Not that he is counting, but my 10 year old informs me there is only a month left of school.

I think school is really important, but I also think summer vacation is amazing. Holidays, beach, hot weather (perhaps), sand, fun. And while I think kids today get a little ripped off – they get out of school and homework, but then are in camps, which are often structured and don’t give enough time to just play – I am still a firm believer kids need that time off just to unwind and be.

And so while many children don’t get to experience that “I’m bored” moment of summer, where they are then forced to find something to do, coming up with games that involve their imagination, there are still the weekends and those long summer nights to get outside and figure it out.

And there are 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside ($19.95) thanks to Firefly Books.

This is an updated book and filled with both black and white illustrations and colour photographs. Ideas include water balloon pinata (I have done this before. Super fun, although be careful with children with sticks. Make sure the others stand back.) Create an underwater viewer using an old plastic drink bottle, make a sand ball run and go for a nature walk and make a duct tape bracelet, collecting berries, flowers and leaves you find. I do like this idea, but I think it’s important to note you don’t pick flowers you find in the woods or provincial parks. In those places, the only thing you are supposed to take are pictures.

There are some really great ideas this book, including some I am going to be using at my upcoming family reunion such as blindfolded water gun fight and a new type of dodge ball that uses a variety of balls, except cricket and golf. Ha!

Our summer also includes a lot of road trips – weekends away and at least two different summer vacation destinations that require travelling. We spend a lot of time in the car.

I always looking for things my son can do that doesn’t involve technology.

Chunky illustrations of cars, planes, boats, busses and compasses
Play road trip bingo or draw on dry erase cards for car fun.

We – being my son, I was driving after all – recently spent an hour playing Lonely Planet Kids Games on the Go ($17.09, Raincoast Books), which is this neat little pack that includes four games – road trip bingo, draw a skyline, a maze race and a word search. It also comes with 40 blank dry erase cards and a dry erase marker.

We had fun spotting a traffic cone – which was harder to find then expected, we are in construction season – an orange car (there was only one in a sea of red and silver) and an animal road sign (deer). However, I was a little surprised there were so few created games and 40 blank sheets. Why would you need 40 sheets if you can erase them? My other complaint is that everything fits in the package except for the marker, which means I am going to lose it before we can play again.

A Firefly Book and Raincoast Books provided the items for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.