Summer Fun in a Box

I would like to thank Grandma Kathy from Elk Ridge, Utah, for the basis of this idea!

Have you heard of or participated in a progressive dinner party? Where you go to one home for the hors d oeuvres, another home for the salad, another for the main course, and yet another for the dessert? This activity is similar in that you progress from one spot to another spot doing fun things at each place.

To prepare for this activity, collect boxes that have lids or that have flaps to fold to make it a sealed box. Gather the necessary equipment. Print the directions that go on the outside of the box and tape them to the boxes. Print up the inside of the box directions and put them inside each box along with the equipment. Put the lid on the box.

Write a number on the outside of the box. The numbering should be in the order in which you want to do the activity.

The object is to go to one destination and do an activity, go to another destination for another activity, and repeat until all of the activities have been completed – and of course to have lots of fun in the process!

Here are sample box ideas, the instructions to write on the outside of the box, the equpment that goes inside the box, and what to do at the destination.

Box #1 (destination: grandma’s driveway)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

Go to where a car may drive
That’s hard and wide and gray.
Draw a picture with this chalk
Before you go away.

Instructions inside the box: Use the chalk to draw a picture on the sidewalk. When the pictures are completed, Grandma will think of a number between one and twenty. The grandchildren will say a number. The person who is the closest to that number will read the directions on box #2.

Equipment needed: sidewalk chalk

Box #2 (destination: a park)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

Before it gets dark, quickly go to the park.
The swings you shall not ride.
Nor ride on the thing that goes ‘round and is merry
But hurry and go to the slide.

Instructions inside the box: Use masking tape to make a starting line about half way up the slide. Make a finish line near the end of the slide. Each grandchild chooses a matchbox car from the box. Pair grandchildren and have them race their cars down the slide. The winner of each pair will race against another winner until there is a champion. The grand finale winner reads the directions on box #3. (Grandchildren can keep their matchbox car.)

Equipment needed: masking tape, a matchbox car for each player

Box #3 (destination: another spot in the park)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

Go someplace where there’s lots of room
And nothing’s in the way.
Where something through the air can zoom
And outside you must stay!

Instructions inside the box: Find a spot at the park that has lots of room. Place the target on the ground. Determine the distance that players have to stand away from the target. Each player has a water balloon and takes a turn trying to hit the target. The person who comes closest to the target gets to read the next box.

(If possible, have 2-3 balloons for each child. Or, you could have a beanbag for them to toss. If you have beanbags, you can spend more time on this activity by having the grandchildren move further and further away from the target, or toss the beanbag with their back turned to the target, or stand with their back to the target and toss the beanbag through their legs.)

Equipment needed: a piece of paper with a bull’s eye on it, water balloons or bean bags for the grandchildren to toss

Box #4 (destination: grocery store)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

You can drive.
You can walk.
You can bike.
You can hop.
Now you go
To a grocery shop.

Instructions inside the box: buy bubble gum. Then, find an appropriate place to have a bubble blowing contest. The winner reads the next box.

Box #4 (Destination: local swimming pool – grandma has asked the grandkids in advance of this activity to bring their swimsuits)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

You can splish.
You can splash.
When you’re set
You’ll get wet
In your suit!

Instructions in the box: go to the local swimming pool. Swim for one hour (or however long grandma decides). Once you are out, the youngest grandchild (who can read) will read the last box.

Box #5 (destination: someplace that sells ice cream cones)
(Directions written on the outside of the box)

There’s vanilla and chocolate and peppermint, too.
The colors might be yellow – or some might be blue.
Your tongue will go up, your treat will go down.
Find the coolest place in town.

Instructions in the box: go to a place that sells ice cream cones. Enjoy the cone, and thank grandma for a fun summer activity!

Now that you have the gist of this activity, you can personalize it. You do not have to use my examples. Adapt the destinations and activities according to your situation, the age of your grandchildren, and the destinations that are available to you. You can have as many or as few boxes as you would like or have time for.

Here’s to summer fun in a box!
Digi-Gram