Summer is just a couple of weeks away, and kids everywhere are looking to get outside and play. For many parents, they’re still balancing a new life of working from home and taking care of the kids. As you continue juggling multiple full-time roles, we’ll continue providing new, fresh ideas for how you can make your kids’ day all about play.

In ‘Playing 9-to-5’ we’ll give you eight hour-long activities your kids can do (with or without you) to help fill their day with play. We’ve designed these activities to be flexible so you can add in some time for schoolwork, snack times, or whatever else they need to do. Each activity can last just one day, or stretch over multiple days, whatever works best for you and your family! We’ll get through this together with the power of play!

1st Hour

9AM: Wash a Car – Mom and Dad’s, a Cozy Coupe® or both!

It’s every parents dream to convince their kids that doing chores can be fun (it’s our dream anyway). Washing the car might just be that your kids actually like doing. Get out the hose, some soap, and a few sponges and let them have a blast spraying and soaking the car (and each other). Of course, they might want to wash their Cozy Coupe too. If that’s the case, get your kids a Wacky Wash™ inflatable car wash for the ultimate home car wash! Try having your kids wash Mom’s car one day, Dad’s car the next, their Cozy Coupe, their bike, and anything else that needs a good wash to stretch this activity out over multiple days.

2nd Hour

10AM: Build a Butterfly Feeder for Your Backyard

If you’ve planted a garden or flowers in your backyard, you’ve probably noticed some butterflies flying around. If you’re looking for a simple way to attract even more butterflies, check out this awesome D.I.Y. Butterfly Feeder from Angie’s List. All you need is a jar, a sponge, a pan, some sugar, and water and you’re got everything you need to make your own butterfly feeder. A great way to stretch this activity out over multiple days is to build multiple feeders to place around your yard, or to build the butterfly feeders one day, decorate them the next, and then create the butterfly feed.

3rd Hour

11AM: Play Giant Ring Toss

If your family enjoyed building their own backyard mini golf course, then they’ll definitely like creating their own game of giant ring toss. With just a 18” by 18” board for the base, a few dowel rods, and a power drill, you can build your own ring toss game. You can even make your own rings (if you don’t already have some) using rope, duct tape, and some glue. Making your own giant ring toss is a great arts and crafts project that should take a few hours or days to build, and then your kids can play to their hearts’ content. For younger kids, try attaching plastic cups to the base board instead and have them throw ping-pong balls into the cups.

4th Hour

12PM: Make a Cool, Refreshing Treat

When your kids are running around in the sun all summer long, it’s always handy to have a cool, refreshing treat ready for them. If you’re looking for a homemade treat for your kids (that they can also help make) check out these awesome recipes for homemade popsicles from Country Living. They’ve even got great recipes for homemade ice cream and homemade yogurt if you’re looking for a different type of treat. These treats are great because they’re relatively easy to make (as long as you’ve got the necessary ingredients), and then you can enjoy them the next day! Try making a new treat or recipe every day and see what sort of flavor combinations your kids can dream up.

5th Hour

1PM: Decorate Your Playhouse

Does your kids’ Cape Cottage Playhouse™ or other playhouse need a new look? Why not turn redecorating it into an activity that you and your kids can do together? For parents with younger kids, chalk paint is a great way to let your kids decorate their playhouse without it being permanent. Stretch the decorating out over multiple hours or days by having your kids decorate the inside too, plant some flower beds out front of their playhouse, or adding other personal touches to it.

6th Hour

2PM: Experiment with a New Sport: Kick Croquet

Mix up your kids’ backyard activities with a fun new sport like Kick Croquet. Take some hula hoops, pool noodles, or even wooden dowels and make some gigantic croquet goals to place around your yard and give each of them a different number. Have your kids start by kicking a soccer ball through the first goal and then proceed through the course in numerical order. It’s that easy and is a great activity to play all summer long.

7th Hour

3PM: Weave a Spider’s Web Rope Course in Your Backyard

If you’re looking to duplicate the experience of summer camp in your backyard, why not try building a Spider’s Web or other form of obstacle course for your kids to play with. To make your own spider’s web, weave some pieces of rope between two tall objects, like some posts or two pieces of your Real Wood Adventures playset, so that it looks like a spider’s web. Once it’s completed, create a story (for example: your kids are adventurers trekking through the jungle) about why your kids have stumbled across the web. Encourage them to climb through the rope, but not on the rope itself, with each of your kids going through a different gap in the web. Bonus points if they find fun, silly ways to climb through like somersaulting, crab walking, or anything else they can think up. Once your spider’s web is built, it’s a great activity for your kids to do whenever they want!

8th Hour

4PM: Create a Water Balloon Piñata and Pop it!

If your kids have a wooden playset like one of our Real Wood Adventures playsets in the backyard, we’ve got a great water game they can play with it. Make your own water balloon piñata by attaching a sheet of wood, plastic, or cardboard to the end of some rope (put a small hole in the center, push the rope through, and then knot the rope). Once you’ve filled your water balloons, attach them to the base you’ve created by poking small holes in the base, pushing the knotted end of the water balloon through, and then taping the knotted end to the back. Sling the other end of the rope over your swings or monkey bars and hoist it up. Your kids can use the bat from their TotSports™ T-Ball Set or Triple Play Splash T-Ball™ to pop the balloons. Best of all: once you’ve built your water balloon piñata, your kids can play whenever they want!

We did it! We made it through another workday, together! Hopefully these suggestions helped you and your kids fill the seemingly endless hours at home. If you’ve got other activities for kids that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them! 

Make sure to snap pictures as your kids go about their day of play, and don’t forget to tag us when you post (@OfficialLittleTikes on Instagram, @LittleTikes everywhere else on social media)! 

Ready for more? We will be back soon with the all-new Little Tikes Camp [email protected] This virtual summer camp will have all sorts of activities, games, and more ways to play—and some special things especially for you as parents to stay sane! Check out our blog for more information in the coming weeks.

At Little Tikes, we don’t just make toys, we make play. Looking for more great active play ideas? Check out www.LittleTikes.com for all our latest play tips & tricks!