Summer is winding down. Time to celebrate! Here are 10 end-of-summer ideas that can be educational (or just fun) to celebrate the end of summer:
1. Make a backyard tent.
Back in the day (way back), we always had a backyard tent. Ours was homemade, of course. We simply put old lawn chairs on their sides in an interesting pattern and threw a blanket over the top.
There are many ways to create a backyard tent — but creating the tent is half of the fun!
- Use an old, large cardboard box. Your kids can draw the doors and windows on the box, which you can then cut out for them.
- Grab three old brooms or broom handles and tie them together at the top to create a teepee. Pin a blanket around the structure at the top.
- If weather is a problem, use the kitchen table and an oversized tablecloth to create an indoor play tent.
- If all else fails, end-of-summer is a great time to purchase a premade play tent!
2. Melt s’mores over the campfire.
Sure, you can do it the old-fashioned way with chocolate, graham crackers, and marshmallows.
Or try the newer (less messy) way: Campfire Cones!
3. Create a backyard scavenger hunt.
We love these things:
- General Scavenger Hunt Ideas
- Bug Scavenger Hunt
- Geography Scavenger Hunt
- Scaventure Kids
A game where you have to do something with what you find.
4. Hang up a tire swing.
I cannot count the hours I spent on a tire swing in the summer! Since there tends to not be a shortage of old tires around, it is probably best to use those first. But if you cannot locate one, you can purchase a new one online.
The easiest way to hang your new tire is by using a rope. Use a good knot!
You’ll find complete instructions at BobVila.com.
5. Make a butterfly garden.
Easy to do and fun to watch.
- Simple ideas at the National Wildlife Federation.
- More complicated flower garden your kids can help you plant from the University of Minnesota extension.
6. Make a fruity snack.
Fruity snacks are often best eaten outdoors! How about a Watermelon Butterfly to go with your new butterfly garden?
Speaking of watermelon…watermelon science, anyone?
7. Bird watch.
How many birds can you spot from your backyard tent? Use this birds checklist from the National Wildlife Federation to keep track.
8. Enjoy a favorite family read aloud.
Can you all fit in the tent? Or around the tire swing? Or around the campfire eating s’more cones? Or maybe just under the stars by flashlight.
- Pick a title by E. B. White.
- Homer Price by Robert McCloskey is a great end-of-summer read.
- Pick a favorite from the Little House series.
- Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher to explore the outdoor life on a farm.
- How about a shipwrecked-on-a-desert-island title?
9. Commemorate summer.
Forget the What-I-Did-This-Summer essay. Here are other inventive ways to record the fun:
- Summer Memory Jar
- Summer Photographic Wrap-up
- Have your kids pick just one event that says it all to write about and illustrate.
10. Look ahead.
Have each child create a personal fall bucket list. What types of things are they looking forward to?
And don’t forget to look ahead yourself. What is the one big thing you want to accomplish this fall?
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking: Rejuvenate This Summer.
34 Things to Do With Your Preschooler
Lots of ideas here that will work for end-of-summer.
12 Ways to Keep Learning Over the Summer
Anything you didn’t get to?
This series includes many ideas that will make a great end-of-summer project: