Take what's old and make it new for your kids this summer! The BEST memories come from the unexpected joy found in "down time" and that's what summer should be all about. We have gathered a gazillion things for your kids to do — right in your backyard or at a local park or farm. Let the fun begin!

 

SUMMER BACKYARD GAMES

Badminton • Red Light, Green Light • Corn Hole • Monkey in the Middle • Red Rover • Tag • Hide and Seek • Hopscotch • Jump Rope • Simon Says • Marco Polo • Statues • Freeze Dance • Mother, May I? • Kickball • Capture the Flag •

Duck, Duck Goose • Hand-Clap Games (Miss Mary Mack, etc.) • I Spy • Charades • 20 Questions • Croquet • Tether Ball • Frisbee • Wiffle Ball • Limbo • Flashlight Tag • Nature Scavenger Hunt • Twister 

NEW BACKYARD FUN

• Tug-of-War Topple (each kid stands on a milk crate & tugs until someone falls off) • Dig to China (dirt fun with spoons) • Hot Wheels Track (use the dirt from the China dig!) • Make a Fairy Garden • Put on a fashion show • Watch an old, classic movie (outside!) • Put on a play • Write a letter to a friend • Organize a singing contest

• Play restaurant • Play house • Play store • Build a fort • Make slime • Go night swimming with glow sticks • Make an after-dinner ice cream run • have a picnic dinner • catch cireflies • have a block party • make shadow puppets by moonlight • have a family slumber party • catch a night baseball game • Tell campfire stories • hold movie night outside • watch the sun set • set up a giant slip and slide • play wiffle ball with balloons • hold a kiddie car wash

 

SUMMER FARM EXPERIENCES

Gratidude Ranch 7515 Pewitt Road, Leipers Fork 615-863-3664 Every weekend is Family Fun Days (by appointment only) from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Bring a picnic, meet farm pets, learn about programs and enjoy the country.

Hatcher Family Dairy Farm 6561 Arno Road College Grove 615-368-3405 Dairy tours are open through June 12 and may be booked online. Cost is $8 per person; free for ages 1 and younger. Pack a lunch or purchase a sandwich from the dairy store.

Lucky Ladd Farms 4374 Rocky Glade Road Eagleville615-274-3786 Tours through the end of October. Hands-on activities include farm-themed playgrounds, mega slides, wagon rides, pedal karts, tire climbs, toddler town, tractor train, games, mazes and more. Cost is $13 adults; $11 ages 2 - 12; free for ages 1 and younger.

Noble Springs Dairy 3144 Blazer Road Franklin 615-481-9546 Tour the goat dairy, visit the milking parlor, see the cheese-making facility and more. Private tours may be booked through Nov. 30. Cost is $12 at the gate ($10 online); free for ages 2 and younger. Reservations are required.

NATURE-LOVERS

GROW AN ORGANIC GARDEN Saturday, May 19 Warner Park Nature Center Nashville | All ages

HOMESCHOOL PROGRAM: MAGNIFICENT BUTTERFLY METAMORPHOSIS Wednesday, May 23 Historic Mansker’s Station Goodlettsville | Ages 8 - 14

NATURE NERDS Mondays, May 21 Outdoor Adventure Center Smyrna | All ages

NATURE PLAY DAYS Wednesday, May 23 and additional dates in June/July The Wilderness Station Murfreesboro | Ages 1+

URBAN GARDENING FESTIVAL Saturday, May 19 Ellington Agricultural Center Nashville | All ages