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10 After Dusk Summer Activities

Toss that remote because it’s time to get outdoors. From June to August, no one wants to turn in early. So why not spend more time with your family playing some fun activities.

1. Catching Fireflies. Use a clear container with a lid and scoop up the fireflies with a net. Be careful not to squish them! Observe your bugs for a while; then be certain to let them go before you turn in for the night.

2. Shadow Puppet Theatre. Hang a sheet from a clothesline and put a light behind it. Use common household props, stuffed animals and even hand shadows. Have your child go behind the sheet and enjoy the show.

3. Spooky Stories. Scare family members by creating unique ghost stories using family names and locations.

4. Summer Stars. On a clear night, look up. One easily recognizable star pattern is the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper’s seven stars are part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear.

5. Banana Melts. Slice a banana and place in tinfoil. Add chocolate, marshmallows and seal up the foil. Place in the coals of a fire or in the oven and enjoy outside.

6. Flashlight Tag. One person is ‘it’ while the other players hide. The ‘it’ person must find the others using the flashlight before they race back to the safety of home base.

7. Night Creatures. When the sun goes down, some animals and insects are just waking up. Tell your child to shine a flashlight back and forth across the lawn. Flashes of light in the grass indicate fireflies, glowing dots are beetle grubs and yellow orbs belong to raccoons.

8. I’m Going into Space. The first player begins with something starting with an ‘a.’ They say, “I’m going into space and I am bringing...” The second player repeats the first item and adds a new one beginning with ‘b.’ Play is continued until all 26 letters are used.

9. Ghost Tag. One person is ‘it.’ The rest of the players stand still with their eyes closed. The ghost moves silently behind the players. If tapped, they must sit down. If the player suspects a ghost is standing behind them, they must ask, “Is there a ghost behind me? before being tapped. If they are right, that person becomes a ghost, too.

10. Camp Songs. Dust off your vocal chords and sing. For song ideas see Ultimate Camp Resource:

Anita is a trained Montessori early childhood educator. She is the author of Explore The Solar System: 25 Great Projects Activities Experiments with Nomad Press. Learn more at  

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