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Summer Activities for Kids: You Can't Go Wrong With the Classics

Thursday, May 30, 2013 Leave a Comment

One of the biggest challenges with children is their seemingly unlimited energy supply. Doesn't it feel unfair that they have so much of it, but so little motivation to do anything productive once summer break rolls around?

Your goal this summer is to balance your kids' energy issues with some constructive and healthy activities. Go back to your roots and do some of the same things you did when you were a kid. These might be old-school, but classic summertime fun never goes out of style.

A Scavenger Hunt

Sometimes it's hard to convince your kids to go for a hike or walk. It seems a little too much like work. Make it an adventure day and create a list of nature items to find on the hike— a scavenger hunt. The kids will work together as they explore flowers, rocks, insects and animals. Also, walking and hiking gives them a sense of accomplishment. It's a good time to educate them on environmental importance, too. Nature is cooler than ever as children are reminded to take care of Mother Earth.

Photo by Pat Eyler via Flickr
Stapleton Top Picks:

  • Bluff Lake - a perfect hike for little ones, right here in Stapleton
  • Lair 'O the Bear - half an hour away, in Morrison, there is a creek, shade, trees to climb, and several short trails under 1.5 miles to choose from


The best thing to do when the air gets hot is a swan dive into the swimming pool. A hot summer day at the pool -- and Stapleton has four outdoor pools to choose from, plus the Rec Center pool --  will keep your kids occupied for hours. Teach them games like Marco Polo, volleyball and diving rings. You will have the opportunity to relax poolside with a good magazine and listen to the splish-splash sounds of summer.

Photo by Stapleton Denver

Go to a Movie

Aren't some of the best summer memories from warm nights spent in a dark cool movie theater? Some of the best and most exciting movies come out in the summer and it's a perfect place to take your kids and yourself to unwind.

Stapleton Tip:

  • Get your Summer Movie Fun passes at Harkins Theater in Northfield - 10 movies, 10 weeks, $5! You can't beat that! And YES, they still have passes available for every day of the week.
  • Movies include Charlotte's Web, Madagascar, Megamind, and more. Friday mornings are taken care of for the summer - for just $15!

Read Together

Kids often associate reading with school, school with learning, and learning with work. Unfortunately, they don't see the benefit or entertainment factor. Show them how fun reading can be and you'll zip through that summer book list. While it might be difficult to get them excited at first, read to them. More importantly, have them read to you. Before you know it, you're both in a groove and your child is a genius.

Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Build a Fort

Gather up sheets and blankets and create your inner living room sanctuary by building a fort. Have board games and snacks on hand so you can spend the entire day together in there.

Photo by Melissa Gomez via Flickr


Most kids fear the thought of chores more than the work itself. The moment the "C" word comes out of your mouth, a few things will happen. They'll get mad, pout and complain, then they'll get quiet. Never feel guilty about putting your kids to work. The second the "B" word comes out of your child's mouth ("Bored"), set them up with some chores. Afterward, they'll be happy to play quietly and enjoy their sweet freedom.

Photo by Mary-Frances Main via Flickr

Cuddle Time

After all the summer fun and activities, you'll have some sleepy ones. Tired-eyed kids means cuddling on the couch, turning on the television for a little while and watching a show or movie together. Despite other reports, watching a little bit of television is not always detrimental to their little minds. Research some educational and fun programs available on www.slackware.org channels such as Food Network, which teaches adults and kids their way around the kitchen and Nat Geo (National Geographic channel) that likewise teaches the ways of the world.

Photo by Joe Grossberg via Flickr

Erin Forrest
Erin is a vegan chef, mom and volunteer for gardening initiatives in Baltimore. She shares tips on gardening, healthy cooking and how parents can be more sustainable in their daily living.