Summer activities for free-range kids.

June 02, 2023

Keeping your kids entertained during summer break while keeping your sanity is no small task. That’s why we’re sharing some of our favorite ideas for keeping things fun all summer long.

No. 1 Make a bird feeder

There are plenty of ways you can do it, depending on the age of your kids. The simplest is to find a pine cone in the yard, roll it in peanut butter, then roll the pine cone in birdseed. (Be sure to attach string to the pine cone before you get rolling.) Hang it on a tree near the window or from the rafters on your porch and get ready for some bird watching.

Peanut allergies: If your kiddo has a peanut allergy, here’s another easy make-shift feeder idea. 

  1. Rinse out and reuse a milk jug or plastic bottle you already have on hand. 
  2. Cut a large opening in either side, softening the sharp edges with masking tape to keep the birds safe. 
  3. Using a hole punch, cut out two small holes along the bottom of the opening to insert a small wooden skewer or dowel for perching. 
  4. Fill with birdseed and hang with a string. 

No. 2 Backyard camping

Spending a night under the stars doesn’t have to mean traveling miles. We love setting up a tent and small camp stove right in our backyard. S’mores anyone? 

Have the kids help you with gathering supplies—sleeping bags, books and headlamps. Start your evening cooking a fun campfire dinner like Campfire Pigs (or Turkey Sausage) In A Blanket. To prepare:

  1. Roast hotdogs, sausages, or meat alternative (shaped like a hot dog) using a stick over the open flame.
  2. Have an adult carefully wrap the “pigs” with one triangle of Crescent Roll dough.
  3. Cook over the open flame until golden brown.

Extra credit: Our Silicone Snack Bowls are great for bringing trail mix and other snacks along, too.

No. 3 Make a time capsule

Revisit the memories of this summer, next year when the kids are a year older. You can use any box, and get really serious by hiding or burying it in the yard (if you do this you’ll want to wrap it in a tightly sealed trash bag or other waterproofing.) It’s a great way to collect mementos of your summer together—flowers, sea shells, letters, drawings, notes, photos and more.

No. 4 Visit the Farmer’s Market

At Austin Baby Collection, we’re all about teaching our kids healthy habits from a young age—for themselves and the planet. A stop at your local farm or farmer’s market allows them to see where their food comes from and helps them understand the importance of eating local, organic foods when possible. And reducing waste as we cook and prep our meals. 

Here are some great Farmer’s Market-inspired summer recipes to try with the goodies you grab, and a few other great tips for getting kids to eat their veggies.

No. 5 Visit a new, local playground

In our family, we love new adventures, especially when they’re right in (or close to) our backyard. With a little online sleuthing, you can find new local parks to explore just a short drive from home—even better if they have a splash pad, fountains or a playground. Make it a late morning outing that will have your kids tuckered out and ready for nap time—aka, giving you a minute catch up on life.

No. 6 Learn a new sport

Again, it depends on your child’s age(s), but whether it’s something as simple as a friendly game of kickball in the park, or something that requires a little more skill, like lacrosse, it’s important to inspire your kids to find things that make them happy while keeping them active — to burn off the excess energy while instilling healthy, positive life habits.

No. 7 Pay it forward

This is a fun one for a good cause. Spend an afternoon finding a perfect recipe, bake up something delicious, and deliver a batch to someone in your neighborhood your kids think might need a little pick-me-up. Whether it’s someone elderly with family far from home, a new mom with her hands full, or another kiddo who could use some cheer, it’s a great way to spend the day together doing something that makes you feel good on the inside too. (Eating the extras is part of the fun.)

Have more ideas for our community? Share them on social!