Create. Play. Travel. Creative Family Ideas and Pacific Northwest Family Lifestyle

Creative Family Ideas in the Pacific Northwest

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Creative Outdoor Kids Activities

Stay-at-home moms know it can be challenging to entertain kids during the summer, school breaks, afternoons and evenings. My kids often ask me to play with them or give them an idea of something to do. We limit our kids’ screen time and we encourage them to play together independently. These simple kids activities are creative and engaging for a variety of ages.

Easy homemade sidewalk chalk paint

Make Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Paint

Homemade sidewalk chalk paint is simple to whip up using any color of food coloring. You can even add glitter or fragrances if you want. We made simple colored chalk paint and my kids loved painting the sidewalk in front of our house! Be careful to use mild, water-soluble ingredients that won’t damage your sidewalk or driveway.

DIY Chalk Paint Ingredients

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
2 tbsp. baking soda
3-4 drops food coloring

First, mix together the water, cornstarch and baking soda until fully combined. The baking soda helps keep the cornstarch from getting all goopy. Next, divide the white paint up into small containers. Finally, add several drops of food coloring to make each color of paint. Stir each container of paint until the color is fully incorporated and even. You can find our full sidewalk chalk paint instructions here.

DIY sidewalk chalk paint


Go On a Backyard Scavenge Hunt

Make backyard play even more intriguing by sending your kids on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Kids love exploring and discovering new things. You can make a game out of finding things around the yard! Create a list of “treasures” for your kids to find and offer a prize for completing the outdoor scavenger hunt. Possible treasures could include an interesting rock, tiny shells, a bug, or colorful flowers.

Scavenger Hunt Treasure List

  • big pinecones
  • caterpillars
  • quartz
  • interesting rocks
  • feathers
  • berries
  • old bird nests
  • flowers
  • bugs
  • worms
  • textured bark
  • oversized leaves
  • seed pods
  • herbs
  • shells

Outdoor scavenger hunt for kids

Play with a Stomp Rocket

My kids and their cousins love playing with stomp rockets. They’ll play for a hour, fitting the foam rockets onto the stomp launcher and jumping on it to make them launch into the sky. My kids take turns launching their rockets, which is good practice sharing with friends and waiting for a turn. Stomp rockets also encourage kids to get exercise while having fun!

Stomp Rocket kids' backyard play activities

Have a Snack Picnic

My kids also enjoy having picnics for snack time. They love when I join them, which becomes sweet quality time together. Sometimes we make creative kids snacks for our picnic and other times we just bring a bag of pretzels outside. We look up at the sky or play with bubbles. Backyard picnics quickly transform chilling in your backyard into a memorable afternoon activity!

Have a backyard snack picnic with kids

Learn New Skills with a Balance Bike

My kids often sleep better if they burn some energy by playing outside. They often jump on our trampoline and ride their bikes. My two-year-old is too young to ride a standard bike, but she is learning new skills with her pink balance bike.

Balance bikes allow your child to skip the training wheel stage and begin learning bike riding skills from the start. Children as young as 18 months can ride independently on a balance bike and transition to a pedal bike as early as 3 years old.

Balance bikes help kids learn bike riding skills from the start

I think that balance bikes are a great learning tool for young kids. With a balance bike, a child learns skills of balancing and maneuvering that will transfer over to riding a big-kid bike.

Kids can essentially walk their balance bike along and use their feet to push forward or slow down. The bike only goes as fast as a child wants to! Our kids completely skipped the training wheel stage of learning how to ride a bike and quickly transitioned from a balance bike to riding a standard bike.

Balance bikes quickly teach kids bike riding skills

Kids yard activities The Shrunks trampoline pool

Kiddy Pool Trampoline

I always love finding kids yard activities that help kids burn off energy. This fun trampoline pool from The Shrunks doubles as a bouncy surface for kids to play AND a kids’ swimming pool when you flip it over. It’s not as bouncy as a standard trampoline but my kids love rolling around, sliding off of this inflatable trampoline, and jumping around in the yard. We used our inflatable bouncer pool in the basement all winter and into the summer outdoors and the quality has held up well. We regularly inflate it and check it for any occasional leaks, which are easy to patch with a piece of duct tape or the patch repair kit it comes with. Jumping and splashing are both fun kids yard activities!

The Shrunks fun trampoline pool for kids

These activities help me a lot to keep my kids busy at home throughout the day. I think it’s important to spend time with my kids, and also teach my kids how to play by themselves. Each day with my kids is an adventure!



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Nathanielle
Nathanielle
2 years ago

These are really cool activities. They at least help them be out of the house to play, which is something that kids don’t do enough of these days.

Candy Rachelle
Candy Rachelle
2 years ago

Thank goodness my kids are past the age of trying to find something to do to fill their time. But that homemade paint looks really interesting. Something I would want to do if they were younger.

Summerklassy
Summerklassy
2 years ago

Awww so cute i dont have kids but i can do this with my little cousins ??? make rainbows its good and sometimes they help me with my plants ???

Tara
Tara
2 years ago

I’m 31 and I want to sidewalk paint! that looks so fun!

Luci
Luci
2 years ago

Really great outdoor activities. I’ll have to make the sidewalk chalk paint for my niece and nephews, they would love that.

Kiwi
Kiwi
2 years ago

I like the homemade sidewalk paint. When I was younger I got in so much trouble for using real paint that was bad for the neighborhood.

kristal
kristal
2 years ago

That is so prefect of a idea to put the paint inside of the cupcake tin, I love to have fun outside planned.

Brigette Collins
Brigette Collins
2 years ago

These are great ideas! I really want to make that sidewalk chalk paint! I think I would enjoy it more than my kids lol

Bea
Bea
2 years ago

I don’t have kids yet! But I love all those ideas, and the muffin tin for paint is so smart!!

Shell
Shell
2 years ago

The homemade chalk paint looks like so much fun for the kiddos!!

Tanvi Rastogi
Tanvi Rastogi
2 years ago

These are all such great ideas. I think side walk painting is something I would enjoy even as an adult 🙂

❥ tanvii.com

jin
jin
2 years ago

These are all wonderful ideas for the little ones! I don’t have kids yet, but I’ll surely keep these in mind. They really are great activities!

Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
Megan @ Ginger Mom & the Kindle Quest
2 years ago

These are great ideas! I have wanted to make sidewalk paint for my kids forever 🙂

Nicole Flint
Nicole Flint
2 years ago

These are great ideas to keep them busy and active!

Cia Black
Cia Black
2 years ago

We’ve done the sidewalk chalk but I never thought to put into a cupcake pan, That would have made things easier than the paper cups and the children fighting over the colors. Balance bikes are so cool. I didn’t discover them until my 3rd child so I was a little… Read more »

Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms
2 years ago

These are such fun ideas! We will have to try the chalk paint!

Safia
Safia
2 years ago

These are so great. I must try some of these. Especially the DIY chalk – brilliant idea.