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Summertime is synonymous with afternoons spent soaking in the sunshine, meals eaten al fresco and children playing on the lawn — and this year, a lot more time to fill. With many summer camps already having cancelled their programs due to the novel coronavirus, kids are in for a unique summer season, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a slump. Draw inspiration from these easy summer hacks for hours of family fun right at home.

Let Kids Get Crafty in the Kitchen with Fruity Freezer Popsicles

If your little ones have been asking to help out in the kitchen, summer is the perfect time of year to get them involved in cooking. Summer snacks are some of the easiest to make, and the abundance of fresh fruits this time of year means that sweet treats are healthy, too. Fruity freezer popsicles are quick and easy to make — just blend two cups of frozen fruit with one cup of fruit juice (either berry, watermelon or fruit punch) and pour them into a popsicle mold before freezing. Your kids will love biting into their fruity creations!

Have a Water Gun Fight to Create Cool Tie-Dye Tees

Tie-dye has seen a resurgence in popularity this year, and kids are sure to love having a fun water fight while making a fashion statement. Instead of dunking a plain white tee into a bucket of dye, dress your kids in pre-washed cotton t-shirts and let the games begin. Hand them water guns filled with a mixture of food colouring and water (one drop of dye per cup of water). Let them spray each other with the dyed water, then hang their shirts to dry of a one-of-a-kind tee they’ll be proud to wear.

Pro tip: To avoid the dye staining their skin or hair, hose them down while they’re still wet.

Kick it Old School With Family Game Night

Streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ have been a blessing to have to fill in long days, but if you’re tired of watching Moana or Frozen 2 for the umpteenth time, turn the television off and break out a board game for some good old-fashioned family fun. Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue and Yahtzee are a few classics we can’t get enough of.

Let Kids Get Crafty with Easy DIY Projects

If your kids had a blast making their own tie-dye tees, then they’re sure to love these other fun ways for them to get crafty. Set up a dedicated craft station either indoors or out and let them try their hand at making scented bubble rainbows, ice-cream cone keychains, unicorn planters, pool noodle monsters and more. Bonus for them: these DIYs are fun to make and even more fun to use. Bonus for you: it’ll keep them occupied for an afternoon or two.

Make Downtime Magical with a Kids’ Teepee

Whether using it as a cool reading nook, a pint-sized playhouse or simply a cozy spot to take a nap, kids will love hanging out in a teepee. Kids teepees are generally inexpensive, and with countless options for them to choose from — including teepees they can colour, ones strung up with fairy lights, ones that glow in the dark and movie-themed ones — your little ones may just end up creating a “no parents allowed” sign.

Image courtesy of Parenting.com (tie-dye).