10 Simple Pleasures Kids Will Love this Summer

10 simple summer pleasures your kids will enjoy!

When I think back on my childhood summers, it’s the simple pleasures I remember most. Running barefoot in the grass. Romping with my dog in the backyard. Reading my favorite book in a shady spot under our huge cottonwood tree. Summer is the perfect time to unplug and savor the small things. Here are 10 easy ways to enjoy summer with kids:


1. Eat Fresh Berries

Not only are they naturally sweet and delicious, berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber. Your kids will love eating them plain, sprinkling them on top of ice cream, or using them to decorate 4th of July cupcakes. For an easy treat, let your child frost a large sugar cookie with cream cheese icing and then top with blueberries, sliced strawberries and raspberries.

Learn How to Grow Strawberries


2. Get Wet

There’s no better way to cool off and relax on a hot day than taking a dip at a local pool or visiting  your favorite beach. If you don’t have easy access to a swimming spot, let your kids run through the sprinklers. They will love dashing and diving through the cool spray, and your lawn gets a drink, too. Afterward, bundle the kids up in large beach towels and let them eat Popsicles in the sun.


3. Grab an Ice Cream Cone

Nothing says summer like an ice cream cone. Head to your favorite ice cream shop and let your children get a scoop of their favorite flavor. This is the perfect outing after playtime at the park or on a warm summer’s night when you want to kick back and relax. Need some inspiration? Check out our list of favorite spots for Frozen Treats to Beat the Heat in San Diego.

If you have a homemade ice cream maker, try this quick and easy recipe for vanilla ice cream.

Combine:
one pint half and half
1½ teaspoons vanilla
½ cup sugar
Place the mixture in your homemade ice cream maker following its directions, and enjoy!


4. Pitch a Backyard Tent

Children love camping, but going on a camping trip might be a lot of work for you. When you are feeling short on time and energy, pitch a tent in your backyard and enjoy the convenience of having a stocked refrigerator and clean bathrooms just a few steps away. You can grill hot dogs and hamburgers and eat outside on paper plates. Before night falls, the kids can run around the yard playing tag or hide and seek before they settle into their sleeping bags for a peaceful night’s rest.


5. Gaze at the Stars 


Spread blankets on your lawn and head outside with your kids to gaze at the stars on a clear, summer night. To help your kids learn their way around the night sky, visit http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/starfinder/ for instructions on how to make a star finder and play a star finder game.


6. Pack a Picnic


Watch your kids’ eyes light up when you tell them you are going on a picnic. Let them help decide on the perfect spot for the outing, and then involve them in the prep work of making sandwiches, filling water bottles, and helping pack the picnic basket. There’s something special about enjoying simple food outside on a beautiful summer’s day, and your kids will feel proud of themselves for helping make the picnic happen.


7. Plant Flowers

Planting flowers gives your child the perfect excuse to play in the dirt. Native flowers can be a good choice as they use less water and attract birds and butterflies to your garden. Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for a list of recommended native plants. Not sure you have enough space? Get tips for planting a patio garden.


8. Blow Bubbles

Try this easy homemade bubble solution that you can make in minutes.

You will need:
½ cup Joy or Dawn dish detergent (other brands don’t work as well)
5 cups cold water
2 tablespoons glycerin
Carefully measure and stir together the soap and water. Add the glycerin; it helps make the bubbles more durable and last longer. Your children can dip their bubble wands in the mixture, wave the wands around and giggle with delight as bubbles fill the air. Ramp up the fun by making Beaded Bubble Wands!


9. Make Art in the Park

Pack crayons, paper, colored pencils, paints and any other supplies your children might like and then head to the park. Let your kids breathe in the fresh air and exercise their creative muscles, while you relax in the sun.


10. Read a Good Book

One of the best things about summer is that your child can choose books that look fun and interesting rather than reading material assigned at school.  Many libraries have summer reading programs that offer incentives to encourage kids to read throughout the summer. Also reading doesn’t have to be an indoor activity. Encourage your child to find a shady spot outside and delve into a good book.

Check out our guide to Summer Reading Programs or access recommended reading lists from the Association for Library Service to Children at www.ala.org/alsc/booklists

------------------------
As a freelance writer and mother of two, Laura Lane savors summer by eating ice cream as often as possible.

Apple Picking in San Diego 2020

Apple Picking in San Diego 2020

San Diego County apple orchards open for apple picking 2020. Apple-picking season typically starts in September and often ends in mid-October (or when orchards run out of apples). Now is the time to . . .

Read more

Fun Fall Traditions in San Diego

Fun Fall Traditions in San Diego

Traditions create family closeness and make memories that last a lifetime. If your family doesn’t already have fall traditions, try some of these ideas—you’re sure to look forward to them each . . .

Read more

Pumpkin Patches Open in San Diego County 2020

Pumpkin Patches Open in San Diego County 2020

Hey San Diego! Here's your list of pumpkin patches open in San Diego County for 2020. Buy a pumpkin, take some awesome pumpkin photos with the kids, and have a day of family fun. Then visit our cale . . .

Read more

Learning with Pumpkins

Learning with Pumpkins

Play with a Pumpkin! Learning Fun for the Whole Family                      Fall is a time fo . . .

Read more

How to “BOO!” the Neighbors for Halloween

How to “BOO!” the Neighbors for Halloween

“BOOing” friends and neighbors in October is a fun way to spread Halloween cheer and lift everyone’s spirits! Use our free Halloween printables to start (or continue) the trend of secretly dro . . .

Read more

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Spooky Fun: No-Carve Pumpkins

Ready to decorate for Halloween? The kids will love helping with these DIY no-carve pumpkin projects that minimize mess and maximize fun! Thank you to Deborah at www.SuperMoms360.com for sharing her i . . .

Read more

DIY Costume: Sushi Roll

DIY Costume: Sushi Roll

There’s something fishy going on here! Craft your way to an adorable costume this Halloween with this DIY sushi roll. Your child will be the talk of the block when you go trick-or-treating!Materials . . .

Read more

DIY Adaptive Wheelchair Costume

DIY Adaptive Wheelchair Costume

Looking for an adaptive Halloween costume to accommodate a stroller or wheelchair? Have fun designing and making a Funko POP! costume. Use everyday clothing to create a POP! character that fits your . . .

Read more

DIY Costume: Bubble Bath

DIY Costume: Bubble Bath

Transform your wagon into a cute bubble bath costume for squeaky clean fun on Halloween. It’s a perfect way to dress and transport two small kids while you trick-or-treat your way through the neighb . . .

Read more

Corn Mazes in San Diego

Corn Mazes in San Diego

Don’t let the fall season pass you by without a visit to a straw or corn maze right here in San Diego. Be sure to go with a buddy so you don't get lost! Pumpkin Station in Rancho Bernardo and Bon . . .

Read more

Feeling down? Turn

Feeling down? Turn "the Blues" into Family Fun

Whether your family is transitioning from carefree holidays or navigating an unexpected worldwide pandemic,"winter blues" are a real thing -- and as we've learned, can come anytime of year. Don't let . . .

Read more

25 Summer Boredom Busters

25 Summer Boredom Busters

Don’t let summer boredom get the best of your family. Our boredom busters encourage creativity and help families make memories to end the summer with a bang! Go Outside Stargaze. Blow bubbl . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!