It's really starting to get hot out there. That blast of summer heat when you step outside makes staying inside a cool, air-conditioned room with a good book or movie sound all the more appealing.
Still, sooner or later one family member or another is bound to get antsy, and back outdoors you go.
To make the heat more bearable, check out these creative Patch Picks on fun summer activities in your own backyard.
Patch Picks: Five Fun Backyard Activities
- Build a fort — This is easier than it sounds. Use materials from around the house, like old moving boxes (refrigerator boxes are the best), sticks and rocks from the yard, and maybe a hammer and nail or two, though leave the heavy construction to the adults. Take the kids along to to choose the perfect design for cheap 'window' curtains and make the fort your own.
- Bury a time capsule — Conduct a family treasure hunt around the house to find unique, interesting or surprising items to capture in time. Pick ones that best represent either your family or the year 2011, then put in a stainless steel container with a tight lid (you can find one at ). Bury in your favorite backyard spot, but don't forget to check it in 10 years!
- Play with water — This is an easy one. You could have a monster water balloon fight, or have the kids invent a game to play in the sprinklers or with a hose. You could just fill up the kiddie pool too. Check for squirt guns and water balloons.
- Play old school games, with a twist — Get your children to come up with a new version of an old game. This can be achieved by combining two games, like using a frisbee in place of a bean bag and trying to throw it into a basket from across the yard. The should have everything you need.
- Make your backyard an archeological site — Without letting the kids see, paint or draw on some old clay pots to make them look like ancient designs. Put them in a bag, then gently break them with a hammer into several pieces. Bury them in the yard, then have the kids find and put them back together. has a wide selection of affordable pots if you don't have any.