We may all be sticking a little closer to home these days, but that doesn’t mean that your family can’t have a summer full of adventures. From nature-based art projects to (mud) pie baking, here are some creative ideas to keep your whole family entertained at home.
Build a Fort
Fort building is a childhood pastime that keeps kids entertained for hours and requires minimal supplies—you can build a fort with anything you already have at home. Pillows, blankets, sheets and towels make a good fort foundation, but let your kids get creative, even if it means they raid the linen closet or take up temporary residence under the kitchen table. Tarps and oversized beach towels are a good place to start with outdoor forts, but the sky is the limit. Set them loose and let them build!
Head out on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Even the smallest patch of grass is filled with wonder if you take the time to look. A nature scavenger hunt is a great way to encourage your kids to slow down and discover the creatures that live right outside the door. Give your kids a list of natural items to track down, such as a brown leaf, small rock, pinecone and a flower. The list of potential items is endless, just tailor it to the types of plants and animals you have in your neighborhood. Once your kids have collected the items on their list, spend some time researching each item. If you don’t know what tree the leaf came from, for example, look it up on an online leaf identification chart.
Create a Fairy Garden
Fairy gardens are all the rage, and there’s a good reason why—they speak to the heart of our childhood sense for magic and wonder. While there are plenty of fairy garden kits available to purchase, have your kids make their own wonderlands out of items they find in the yard. Sticks and moss are great tools for building fairy houses and a small hole filled with water makes an excellent fairy swimming pool. Find a corner outside for your kids to build their fairy garden and watch as they unleash their creativity.
Wildflower gardens are beautiful, easy and inexpensive to start from seed. If you have a little space outside, let your kids plant wildflower seeds, then water them and watch them grow. Even if you don’t have an outdoor space conducive to planting, wildflowers can be grown in containers on a balcony, driveway or porch. Once the flowers bloom, let your children cut them and put them inside of a vase or cup to display indoors.