50 Fun Things to Do This Summer for Kids!

50 Fun Things to Do This Summer (No Parents Allowed):

1. Make a mini golf course with a ball and plastic cups dug into the ground.

2. Wash the car (actual cleanliness of vehicle is less important than getting soaking wet).

3. Make your own picnic lunch, but you can only use foods that start with the letter “P.”

4. Draw a chalk target on the fence and hold a water balloon throwing contest.

5. Make a for-real, old-school, messy-as-all-hell mud pie.

6. Compete for who can acquire the biggest grass stains (use old clothes, obvs).

7. Make a wind chime from things pulled out of the recycle bin.

8. Disposable camera + sidewalk chalk = create your own chalk movie backdrop. AHHHH GODZILLA!

9. Build a backyard zip line for dolls or action figures.

10. Fill a wading pool and launch a massive battle with paper boats.

11. Design a fairy garden. But for zombie fairies.

12. Two words: papier mâché. Can you make the Death Star?

13. Make a pine cone bird feeder … with Nutella. (Luckiest birds EVER.)

14. Fill jars with colored sand and little toys to make weird art. If they’re Mason jars, slap a photo on Pinterest afterward. Adults go crazy for Mason jar stuff.

15. Make a crazy backyard obstacle course for a family competition.

16. Face-paint with old makeup. Use Lady Gaga photos for inspiration.

17. Try to send soap bubbles through the basketball hoop.

18. Use old magazines and newspapers to make creepy ransom notes.

19. Invent an awesome new meal (gummy worm souffle?) and make your own recipe card.

20. Parents hide all the stuffed animals outside, kids strategize and execute a rescue mission.

21. Using parent-provided ingredients from the kitchen or pantry, create your own taste test experiment.

22. Two more words: Mentos and Diet Coke.

23. Create a totally weird capsule to be buried in the backyard in order to fool people from the future.

24. Hold a contest to see who can find the grossest-looking bug.

summer activities kids25. Stage a murder mystery (or, ah, maybe a non-violent crime) using dolls or stuffed animals, parents have to solve it later.

26. Use duct tape and Tupperware to create a full suit of armor.

27. Use pens to decorate an old white t-shirt. Loser of the family obstacle course competition has to wear it to the grocery store.

28. Use old clothes and blown-up balloons to assemble a bulbous, floppy scarecrow for the garden.

29. Turn a patch of dirt into a mini monster truck jam. Practice saying, “This Sunday, SUNDAY, Sunday …”

30. Using parent-provided seeds, plant a surprise garden. What will grow? Only the kids know … and you probably forgot.

31. Write a letter to one-week-later you with instructions for how to spend your day.

32. Dig for parent-buried treasure in a parent-approved section of the yard.

33. Go through all your clothes to assemble the most deranged outfit you can come up with.

34. Paint rocks and add googly eyes to make a disturbing replica of your family.

35. Create Minecraft characters out of sandwich bags.

36. Assemble a super-long Domino line that makes a funny word. P-O-O-P?

37. Create a classic trap out of a shoebox, string, stick, and bait. First one to trap the family pet wins $10.

38. Use pool noodles and colanders for an epic fencing battle.

39. Instead of a water balloon fight, use soppy sponges. Grosser AND reusable!

40. Using old boxes, build a giant robot to protect the neighborhood from Decepticons.

41. Add a ton of bubble bath to a wading pool, make soap beards and hats.

42. Create a water pistol target range.

43. Build tin-can-and-string iPhones.

44. Trace your shadow but add something extra. Like maybe a tentacle.

45. Drink a root beer. Hold a contest to see who can come closest to burping the alphabet.

46. Washable paint + squirt bottle = okay, a huge mess, but you saw how I said “washable,” right?

47. Make report cards that grade your parents’ performance. Deduct points for refusing to participate in your taste test experiment.

48. Build a life-size skeleton out of popsicle sticks.

49. Play with that awful Moon Sand stuff that your parents hate so much, but do it outside. Outside, for the love …

50. Get out the slip-n-slide … and borrow Dad’s shaving cream to make it even more awesome.

What would you add to this list?


Managing Negative Thoughts as a Parent

3 Parenting Reminders for Managing Negative Thoughts

Posted March 18, 2016 by Rebecca Wolfenden, 1-on-1 Coach

3 Parenting Reminders for Managing Negative Thoughts

Parenting is tough. We speak to many people every day who are struggling with challenging parenting issues. It’s easy and normal to get caught up in negative thoughts about yourself and your family.

Here are some common thoughts we hear from parents:

“I love my family, but sometimes I don’t like being a parent.”

”My friends’ kids are so easy! Why can’t my kids be like them?”

“I’m just not good at this, I’m failing as a parent.”

When we compare how other people seem on the outside to how we are feeling on the inside, it is easy to be discouraged and feel isolated in our struggles. The truth is, no one has it all figured out, and we all have negative thoughts about ourselves or our families at times.

So what do you do when you are stuck in negative thinking? Here are some things we’ve learned from working with so many parents over the years.

What our community members have taught us about managing negative thoughts:

Don’t compare. Things might look better on the outside than they are on the inside. Don’t compare your life to someone’s social media pictures. Everyone has moments where they make parenting mistakes. Everyone has moments where they regret their words or their actions and they wish they could start the day over. This comes with the job. There is no such thing as a perfect parent.

It is O.K. to ask for help. When you are feeling stuck or unsure of what to do next, it is okay to reach out to a friend or to find resources online to help you. Sometimes talking to someone else can bring a new perspective and can give you some new ideas.

You are not alone. The coaching team has the privilege of speaking with so many parents from all around the world. We can tell you that if you are feeling overwhelmed, tired, worried, or upset about a parenting challenge, you are in very good company here.  It is very common to feel this way.

When you are having negative thoughts, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that we are all just doing the best that we can. We are all in this together. We’re glad you are here with us.


Rebecca, Empowering Parents Coach