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8 Great Summer Activities for Kids – Indoors and Out!

Hot? Wet? Must be summer in Hong Kong! Here are 8 great summer activities for kids to do indoors and out!

Summer is a challenging time for busy mums in Hong Kong: your kids are off school and the weather report calls for both sun and rain.

We have collected 8 Great summer activities for kids from our ActivityBoxes that you can do either indoors or outside. So whatever the weather, you can feel confident that you have a plan for fun learning activities come rain or shine.

ActivityBox = ideas, instructions and supplies

  • Ideas – Never be at a loss for something to do! Songs & rhymes, art, games, movement and even snack activities to do together with your child!
  • Instructions – We provide you step by step instructions for each lesson along with Parent Prep, bonus tips and even an at-a-glance Planner for the month
  • Supplies – We provide you everything you need to do all of the activities, from arts & craft materials, song lyrics, and even tips on using recycled items you have at home

8 Great summer activities for kids

What colours can you see? – Gross Motor Skills (January 2015 ActivityBox)

Parks are full of colours throughout the year, so take advantage of the opportunity for fresh air and exercise to also teach colours!

ActivityBox January lesson outdoor activity find colours
  1. Let your child play and run around so they have a chance to release some energy and be calm before starting this activity
  2. First, point out and name some colours that you both can see
  3. Say “I can see blue. What colours can (your child’s name) see?”
  4. Next walk around and find and touch objects of different colours, naming the colour each time
  5. Say “Can (your child’s name) touch something yellow (green, red, etc.)”?
  6. It doesn’t matter what the object is, it can be green grass, a swing set that is painted red or even a bench or sign
  7. If you have a camera or phone with a built in camera, take photos of all colours you saw and when you get home draw them with your child

Parent Prep:

  • Prepare your standard items for a typical trip to the park like snacks, drinks and appropriate clothing
  • Invite a friend for a colourful play date

Tips:

  • You can also name things you see in the park such as trees, plants and birds in order to build vocabulary
  • You can play the colour game at other locations like shopping malls, at home looking out the window or just walking down the street.
  • In a car, taxi or bus you can ask “what do you see that is red?”… “I see a red car.”

Shape hop scotch – Gross Motor Skills (February 2015 ActivityBox)

Playing shape hopscotch in the park or playground is a fun way to learn that shapes can come in many sizes.

ActivityBox February lesson outdoor activity string hop scotch
  1. Form three or four shapes on the ground with your string, e.g. heart, circle, triangle etc. Place them in a line as if playing hopscotch
  2. Walk to each shape and name the shape as you stand inside them. When you get to the end turn around and go back to the first shape
  3. Next guide your child to walk to each shape and stand inside it
  4. Then try different actions while moving along the shapes: jump, run, hold hands and jump together, skip, walk backwards and sideways!
  5. After this spread the shapes out to form a circle. Walk or run around the circle with your child and shout out the name of a shape. Run and jump on the shape you called out. (Be sure to let them win!)
  6. Repeat until you have named all the shapes

Parent Prep:

  • Prepare four pieces of thick string each at least a metre long
  • If you only have thin string, twist together several pieces of string to form one thick piece
  • The shape formed by the string needs to be big enough for your child to stand in with both feet

Tips:

  • If you have a ball you can bounce the ball in and out the shapes or try throwing the ball into the shapes.
  • Identify shapes you can see as you walk to and from the park. Don’t forget to spot the shapes in the park equipment!
  • You can twist a few pieces of string together to make a thick rope effect which show the shapes better.

Going on a lion hunt! – Literacy and Gross Motor Skills (February 2015 ActivityBox)

Take your child on a make believe adventure through the grass, over a tree through the mud and into a cave. And what do you find?

