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Help me brainstorm summer ideas

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I love summer because I live in the northern part of a northern state. It's still 40 degrees here, but summer will get here and I'm usually excited. We try to do lots of fun things and fill our summers with concerts, camp, sports, festivals, camping, zoos, museums, and get togethers. I'm having a rough day because I feel like summer has been canceled. Parades in all the local communities are being canceled. Concerts canceled. Scout events canceled. Festivals canceled. Sports camps canceled. Summer camps canceled. Campgrounds closed. Once in a lifetime events and yearly traditions are being canceled daily. I'm trying to console myself by trying to make a big list of fun things we can do this summer that allows for physical distancing. We've been talking about doing some summer schooling for the first time, but we still need to fill our days with some other things. Help me add to my list and it's even better if things can be done outside. Here's what I have so far:

*Biking - If we can find less busy bike trails

*Hiking - Again, we'll have to find trails that aren't already overrun with people

*Board games or chess tournaments on the deck - Not exactly an outdoor activity, but we can get outside for fun.

*Yard games - I'll need to buy some. What are your favorites?

*Reading or DVDs - Hopefully the library will reopen!



*Work on Frontier Girl badges with DD

*Backyard Camping

ETA: My kids are teens, so lots of stuff that will keep little kids entertained aren't interesting to them (although a good Nerf or squirt gun fight might still be worthwhile!).

Edited by mom2scouts
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Some of these may overlap with Frontier badges, and would be great if kids pick things they'd enjoy--

Making fires, grilling




Creek walks



Earn $ doing yard work for future fun (dd17 is planning to earn spending $ for college this way)

Create backyard getaway--strings of lights, fire pit, plants, hammock, animal garden ornaments

Dog training or agility (build your own course)

Learn to play ukulele 

Sunrise or sunset picnics

Roller blading

Chalk sidewalk murals (not just for younger kids--google sidewalk murals)

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I wrote this and then went to Facebook and the first thing I saw was a post from our city saying all city festivals, parades, fireworks, concerts, and block parties are canceled this summer. This sucks.😢

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23 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

Spike Ball has been a hit here since my kids got it for Christmas. 


I saw that at Target last year and thought it looked fun. I never bought it, but maybe we'll try it this year.

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Outdoor games spike ball, croquet,  tetherball, 4 square, Cornhole.  

Water fun- squirt gun wars, slip and slides fun like kick ball, millions of ideas on Pinterest. 

Chalk art, rock painting, paintball or paint balloons.

Archery, shooting, fishing.

Geocaching carefully, Pokemon go or wizards unite.

Drive in or outdoor movies.


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We live outside is my mantra.

So we cook outside, eat outside, play outside, sit outside, try to learn new things.

Cooking, eating, sitting, living outside is a big thing already, I just need to be more mindful of actually doing it because we were literally hiding inside in fear. 

We already do family walks, biking is a bit stressful because we have a little girl and we have not been able to successfully incorporate her solo so should look into that more. 

Bought a badminton set complete with court. Quite easy to set up. We already have a volleyball so used that. Should buy tennis rackets. This is a straight copy from @wintermom

We were not much of nature people as in cannot identify plants, trees, birds, so bought a bird watching book and binoculars.

We were already star gazers, so will do more of that.

Turn on sprinklers.

My kids and I love swimming, so probably an inflatable pool. DH jumped into saying hot tub but not so sure of the that. 

We have a lot of hardscape and lawn, so not much of a garden. But we have started some plants in containers. That is teaching us new skills, even if we do not succeed we will certainly learn what not to do. 

Last weekend we sat outside on our front porch and ate dinner with our neighbors facing us. We used to do a lot of eating together during spring and summer weekends, food back and forth among neighbors. So find a way to do that safely.

More random drives, listening to music.

Possibly an outdoor projector or a laptop outside watching movies. 

I don't want to waste money and buy a lot of things,  at the same time trying to buy things that will be of use as in fitness, foster togetherness and keep us all sane without hiding inside the house. So hoping to find that balance. 


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I’ll be following this as it is beautiful weather here, and I am kind of running out of ideas. We are also planning to summer school for the first time. Here are some things we have been doing outside this spring:

4 square ( a lot)

kickball/wiffle ball


bike rides


frisbee golf


Painting outside (mostly watercolors)

jumping on the trampoline 

playing basketball (if your courts are still open-we go early in the morning before anyone else shows up)

The kids set up some sort of mini golf course with no holes-just a target to hit

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Local parks and trails are already overcrowded, they will be worse once school is officially out.  Plus summer for us mean temperatures in the 90s and sometimes 100s.  No camps, no pools, no in-person group activities mean my teens will spend most of their day indoors.

All I can think of are school work (an online foreign language class for my oldest?), instrument practice/lessons, reading, and scout merit badges OR mutually agreed upon special projects. They want to build gaming computers.  Dh is thinking about it.  

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21 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

Archery, shooting



We would love to do this, but they closed all the ranges, and shooting is prohibited on our property because we're in the city limits. Our parks installed archery ranges and we were hoping to use them this year, but now they're closed because of the pandemic.

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1 hour ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

Spike Ball has been a hit here since my kids got it for Christmas. 



This looks fun! We have a teeny tiny yard but this looks easy to take to a field or something. I think DS would like it! 

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We are still in the “everything is closed” phase. Parks are closed. Most trails are closed. Campgrounds are definitely closed. 

We have an urban sized lawn...there is no room for anything.

We have some gardening stuff growing in pots. We have a couple of rose bushes.  I have chalk and bubbles. I am trying to talk Dh into buying a grill and a shade umbrella so we can at least sit outside and have summery foods. 

Just being outside is therapeutic, iykwim. We will probably go on some late night walks just to get out and still be able to avoid people.

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A guy on our street built a climbing walk in his garage. One surface is flat, the other at on over-hang. You can order the various grips on-line.  Very cool! 

Biking and hiking is a great activity for teens. Discovering new trails is a lot of fun.

We are loving out backyard tennis/badminton/volleyball net! It's awesome!

Gardening, designing and building a new garden area or a zen garden. Then do outdoor yoga together by the garden. Add in a water feature, if possible.


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Is there anything they could build out of wood?  Tree house, yard chairs made where one piece of wood slides into the other (my boys did those in Scouts), big Jenga pieces, other.  

If there's plenty of space, a potato launcher.  Make marshmallow shooters from pvc pipe.  PVC pieces for a DYI building set.  Start a new hobby like wood carving.  Read/nap in hammocks.

Build an obstacle course.  

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Our parks just announced that swimming lakes and public pools will not open.🙁 I had some hope for the swimming lakes because they're not usually very busy and they're big enough to allow physical distancing both on land and in the water. However, they say they won't be able to prep and prepare the lifeguards in time. We're going to have to find some other ways to cool off.

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