The lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us. Research shows that kids gain weight twice as fast during summer as compared to the school year, so take the “lazy”out of this season and get your kids moving with fun outdoor games and activities. No boredom this summer!


spray bottle

FILL IT UP: Whether you want to liven up a backyard bash or help your gang cool off on a hot day, this fast-action game will make quite a splash. Divide kids into teams of two. Have teammates stand six feet from one another, one holding a small cup with a Ping-Pong ball in it and the other a water-filled spray bottle. On “go,”players with bottles try to be the first to squirt enough water into their teammate’s cup to float out the ball. Keep a bucket of water nearby for refilling. If teammates get closer than six feet, they must dump out the water in the cup and start over.


hightop tennis shoe

SNEAKER SOUP: A simple, fun game to keep the whole family moving. Start with a box or laundry basket for each team and an area safe for shoeless running. Next you’ll need a starting line, a designated turnaround point and at least two teams. The first player on each team runs to their team’s box, takes off their shoes, puts them in the box, and runs back to tag the next teammate, who does the same. When the entire team is shoeless, the players take turns running to the box, putting their own shoes back on, and running back. The first team to finish, with all footwear on, wins!



BOB & WEAVE: Build an obstacle course! Do you have a bunch of old boxes and other weird things clogging up your garage? Most of us do. Put all of those random items to good use by staging an obstacle course for the whole family. Place everything in the backyard—make it messy and fun, then grab a stopwatch and see who can make it through the fastest.


shells in jar

VACATION IN A JAR: Rather than letting the rocks and shells you so carefully collect on vacation get lost in a drawer among paper clips and thumbtacks, put the found objects in jars and turn them into art pieces. A small vessel, like a little mason jar, requires only a few items to fill it. Label the jars with the place and date and line them up on a shelf; you’ll have a simple and colorful time capsule display of trips past.


A SUMMER TO EXPLORE: YMCA of Austin Summer Camps are the perfect antidote to summer inactivity. The YMCA of Austin helps kids stay healthy, make friends, gain self-confidence and make memories. The YMCA of Austin offers 20 camp locations throughout Travis and Hays counties for kids ages 4-16: Sports Camp, Adventure Camp, Theme Camp and Kinder Camp. Visit for details or call 512-236-9622 to find the locations nearest you.


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