You're not the only one trying to keep the kids entertained on these long, hot days. Encourage community and friendship in your neighborhood by including others. Here are some of my favorite ideas to have summer fun with your neighbors:
Build a Fun PVC Sprinkler for less than $15 of supplies, and use it as a Kid Bike/Trike Wash. Kids from all over the neighborhood and ride through the “car wash” to cool off and have fun. Come Together Kids has a great tutorial. If you want to spend more and get really fancy, check out this deluxe version from FamilyFun.
It's easy to find great printable ideas out there in the blogosphere! I love this simple Stroller Scavenger Hunt from Fowl Single File for toddlers and preschoolers who ride while you're walking. Use this printable Shape Scavenger Hunt either indoors or out, courtesy of The Mother Huddle. Put older kids into teams to roam the neighborhood looking for this Nature Scavenger Hunt from The Taylor House.
This Outdoor Twister Game from The DIY Club looks like fun to make with the kids, and then you'll have a huge playspace for everyone to spread out and twist. The paint shouldn't ruin your grass as long as it's just on the surface (not the roots); the grass will grow out in 1-2 weeks and you can mow the color right off. If you want to save time and trouble, don't make your own spinner. Use one from an existing game or if you don't have one–just use two cans with slips of paper (one with the colors and one with the hands/feet).
Neighborhood Chalk Party
Get kids of all ages outside for a Neighborhood Chalk Party like Kate from my kids eat off the floor. She kept it simple with a big bucket of chalk and popsicles, but check out Kids on the Grand for a set of stations like Trace Your Body and Hit the Target. This can be as relaxed or structured as you like. The kids will have a blast either way!
Bubbles and More Bubbles
Seems like every time we go out with our bubble wands, we collect kids from the neighborhood! It's fun to have neighbors bring their bubble toys over so everyone can try something new. If you're up for a little project, build a special bubble wand and use homemade bubble solution to make Giant Bubbles like Tatertots and Jello. It looks like it takes a few tries to get the hang of it, but kids should be able to do it with practice.
What are some ways you've shared summer fun with your neighbors?