (Change around your kids’ toys from room to room. Kids always love to see ‘old’ toys in new places. This activity keeps them busy for a long time.)
52. Local swimming pool
53. Shadow puppets on the wall
56. Balloon toss (Hit a balloon back and forth while trying to keep it off the ground).
57. Shaving cream fun in a bin (Let your child make ‘drawings’ using shaving cream in a plastic bin).
59. Pet rocks (paint rocks that your child has picked up from outside and decorate)
61. Fill kitchen sink with water and bubbles. Let kids play around with their toys in sink.
62. Ball pit
63. Obstacle course
64. Scavenger Hunt
65. Bowling (with small plastic bowling set)
66. Tool set (kids can ‘fix’ things around the house)
67. Push kids around in the laundry basket
68. Set up a tent and pretend to camp out
No matter what age your children are, there is bound to be something on this list that you can do with your kids to beat the summertime heat. You never know, your kids just might come up with their own ideas that you can add to this list year after year!
Meagan Ruffing is a parenting journalist and stay-at-home mom to Dylan, Hannah, and Elinor. She is always looking for new ways to keep her kids busy when the weather forces them inside on a (too) hot and sunny day. Visit her at www.meaganruffing.com and sign up for her free monthly newsletter. Like her on Facebook at writermeaganruffing.