1. Swimming Pool
Visit a neighbor or friend with a private pool or in a large apartment complex if you don't have a nice public neighborhood pool nearby. Or you could join a club like the Elks or a fitness gym to gain access to their swimming facilities.
2. Natural Swimming and Wading
Find a beach, stream, creek, pond or lake for swimming, exploring, and splashing.
In addition to lending books, ebooks, audiobooks, and films, many public libraries have wonderful programs for children and families including dramatic storytelling and puppet shows.
4. Movie Matinee
Instead of waiting until evening to enjoy a family movie night, watch a quality film together during the morning or afternoon hours, when the weather is hottest. Make it an event with popcorn and lemonade. (See my suggested movies and videos for families and small children.)
Use a small patch of ground or a few flowerpots to do a small gardening project together. Try
sprouting radishes from seeds, or buy small herb, vegetable, or flower plants from a garden center.
6. Water Play
Kids love to play with water. If you don't have a pool or sprinklers, even a bucket or mixing bowl will do. Add a few rubber duckies or measuring cups for extra fun. (See my water play post about more ideas for fun easy ways to let your kids play with water.)
You can easily make a small space for playing in the sand with your kids using an old kiddie pool or
plastic storage container. Add a shovel and pail, a sifter and a few other small toys.
8. Art Box
Put together a special collection of art supplies and materials to use creatively. Paper, crayons, markers and glue are the basics. Also include googly eyes, glitter, stamps, stencils, or stickers. Additionally, toss in a few specialty art kids like a beaded bracelet set or some shrinky-dinks.
Sometimes the expenses or time constraints make an extended camping trip impossible. For kids, a day trip and picnic or a backyard camp out can be just as exciting and memorable. Have a campfire, set up a tent, and roast some marshmallows.
Build a tree house or fort to help create the summer magic of childhood. Consider converting an old shed or storage space for kids to hide out, whisper secrets, and tell ghost stories.