Stuff We Like: Fun in the Outdoors
Soon that last school bell will ring and kids everywhere will be jumping into the open arms of summer, a season full of sunshine, freedom, and–okay, sometimes–boredom. You know it’s coming. The exact second after the novelty of no-school wears off, it starts: “There’s nothing to do,” your little angel will
whine say. Of course, this is nothing new. Mixing kids and summer school vacation has produced a similar result generally since the beginning of time. “You just laid around and sweated, played jacks, built card houses, begged your mom to turn on the sprinkler, and schemed ways to convince your parents to take you for ice cream after dinner,” says Ellen Pocost, editor of Westchester Parent, recalling summer in the suburbs during her childhood.
So what’s a parent to do? Like stocking up on bottled water before a bad storm, it’s all about being prepared for the worst. Here, some handy tools to add to your “beat summer boredom” emergency kit:
Send your tots out to the sidewalk with these new, ultra-vibrant chalks from Crayola ($6.49; crayola.com). Kids can make their own rainbows—or spaceships, or flower gardens, or whatever else they dream of—with this new set that, for the first time, features 48 classic Crayola colors (so your kids can draw “sepia”-toned trees and “granny smith apple”-colored turtles!). The squared-off edges prevent chalk from rolling away, too. Recommended for ages 4 and older.
Send your little ones on an outdoor mission with these cool walkie talkies from Backyard Safari ($39.99; available in Walmart stores). Simple to use (just turn the dial and push the button to talk), they have a convenient belt clip, too. And the built-in antenna allows communication at distances of up to 2 miles! A bonus pop-up field guide and collectible “Comms Expert” patch are included. Set of two lightweight walkie talkies requires four AAA batteries (not included).
Setting up a lemonade stand is a rite of childhood. Encourage your kids to get started by providing the right materials. Enterprising tots will love this cardboard lemonade stand from Chasing Fireflies ($78; chasing-fireflies.com), which they can color in or decorate with personalized decals (sold separately). Whether they go the traditional route and sell lemonade or decide to peddle a different product, the stand offers kids opportunities for creative play as they gain essential business experience.
Novice and master jugglers alike will delight in eeBoo’s juggling balls ($18.99; eeboo.com), which are both soft and perfectly weighted. Each festive set of three balls includes an instructional poster guiding young jugglers as they aspire to new heights. Recommended for ages 7 and older.
Take a Fly Wrapz band ($5.99; geospaceplay.com) out to the park and throw it like a boomerang—it can glide up to 60 feet!—then snap it onto your wrist, where it’s disguised as a funky wristband (six designs available). Recommended for ages 3 and older.
More Ideas for Summer Fun!
The above is a sneak peek of our 125 Ideas for Summer Fun guide. Head to our main site to download the full guide, which features 37 must-see destinations, 16 places to “time travel,” one awesome no-cook playdough recipe, and much more!