5 Ideas for Unplugged Summer Play

5 Ideas for UNPLUGGED Summer Play {SimpleKids.net}

Please note that there are some affiliate links in this post.  Thanks!

For today’s post, I’m writing about some of our favorite Summer Fun Unplugged Play Ideas:  the things that have been keeping my four little kiddos occupied and happy, that don’t require a power cord or batteries.

While I certainly don’t mind the occasional movie marathon day or (my son’s favorite) Minecraft night, I prefer that my kids get plenty of unplugged, child-powered play opportunities.

The Summer is a perfect time for some of these sweet ideas:

1. The box fort is a big hit.  Back in March the box was mainly used as a special reading spot but today, thanks to a few more larger boxes, it is growing into a SUPER fort!

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Unplugged Play: Solar Oven S’mores

SKsmoresTOPThis was one of our favorite activities last summer and since the kids and I are preparing to kick off Fleck Family Backyard Summer Nature Camp 2014, I thought I’d rerun this post and share this great Summer resource with all of you in case you’d like to have a backyard camp with your kids this year, too.
Yesterday the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and it was the perfect day to kick off the Fleck Family Backyard Summer Nature Camp!

We’re using the ecurriculum I’m a contributor to and an affiliate for, the At-Home Summer Nature Camp ecurriculum from A Natural Nester .

There are 8 weeks of activities:

  • kid-friendly lessons
  • outdoor activities
  • indoor projects
  • arts & crafts
  • recipes
  • field trip ideas
  • book & media suggestions
  • and more!

The nature camp ebook comes in a full-color PDF you can read on your computer screen or tablet, or print out. I have emailed the pdf to my Kindle account, so we’ve got a paper print out in a binder and I’ve got a copy on my Kindle.  We’re all set and ready to go!

Yesterday, to kick off the week on a sweet note, we chose the Pizza Box Solar Oven S’mores activity. Here’s the Fleck family take on this fun and tasty outdoor science activity:

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Simple (and Frugal) Fun: Dressing Up a Duct Tape Knight


The following post originally appeared in 2010.  I’m republishing it today with a few updates.  Note: there are affiliate links in this post. Thanks!

If you are a regular reader of my other blog, then you have probably noticed that one of my family’s favorite crafting materials  is duct tape.  We love creating with this sturdy, sticky, colorful tape.


Duct Tape Knight

We were inspired by one of my daughter’s favorite reads, Igraine the Brave and a booklet from CurrClick, The Shield and Buckler booklet.  Our own “Igraine” and her little brother, Sir Max the Bold, were in need of some knightly attire.

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Unplugged Play: a Color Hunt Walk

color walk rainbow

Note:  there are affiliate links in this post.  Thanks!

This past Summer, as part of the Backyard Science Investigations course from the kids and I discovered these great printable color wheels and the idea of looking specifically for colors while we were outdoors.

We had a lot of fun with this activity and I knew the idea of looking for colors in nature would be a great discovery tool for Autumn, too.


As it happens, we”ve been doing a lot of walking in recent months, discovering that is is a lovely way to get around our small town.  That means we”ve been going to some of the same places on foot as we”re out and about and we”ve been able to observe them as the months go by.

As the seasons have changed, we”ve been observing what things are different and what things stay the same on our walks.  I”ve been impressed with what the kids notice.

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Unplugged Play: Paper Plate Farm


This Unplugged Play idea comes to you entirely from the imagination of my five year old daughter Lucy.

She had been awfully quiet one recent afternoon, working steadily on something at our crafts table, engrossed for a long time with her project.  When I went to go peek at what she was up to, I discovered that my animal loving girl had been creating a farm made out of paper plates.

(Proving, once again, that you just never know what kind of crafty magic is hiding in ordinary household objects, waiting for the mind of a child to release it.)

She was inspired by a recent trip to my parents’ house, where we took a drive through Indiana farm country one afternoon and saw all kinds of animals.

Of course my animal loving girl, who tells me that she is either going to be a farmer or “the Pioneer Woman” when she grows up, wanted to bring a little bit of that home with her.

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