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Five Fun Ideas to Incorporate into Your Summer Plans

Girl coloring on backyard deck

Although summer hasn’t officially started - yet - now is the perfect time to make a list of all of the things you want to do THIS summer. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Let the (Lawn) Games Begin

Commit to a game night once each week. Write down your favorite games on slips of paper and cycle through the family, taking turns at drawing a slip from a hat, jar or bowl – use whatever you have. Let chance dictate the fun you cook up. And you don’t have to stay inside, remember the game TWISTER? Take it outside! Sometimes it’s more fun to roll in the grass.

Four fun outdoor game ideas:

  • Lawn-sized dominoes – here’s how to make them
  • Lawn bowling – fill 10 empty creamer or 2 liter soda bottles with an inch or so of sand. Write values on them with a permanent marker or colorful tape. Use a heavy ball (like a soccer ball) and get those balls a rollin’!
  • Lawn Scrabble – Use old pizza boxes or cardboard sheets to make letter tiles then spell out your highest point value word on the lawn to beat your family or friends.
  • Nighttime Ring Toss - Stock up on glow-stick necklaces and bracelets, then toss them in baskets or around sticks you’ve strategically placed.

2. Go Big …

…you’re already home! Make a custom game board patio. It’s not only a beautiful addition to your back yard, but can also turn into hours of fun. Start by painting square, cement tiles with latex floor paint to create the checkerboard. Already have a patio? Give it an update and paint two colors of squares to for your checkerboard. Or, if you’re in the market for a more permanent checkerboard patio, here’s how to design one with concrete and grass.  Once you have your checkerboard, make pieces out of clay pot dishes.

Want to go even bigger? Organize a family or neighborhood Olympics, complete with Tiki Torch lighting and medals. In addition to the typical swimming and sprinting events, try using bags of beans or sand for the shot-put, and a flying disk for the discus throw and pool noodles make great javelins! Side note, water balloons can sub in for all sorts of things, so use your imagination!

3. Make Your Own Mark

Hang canvases or even cloth on the fence, supply fabric paint and/or fabric markers and have everyone create one masterpiece to hang all summer long. Hang a chalkboard on a wall, fence, post or tree. Complete the art station with little hanging buckets for chalk and cloths for cleaning.

If you have trees or the room for stands, hang a few hammocks or a yard swing. Find an old chandelier, add solar bulbs and hang it for instant ambience.

Suspend a hula hoop from a tree with sturdy cord. Attach a shower curtain with curtain hooks and create a fun cabana for changing or getting out of the sun.

Or set up a tent and leave it all summer long. Furnish it with a blow-up mattress, beanbag chairs, or cushions and small tables. String up a few camping lanterns to make it a getaway.

4. The Family that Plants Together…

…grows together! Plant a container salad garden that will keep on giving all season long or a container herb garden.

If pesky mosquitoes tend to take a bite out of the good times, plant  mosquito-repelling plants, using an assortment of the following herbs: Rosemary, Basil, Lemon Thyme, Lavender, Horsemint, Marigold, Lemon Balm, Ageratum, Citronella and/or Catnip.

5. Party Down

Throw a party for your family or friends. Don’t just host any party – make it special. Here are a few of our favorites:

Host a themed “dinner” party. Pick your theme: an appetizer or dessert party, an international potluck —each guest brings a dish representative of another culture or nation, or an alphabet party—each guest gets one letter and brings something that starts with it, just to name a few. Decorate your yard, provide the paper products and have a blast!

Organize a camp-out or pajama party for adults promising gourmet s’mores and other campfire treats!

Host a cinema night and project a movie onto a white sheet hung on the wall. Have everyone bring blankets and movie snacks.

Have a rock painting party—each guest paints a rock with permanent, waterproof paint, and signs and dates their masterpiece to leave in the garden “gallery.”

Any way you want to do it, seize the day (or night) this summer – a summer to remember!