With Summer winding down, and school starting back up in a few weeks, we have compiled a list of MUST DO 7 backyard activities before school is back in session.
- Backyard Campout
Camping doesn’t have to be a big trip or project. Grab your tent, put it up in the backyard, and ban everybody from the house. We lit a small fire in a make-shift fire pit, and roasted hot dogs for dinner, with s’mores for dessert. If you don’t want to light a fire, try firing up the BBQ, and cooking your s’mores earlier in the day using solar power. (Directions HERE). When it gets dark, play fun nighttime camping games, like Snipe Hunting, Kick The Can, or No Bears Are Out Tonight.
- Movie Night
Invite a few friends over, rent/borrow a movie projector, and host a Backyard Movie Night. We have a projector, so we just hooked that up to our laptop, and showed “Hoodwinked”. We did a movie night about a month ago, and it was 9:30pm before it was dark enough. We forgot to factor in that later in the summer, it gets darker sooner. Because we told some people dark, and some people 9:30pm, we knew that we had to have some kind of entertainment between dark and 9:30pm, so we put together a “pre-show countdown”, similar to those shown in the 60s and 70s at the drive-in movie. You can view our “pre-show countdown” on our YouTube channel. We asked everybody to bring their own treats and drinks, as well as a chair or comfortable blanket to sit on. The night of the movie, we posted a sign in our front yard reminding neighbors to stop by and enjoy a family-friendly movie.
- Lawn Twister
Kids love Twister, and it makes it even more fun when it’s built into the grass. We made a template using a frisbee and a piece of cardboard. We then bought four colors of spray paint, and spray painted Twister onto our grass. The kids had a blast, and loved that the “mat” didn’t move around underneath them while they were trying to play.
- “Tree Trunk” Tic-Tac-Toe
We recently chopped down a large pine tree in our backyard to make room for more play, and the trunk is still in the grass waiting to be dug up. We spray painted tic-tac-toe onto the trunk, and then used spray painted rocks as the X’s and O’s.
- Chalk Art
Chalk art is a great way to spark your kids’ creativity and see what they can come up with. You can usually buy a large box of sidewalk chalk at the dollar store. I absolutely LOVE the segment on KSL’s Studio 5 about Chalk Art Activities. I love the photo opps these activities provide! My son also likes to make chalk drawings out of water spots. Get out the hose, make a wet spot on the sidewalk, and see what shape it turns into. Draw in the missing parts with chalk, and see what you come up with! Kind of like watching clouds, but with water spots and chalk.
- Splash/Pool Party
No summer is complete without a backyard splash/pool party. Get out whatever you have, and let the kids spend the day in their swimsuits getting wet and cooling off.
- Backyard BBQ/Picnic
Take advantage of the warm weather before it gets cooler, and spend a few meals eating outside. Fire up the BBQ, or cook the meal inside and enjoy it on the patio or in the shade. Something as simple as peanut butter sandwiches enjoyed on a blanket spread out under the apple tree can even create a cherished memory.