Things to Do This Summer!

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School is out for the summer (or will be soon) — and in case you’re thinking, “now what?” — we’ve got some ideas that will help keep boredom at bay.  Need activity suggestions? We’ve got resources. Want to find something to do as a family? yup, there’s ideas for that. Looking for an online educational game? Check.

We’ve even listed some outdoor activity sites (state parks, trails, and more), as well as some local resources if you’re in the Ann Arbor area. Yes, that includes Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester, Saline, Ypsilanti, and even a little something for Tecumseh. So go on, take a look — and prepare to have a blast this summer!

First of all, why not stop by Homeschool.com to find out 101 Things to do this Summer. Don’t worry, most of them don’t involve “school” — there are things like “Make an Obstacle Course in Your Backyard” (#32), “Have a Picnic” (#2), and even, “Become a Photographer” (#7). What a great resource! If you get through all 101 things, be sure to let me know!

Child Portrait at Mill Creek Park Playground

Activity Ideas

If you are still having trouble finding things to do or looking for something the whole family can enjoy together? Check out these resources that have activities and ideas for having fun!

  • About.com’s Summer Arts & Crafts for Kids. Make big bubbles, Find a recipe for playdoh, and get inspired with more ideas on how to use those art supplies you have around the house!
  • FamilyFun.com has ideas for you! Arts + Crafts, parties, recipes, games, and more! You can even search the site by age group, or by your child’s interest (e.g. princesses, barnyard pals).
  • Kaboose has summer craft ideas, outdoor games and activities, recipes, and more — visit their Summer Guide to get started.
  • DIY has some neat craft ideas, so if you’re stuck indoors or need a quick activity, this might be a good rescue activity!

Online Fun

While I was looking for these resources, I also found some websites that are interactive, educational AND fun.

  • PestWorld for Kids is all about pests, what they are, how to avoid them, and even games and e-cards.
  • Black Holes: Gravity’s Relentless Pull lets you journey to a black hole, and see the night sky in different ways. You’ll learn about the different objects in our universe, and whether they are visible with x-rays, visible light, and/or radio waves.
  • Mouth Power is an interactive site about taking care of your teeth. You’re bound to learn a few things as you complete activities to “earn your teeth.”

Outdoor Fun

Of course, there is always the option of spending time outdoors. While these sites will require you to spend some time indoors (mostly planning), the main focus is to get outside and to experience the world around you.

  • Michigan State Parks — with around 40 state parks, Michigan has plenty of opportunities for you and the family to enjoy yourselves outdoors. Use their “Find a Michigan State Park” feature to search by county, campground type, or activity (e.g. biking, fishing, picnic, wildlife). Also, consider the Explorer Program, where you’ll be able to learn about forests, insects, night hikes, animals, and more.
  • Trails.com is a resource that will let you search trails and trail maps in Michigan — depending on the type of outdoor recreation that you’re interested in. Whether it’s hiking, biking, or fishing, you’ll be able to find some great trails!
  • Beyond Your Doorstep with Peter Schriemer is a great site — your kids will learn stuff about backyard critters and animals, be able to play games, color — and with your help, complete some outdoor activities that will increase their understanding of the wildlife around your home.

Local Resources