ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Entertaining Active Kids During the Summer

Updated on June 3, 2016
Just a few more days until summer break.
Just a few more days until summer break.

School is Out for the Summer

School is out and everyone needs the rest. Parents, teachers, and kids are all exhausted. Parents are tired of waking their kids early, rushing them to be on time, checking clothing for dress code violations, making lunches, and checking homework. Kids are tired of getting up early, listening to their parents rant about the importance of being on time, and doing homework. Teachers are just plain tired.

Time for teachers to get some rest. Now the teachers will go on well-deserved vacations, see wonderful sites, and enjoy activities that do not have to be written in a lesson plan and correlated to some bench-mark test.

Time for students to sleep as late as they want, wake to a long day of running barefoot through the neighborhood, playing hard, getting sweaty, and coming home sometime close to dark.

Parents will wake at their usual time, enjoy the peace and quiet while leisurely sipping their coffee before heading off to a worry-free day at work with confidence their children will entertain themselves while obeying all the rules.

If this is how you envision your summer, you're dreaming.

Reality Check

Now that you're awake from that beautiful dream, let's get down to reality. The kids sleeping late part of the dream might come true, but the rest it? Not a chance. Although the house is filled to capacity with toys, electronic devices, games, and gadgets, the child will have 'nothing to do.' Any suggestion made by the parent will be answered with a deep analytical evaluation which usually sounds something like, "Boring."

What should a parent do? It is impossible to work and entertain kids all summer. It is not safe for kids to run the streets anymore. Constant supervision is not practical. How can a parent supervise, entertain, and nurture their kids for the summer?

Barter System

Notice I said 'barter' not 'cash'. Barter for whatever privileges the child is requesting. Set up a routine--not schedule--to encourage your child to do activities which will earn privileges. Once the number of activities have been reached, the privilege will be granted.

Let's look at a sample chart and then we'll discuss each activity.

Sample Barter Chart

3Rs (running, riding, romping)
4 hours
Creative Play
8 hours
Fun Experiments
8 hours
Technology Play
5 hours
4 hours
4 hours

3Rs (Running, Riding, Romping)

Yes, they do this naturally. Placing natural play on the chart allows the child to feel more comfortable with the other activities.

Children need exercise. What better way to get it than running with a friend, riding a bike, or romping with a brother? However, it is summer and heat strokes are not unusual in children. Parents need to be vigilant on how hot their children get while playing. This type of play is best done in the morning or evening.

Let them use that energy.
Let them use that energy.

Creative Play

Although the kids don't need to know; creative play stimulates the body and the mind. It requires the child to make his own toy before enjoying the play. Cardboard boxes can deliver an entire day of fun. What can you make with a cardboard box?

  • A nifty car for driving around the house.
  • A firetruck to put out fires around the house.
  • A stove for cooking.
  • A puppet stage for entertaining others.
  • A mailbox.
  • A refrigerator.
  • Let them use their imagination. They will think of other things to create with a lowly cardboard box.

Lego bird perch
Lego bird perch
You just can't beat ice cream made in a bag.
You just can't beat ice cream made in a bag.

Fun Experiments

There are many experiments that can be performed with objects around the house. Simple things like vinegar, baking soda, water, cooking oil, and sugar can become fun and exciting learning tools.

  • With vinegar, baking soda, water, and gummy worms, one an make dancing worms.
  • Using water, oil, food coloring, and Alka-Seltzer, a lava lamp can be created and keep a kid entertained for hours.
  • Water, sugar, and food coloring can create old fashioned rock candy. Kids have fun making and eating this yummy experiment.
  • With milk, sugar, and two sizes of freezer bags, kids can make their own individual ice cream.
  • Water, borax, glue, and food coloring make 'flubber' which will provide hours of fun.

There are many experiments that kids can do. Pinterest is a great resource for more information on these and other experiments

"This site if fun.  Don't tell my parents  They think it's educational."
"This site if fun. Don't tell my parents They think it's educational."

Technology Play

Technology is a double-edged sword. Yes, it can be harmful and parents must monitor the sites and games their children visit. Predators can reach children through any device that uses the internet. Before allowing children access to technology, teach them how to be safe online.

There are many sites that are both educational and fun. Children can review previously learned skills and preview skills to taught next year. Here are just a few links to get you started.

"You want me to read?  You must be kidding."
"You want me to read? You must be kidding."


Yes, I used the "R" word. Not many kids like to read in the summer. However, if it is a challenge, most will pick up on it. Now the challenge has to be worth it. When I taught 5th grade reading, I challenged the 4th reading teacher to a "Read Off." At the end of the challenge, both grades would receive an ice cream party. The grade that read the most books would be served by the other grade. Both grades worked very hard. Neither wanted to serve the other. At the end of the challenge, every 5th grade student had to serve ice cream to at least one 4th grader before receiving any for themselves. It was all in fun. The kids read more than they usually did. The local PTO paid for the ice cream and everyone had a good time.

Make the challenge pertinent to your child. Be sure it is done in a fun spirit. Remind the child that it is just for fun. No one loses when he reads.

Have you ever wondered why 'The Andy Griffith Show' is still playing on television? Over 40 years of good clean entertainment.


"Television? You want my kid to watch television?"

I know they watch too much television, but if you take it away, it will be a long summer. They probably will watch more than the allotted hours, but the other activities should limit time for television. By putting television in the routine, you don't have to argue about it. They know they have the freedom to watch it.

"What if they spend all their time watching television and don't do the other things on the routine?"

Then they don't receive the privilege for the week.

Simple Plan

This is a simple plan that can be customized for your family. It is designed to remove a little stress from the parents when it comes to entertaining the kids. For that reason, it should be customized to meet the needs of your family. There is nothing magical about the amount of time placed on each unit. Please feel free to change it to suit your family.

Please let me know how it works for your family.


The photos in this Hub were purchased from Please seek permission before using them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)