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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Fun Things to do Indoors and Outdoors to Keep Kids Active This Summer

May 23, 2017 11:00AM ● By Kendra Kaiserman

Lazy, Crazy Days of Summer

June 2017
Story by Kendra Kaiserman

If you have kids, you may be on the search for things to do this summer that will not only be fun, but will keep your kids’ minds and bodies active and engaged. We’ve developed a list of things to do outside when the weather is pleasurable. And when temperatures get into the triple digits, you may want to stay inside and try some of these indoor activities.


Get wet: Swim, run through the sprinklers or stage a water balloon fight to get some relief from extra-toasty days. 

Get physical: Ride bikes, go kayaking or canoeing, go fishing, go horseback riding – it’s always fun to stretch your muscles.

Get sporty: Enjoy a Visalia Rawhide or Fresno Grizzlies game. Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, anyone?

Get entrepreneurial: Set up a lemonade stand. You can teach your kids about marketing and the basics of business, and they might end up with a couple extra coins in their pocket.

Get away: Enjoy a day trip or weekend getaway to the beach, Yosemite National Park or your favorite amusement park. Camping is always a thrill for kids – you can even pitch your tent in the backyard if you don’t have a lot of time to spare. Bonus: Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible when the sun goes down.

Get crafty: Find a fun way to improve your home or garden, like repurposing old furniture or planting a garden.

Get cultural: Have a luau in your backyard.


Stay-cation: Whether it’s a full week or just a weekend, plan to stay at home and do your favorite things. You can have a spa day where you give each other massages and paint each other’s nails. You can have a reading marathon, a game marathon, or both of the above. You can stay in your pajamas and eat snacks or get dressed up and cook a fancy dinner together. It’s really up to your family on how to spend your stay-cation.

Write and perform a play or skit: Depending on the age of your children, they can write a play or a skit, and they can perform it for you (or you can all perform it together). They can also act out their favorite book.

Organize a film festival: Pick a theme or genre (Disney, Pixar, comedy, action) or have each family member choose a movie and have a marathon screening. Include snacks, comfy clothes and enjoy the show(s).

Build a boxcar: Think outside the box by making a box into a boat, airplane, submarine or spaceship. Then take your vehicle to an exotic destination, outer space or on a safari.

Treasure hunt: Playing individually or as a team, give each child or team a set of clues (you can try rhyming the clues or making the clues into riddles if your kids are up for a challenge). Each clue should lead to the next one, with the last clue leading to the treasure. Seal each clue in an envelope and mark it with a number (such as “clue 1 of 7”) to help players keep track. The individual or team to solve the clues first and find the treasure (a toy, candy, money, an IOU for a movie) wins.

Create a family recipe book: Use a notebook or binder as a base. Organize however you’d like and then insert recipes. Make your cookbook colorful and add pictures. Then cook or bake one of the recipes from your book.

Map out a city on paper: Using kids’ craft paper or butcher paper, roll a long piece down a hallway, use painter’s tape (or heavy books) to secure the corners and edges and let your kids draw a metropolis. Make roads, bridges and neighborhoods. Include lakes, playgrounds, schools, hospitals, shops and restaurants. Use blocks to construct buildings along the way. Kids can drive toy cars along the roads, too.

Make cards/crafts for retirement home residents or hospital patients: Call your local retirement home or hospital and ask if your kids can bring cards or crafts to residents/patients. All it takes is construction paper, markers or crayons, glitter and anything else you have lying around to make someone’s day.

Create your own version of “Chopped”: Assign each chef a mystery ingredient. Have your kids face off and create a meal (or three – an appetizer, entrée and dessert). Be the judge and reward the best taste, presentation and creativity.

Do Zumba or another workout plan in your living room.

Tour the area museums.

Make the father figure in your life a Father’s Day card or gift. 

Whether the weather is nice or scorching, just remember to keep it simple and have fun. We hope this is the best summer yet!