ActivityBoxFebruary summer outdoor activity lion hunt
  1. I see some grass. It’s very tall grass.
    Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Gotta go through it.
    Push grass aside with big hand movements. Repeat Chorus
  2. I see a tree. A very tall tree.
    Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Gotta chop it down.
    Make chopping movements with hands. Repeat Chorus
  3. I see some mud. Ooey-gooey mud.
    Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Gotta go through it.
    Raise feet off the ground slowly as if stuck in mud. Repeat Chorus
  4. I see a cave. A dark spooky cave.
    Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Gotta go inside it.
    Wave open hands as if feeling way through the dark. Repeat Chorus
  5. I see something furry. Something big and furry!(SCREAM) It’s a LION!! RUN!!!
    Run out of the cave, through the mud, over the chopped down tree,
    through the grassy place
    and run inside and slam the door!

Parent Prep:

  • The chorus to sing after each verse: Going on a lion hunt. But I’m not scared!
  • Say the first four verses at a regular / slow speed and the final verse quickly to build excitement
  • Perform the movements in each verse

Tips:

  • Explain to your child that it is very hot in Africa so we need to take a bag with some important items. E.g. water bottle, snacks, hat, sunglasses and binoculars to see what is very far away.
  • Explain that in Africa there are a lot of tall and short grassy areas, muddy pools, caves in the mountains and tall trees.

Ball play – Gross Motor Skills (March 2013 ActivityBoxPack)

Find some open space, outside at the park or grassy area on a nice day!

ActivityBox March summer outdoor activity ball play
    1. First, warm up! Try jogging on the spot, then reach for the sky and touch your toes, roll your arms in big circles, then small circles
    2. Sit down opposite each other and roll ball back and forth
    3. Next, stand and kick the ball to each other
    4. Then try walking forward and kicking the ball as you walk
    5. Repeat this as long as he/she stays interested

Now try throwing the ball to each other …

  1. First, gently throw the ball underhand to the child.
  2. Gradually step further apart to build excitement and fun
  3. Next hold your arms in a circle shape to make a “hoop”. Let the child put the ball through your hoop
  4. Show him how to make the hoop and gently throw the ball through the “hoop”

Parent Prep:

  • Plan an outing to the park or clear space at home
  • Use a big ball or soccer ball as it’s easier for them handle
  • Demonstrate each action and help the child along to avoid frustration (yours and theirs!)

Tips:

  • Perform each activities several times with the child. They love repetition and this is how they learn.
  • Show your child some of your ball skills, they will delight in watching you kick the ball far or throw it high!
  • Combine the ball games with snack time or lunch and have a picnic at the park or home. On a rainy day you can try this indoors with balloons!

Creepy crawly moves – Gross Motor Skills (March 2013 ActivityBox)

Can you move and sound like an insect? I think you can! The goal is to have your child move and use their imagination. Have fun!

ActivityBox March summer outdoor activity insect movements
  1. Show your child a picture of the insects you are going to act out
  2. Have your child imitate you as you demonstrate each insect’s movement:
  • Worm/caterpillar: wriggle on the floor, nibble on a leaf
  • Butterfly: fly quietly, gently and slowly, land and fly away again
  • Bee: fly fast and make buzzing sound, sting with your bum!
  • Beetle: crawl very slowly on all fours
  • Spider: crawl fast and catch a fly!
  • Fly: fly fast and stop/land, then quickly fly away again; someone is trying to swat you!
  • Ant: crawl with something on your back as ants are strong!
  • Grasshopper: hop, hop, hop on all fours

Parent Prep:

  • Find some pictures of insects which show how they move
  • You could also find some video’s on the Internet or youtube

Tips:

  • This movement activity is great for outdoor play but can be just as much fun indoors on a rainy day.
  • If you are at the park, let your child pretend to be the different insects when they are playing on the park equipment.
  • Play game of insect chase, you be the spider and chase after the fly (your child!)

Shadow play – Literacy and Gross Motor Skills (May 2013 ActivityBox)

Have you met your shadow friend? They are ready to play on a sunny day!

