Thousands of children participate in summer day camp events at Chartwell Happy Day Camp each year, and we look forward to hosting your kids for camp this summer. Our safe kids’ camp is conveniently located in the Delaware Valley, and your kids will be able to swim and play to their hearts’ content. But it’s important to keep your kids engaged and entertained all summer long, and these cheap and easy outdoor recreation activities are a great alternative to spending another summer vacation on the couch.

1. Organized Sports

Neighborhood pickup games can be difficult to organize, but your kids will enjoy many great benefits when they participate in organized youth sports. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, playing sports is a great way for kids to become well-rounded students. It’s excellent for making new friends, and it teaches them the value of teamwork, good sportsmanship, and fair play.

2. Geocaching

Geocaching has been a popular activity for people of all ages since GPS technology became available for public use in 2000. The geocaching app is free to download, and there are currently over 3 million geocaches to hunt for in almost 200 countries throughout the world. There are geocaches available in varying degrees of difficulty, including thousands of caches created specifically for kids. There are also mystery caches that require hunters to solve a challenging puzzle in order to get the final coordinates.

3. Bird Watching

If your kids enjoy taking trips to the zoo, why not encourage them to explore the wildlife in their own neighborhood? Even if you live in a metropolitan area, it’s easy to spot a wide variety of birds anywhere you go. A bird feeder and birdbath will encourage birds to stop by for a visit, and your kids can identify all of the colorful birds that are indigenous to your area. Help your kids locate bird identification guides at the library, or download them from the internet so that they can learn more information about their feathered friends.

4. Stargazing

Outdoor activities for kids don’t have to end when the sun goes down, and people have been gazing at the stars for centuries. It’s easy to identify major constellations such as Orion and the Big Dipper on a clear summer night, but it certainly doesn’t stop there! Be sure to check out all of the activities and resources at NASA Kids’ Club, and help your junior astronomers download their choice of several free star charts and astronomy apps to assist them in identifying planets and constellations in the night sky.

5. Rock Collecting

Children enjoy skipping rocks, and they spend plenty of time looking for the right stones to throw. But some kids get so preoccupied looking for the perfect rock that they never make it to the pond at all! Rockhounding is a fun and rewarding hobby, and it’s a terrific way to help your kids learn more about geology. Just be sure that they know not to remove rocks from public parks or from private property without the owner’s permission. You can also download and print a free guide that includes rockhounding rules and regulations on the USDA Forest Service website.

6. Planting a Garden

It’s often challenging to get young people to eat a balanced diet, but they’ll be much more motivated to eat vegetables when they start growing their own. Gardening lets kids have fun playing in the dirt while they learn about concepts such as photosynthesis and soil acidity. Your kids can also help you create a beautiful pollinator garden in the yard for the whole family to enjoy. Volunteers at community gardens love working with young people, and farmer’s markets in your area are a great way for your budding entrepreneurs to earn some spending money when they have a bumper crop.

7. Photo Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts have been a popular activity for generations, and kids always enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Your kids probably already have way too much stuff. Fortunately, they can collect all the items on their list by taking pictures! You won’t have to worry about your kids taking items that belong to others without permission, and they won’t have to keep up with the items once the hunt is over. You can also create themed scavenger hunts to coincide with seasonal events and think up new versions of “I Spy” or the license plate game on road trips.

8. Sidewalk Art

If your kids enjoy drawing and coloring, make sure to pick up a box of sidewalk chalk for their art supply box. The great thing about sidewalk art is that your kids have much more space to bring their creations to life, and they have the ability to interact with their artwork. You can show them how to draw a hopscotch court or encourage them to develop games of their own. You can also find recipes online to help your kids make their own chalk using tempera paint and common household ingredients.

9. Outdoor Crafts

Kids love to create, and it’s easy to give them some space of their own in the yard. All that you need is a folding table and a few tubs for them to store their art supplies. Be sure to hang on to some large appliance boxes for them to craft their own clubhouse and play areas. You can also encourage them to let their imagination run wild using sticks, leaves, and other found objects as they design and construct. Giving your kids a space to create outdoors is a great way to keep the inside of your home a little cleaner, but be sure that your kids remember to pack up all of their art supplies and put them away when they’re done.

10. Volunteer Cleanup Projects

We all love our communities and neighborhoods, but littering is a problem almost everywhere you go. Many communities organize cleanup projects a few times a year, and they’re an excellent way to reclaim our roads, parks, and public areas. You and your kids can look for upcoming projects in your area and make it an event for the whole family. And if you don’t see any upcoming events in your community, don’t be afraid to reach out to community organizers and offer to plan and organize one with your kids! You’ll all get some exercise together, and your kids will experience the joy of giving back.

Outdoor recreation keeps kids active and entertained, but it takes a little bit of effort and imagination to get started. Be sure to take an active interest in the ways that your kids enjoy spending their leisure time, and ask them how you can help them plan constructive and fun recreational activities this summer. Give us a call any time at (856) 983-8827 for more great ideas, and be sure to schedule your free no-obligation tour of our summer day camp located in the beautiful Delaware Valley. Our safe kids’ camp is located at 136 Paragon Ave, Marlton, NJ 08053. Contact us online any time to schedule a tour!