Summer is the season of hot weather. Families need to find ways to cool off quickly. It’s not always possible to go out to the pool. There are plenty of great ways to cool down in your own backyard. For families in the Midwest, here are some suggestions for activities to enjoy all together. From backyard picnics to messy arts and crafts, let these ideas be a starting point. If you have low energy, there are options on this list for you. If your kids are high-energy, then you’ll find good options for them, too. If you’re house hunting for a property that can accommodate a busy family, then look for homes for sale in Green Bay WI and N.E. Wisconsin that offer sizeable yards. It’ll be a lifesaver when summer rolls around.
Childhood is a magical time. As they grow, you might move away or change residences. This is a unique opportunity to create shared family experiences in your family home. Carve out a few hours this summer to spend time with your kids in the backyard. You might just end up making memories to last a lifetime.
Splash Around and Cool Off
If you don’t want to go to the pool, you can splash around and cool off in your own backyard. If you have access to a kiddie pool, it’s easy to inflate it. Just use the hose on the side of your house. The colder the water, the better. But even if you don’t have access to a proper kiddy pool, there are plenty of ways to allow kids to play in the water. Just make sure that you choose a container that is not too deep. You shouldn’t worry that your children might drown. If you’ll be leaving children unattended, then it’s best to stick with something like a slip and slide instead of a kiddy pool.
You can make a DIY slip and slide with a long tarp, shower curtain, or leftover plastic packaging. Simply turn on the hose, lay the plastic on an open piece of grass, and have at it. Make sure that you point the hose downhill or away from your home. You don’t want to risk damage to property, or angry neighbors. Remember, if you turn on any hose, set a reminder to turn it off after a few hours. There are too many stories of people who set up a hose and forget to turn it off for days. This damage may not show up immediately, but if you forget long enough then it can cause permanent damage. On a list of houses for sales in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin, water damage can make your property stand out in the wrong way if you ever try to resell it.
Another option for water play in the backyard is to play in the sprinkler. Sprinklers are fairly affordable at any hardware store. As long as you have a hose, you should be able to find a sprinkler to match. Find a sprinkler with a fun pattern that waves back and forth. Encourage kids to make up a game where they run through and avoid the spray. Another option is to set the sprinkler underneath a trampoline. This activity can entertain kids for hours as they bounce and enjoy the cool wet spray from beneath the trampoline. If you don’t have any of these supplies, stick with squirt guns or water balloons. You can buy these at any dollar store and kids will love them. They can share these with neighbors, too.
Picnic or BBQ
It wouldn’t be summer without a backyard picnic. To enjoy some quality time with your family, organize a barbecue on the back patio. Work together as a family to choose and cook recipes that everyone will enjoy. If you don’t have access to a patio, then simply carry your food outdoors to enjoy. Set up a blanket or a towel, and arrange the food nicely. You may wish to bring trays to set the food above the ground, so that ants can’t share your snack.
For older children, you can ask them to take on the challenge of cooking a whole meal for the family all by themselves. Teenagers can even go to the grocery store alone and purchase the necessary ingredients. But kids of all ages are capable of basic tasks like boiling pasta, shredding lettuce, or mashing potatoes.
If your kids are too cool to hang out with their parents by themselves, then invite them to bring friends to the backyard picnic. Invite the neighbors while you’re at it. There’s a reason why potlucks have been so popular for hundreds of years. Come up with a simple theme and ask everyone in the cul-de-sac to bring a different dish. This works especially well if you don’t know your neighbors. For instance, maybe the sign has just come down next door advertising homes for sale in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin. New neighbors will love the invitation to meet their community over a shared meal. It’s also a great opportunity for kids to practice meeting new people.
To get your yard ready for a backyard picnic, make sure you have flashlights or lanterns, enough seating for everyone, and enough cutlery to go around. It’s helpful to make sure you have vegetarian and gluten-free options for people who have special diets.
Messy Arts & Crafts
Finally, there’s no better time than summer to get messy with arts and crafts. Pull up the food coloring and shaving cream, and encourage kids to get wild. Do some science experiments. Create exploding volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar. Get out the chalk and encourage kids to make life-size portraits on the pavement. They will love it if you get down with them for a few minutes of creative time together. Just a few minutes of shared silliness can keep kids content for hours.
If you don’t have any of these supplies around, bubbles are classic. Just squeeze some dish soap and water into a container and use a paperclip. Another great summer activity for kids is to freeze tiny toys inside ice cubes. Don’t do this if you have toddlers in the house, as they tend to chew on things and that would present a choking risk. But for older children, toys frozen in ice can provide hours of entertainment as they chip away to free the toy inside. Even if they lose interest, soon enough the ice will melt in the sun, and the toy will be free to play with again.
When you’re on the lookout for homes for sale in Green Bay and N.E. Wisconsin, think about a wide backyard. Your kids will love the freedom and you can relax knowing that your kids are safe and within earshot. Summer is a time for freedom, and a great backyard can make it possible in a safe way.