ActivityBox May summer outdoor activity shadow tag
  1. Has your child noticed their shadow yet? This is a simple, fun game to play outside with your toddler on a sunny day
  2. Get your child to stand so the sun is behind them and they can see their shadow. They will naturally investigate it
  3. Tell them to jump up and down, lean side to side, wave their arms, shake their legs and watch their shadow copy them
  4. Explain that their shadow will always copy everything they do!
  5. Next try playing the game “shadow tag” where the idea is to ”tag” the other player by stepping on their shadow
  6. Move around and change directions so he can see what effect it has on your shadow. Pretend your shadow is chasing you!
  7. Next jump on their shadow and say “tag you are it” and tell them to try and catch your shadow!

Parent Prep:

  • You need a bright, sunny day and a garden, playground or park
  • Pack your snacks, water and a hat

Tips:

  • This can be an indoor activity in a dark room with a torch or small lamp.
  • Make hand shadows on the wall. Open and close your fingers. Hold up some of their toys and see their shadows.
  • When you are outside to look at the shadows of different objects such as plants, trees, people, park equipment, cars, trucks, lamp posts and even dogs and birds flying by.

Picnic time – Math Concepts Skills (July 2013 ActivityBox)

Whether rain or shine, picnics are always fun!

ActivityBox July summer outdoor activity picnic
  1. You can have your picnic outside in a park or inside on a rainy day
  2. Let your child help you make the snacks and pack the picnic bag with food, drinks, paper plates, plastic utensils, cups and anything you want
  3. For a fun way to make lunch, help your child to skewer alternating pieces of sausage and blocks of cheese on toothpicks
  4. For a healthy snack skewer pieces of fruit
  5. Make special sandwiches using cookie cutters to cut out shapes of bread
  6. Your child can help to press down on the cookie cutter and push out the shape. Add their favourite filling to make the sandwiches
  7. At the picnic, show them how to give each person (or stuffed animal) a plate or bowl, serviettes, and a cup and serve the food and drinks
  8. Don’t forget to pack a ball and bubbles for some exercise and fun play!

Parent Prep:

  • Make a list of items and food you would like to take on your picnic
  • Prepare your picnic utensils, food & drinks, a ball and maybe some bubbles
  • Pack a few favourite stuffed animals or toys to join the picnic

Tips:

  • Use disposable paper plates, bowls, cups or plastic items.
  • Buy some fun, colourful serviettes to use on your picnic.
  • Invest in a small cool bag if you don’t already have one!

Bubble bubble – Gross Motor and Fine Motor Skills (July 2013 ActivityBox)

Never by bubbles from the store again!

SActivityBox July summer outdoor activity bubbles
  1. Tell your child you are going to make your own bubbles
  2. Take out your container, dish washing liquid and glycerine and have your child help to pour the ingredients and mix the solution
  3. Now you are ready to go to the park and play these bubble games
  4. Bubble Catch: Get your child to catch/pop small and big bubbles
  5. Then let your child gently blow bubbles toward you and while you hold out the sheet of paper to catch the bubbles. Take turns blowing and catching the bubbles to see your artwork!
  6. Bubble wands: Twist together two pipe cleaners, forming them into a loop. Dip the loop into the bubble solution and blow big bubbles
  7. Bat the bubbles: Try and hit the bubbles with a small bat, chopstick, rolled up magazine or newspaper

Parent Prep:

  • Prepare ingredients for bubble mixture and make your bubble mixture with your child or before hand
  • Make your bubble wands out of pipecleaners
  • Pack your bag for a trip to the park

Tips:

  • Cookie cutters are our favorite non-traditional option for medium-sized bubbles and a manipulated wire-hanger is great for gigantic bubbles.
  • Make your own bubble racquet by taping two wooden chopsticks to a paper or plastic disposable plate.
  • Substitute simple sugar for glycerin. 1 part sugar to 1 part water heated in microwave or pan. Let cool.

How did your child like this activity?

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