Summer is just around the corner! In this issue of The BUZZ, we are sharing ideas for outdoor/indoor fun and your backyard or favorite outdoor space.
Heading to the Park?
A trip to the park looks a little different this summer. For guidelines and some helpful tips before you venture out, click HERE.
Super Soaker Painting
Get the family outside with this one-of-a-kind craft. If things get messy, don't worry! Use your garden hose to quickly clean up supplies and the backyard. Squirt gun painting is a thrilling summer art experience for kids and is the ultimate boredom buster! For these paintings, a Nerf Super Soaker is what was used. If squirt guns aren’t your thing, use  plastic spray bottles !

1. Arrange the easel in the yard, then clip two sheets of watercolor paper to each side. No easel? That’s okay! Kids can use a thumbtack to secure their paper to a tree or fence.

2. Invite your kids to fill their water squirting toy with liquid watercolors, then let them go to town painting! You can buy liquid watercolors or make your own using food coloring, vinegar, and water.
Water Play Fun
Add some water play fun to a hot summer day by breaking out various containers and adding some water. Kids love to play in water, so add a little food coloring and fun gadgets to fill and pour. Kids can pour and move water from one place to another. This can also be a mini science experiment on things that sink and float. Let imaginations run wild!
Build A Backyard Obstacle Course
You can build a backyard obstacle course with hula hoops, jump ropes, sticks, stones, hoses, and other materials from around the house. The best part is - you can change it up each week/day. It's fun for the whole family to enjoy...oh and don't forget to add some fun water opportunities like a slip and slide to cool off on a hot day.
Racing Water Cups
This is a fun game to play outdoors with the water squirter of your choice! You’ll just need cups, something to make a hole, string and maybe some tape.
Steps for creating:
Cut or punch a hole into the bottom of the cup (close to the edge since the cup is resting on the string). Put the cup on the string through the hole and attach the string to posts or tape to a wall outside.
Use your water squirting toy to get the cup to move to the other end.
Stargaze in your Backyard
Host your first family stargazing night by lying on the grass or make your  kiddie pool  work overtime by filling it with pillows and blankets. When you are finished gazing at the stars, pop some popcorn and break out those inflatable mattresses or sleeping bags and enjoy an outdoor movie!
Make A Bird Feeder
Invite summertime and birds to your yard, patio, or deck with a  DIY bird feeder . Simply coat an empty toilet paper roll with peanut butter, roll it in birdseed, and add a string! Watch the birds gather and you'll have a great opportunity to teach kids about nature and animals.
Decorate Rocks
The next time you embark on a hike, have your children collect rocks. At home, they can  decorate the stones  with paint, stickers, markers, glitter, and other art supplies. Display the finished products around the house, use them as paperweights, or give them to relatives!
Photo Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of items your family or friends can find outside, like "something red" or "three types of flowers." Whoever snaps photos of the most items on the list wins! Visit  Go Explore Nature  for more ideas.
Build A Backyard Campfire
Bring out the s’mores supplies and gather 'round your fire pit! Kids can recreate the feeling of  summer camp  by telling stories, roasting hot dogs, and singing campfire songs. For local guidelines and fire restrictions, click HERE .
Play Balloon Tennis
You probably already have all of the makings for this game: paper plates, paint sticks, and a balloon. It's a fun distraction (indoor or outdoors) for younger kids.

Summertime Stories
Llama Llama Sand and Sun
By: Anna Dewdney
Read along with Llama Llama as he splashes in the waves and plays in the sand.
And Then Comes Summer
By: Tom Brenner
When the days stretch out like a slow yawn, and the cheerful faces of Johnny-jump-ups jump up . . . then it’s time to get ready for summer! From flip-flops and hide-and-seek to fireworks and ice-cream trucks; from lemonade stands and late bedtimes to swimming in the lake and toasting marshmallows; there’s something for everyone in this bright and buoyant celebration of the sunny season. Tap the book to play video.
Summer Supper
By: Rubin Pfeffer
From sowing seeds in spring to savoring succotash, follow the creation of a family meal from the farm to the picnic table on a warm summer evening. Told entirely in words beginning with the letter "s," this book will give children an appreciation for the process by which their food travels to the dinner table.
Fun In The Sun
By: David Catrow
A hapless dog frolics in the sun and sand on a perfect beach day. It's fun in the sand, but now there's sand in his lunch and sand in his suit. Time for a dip in the water! The dog splishes, splashes, and rides the waves; it's fun in the water too. As the sun goes down, he flies a kite with new friends. Fun in the sky! But did he remember sunscreen?
Are you looking for fun ways to share more books with your children? Check out two great options:
  • @SavewithStories is new on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the video playlist of celebrities reading their favorites to benefit Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.
  • "Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Series is on at 5 pm on Thursdays. Watch all episodes and learn more HERE.
PPLD Summer Adventure & Resources
Have an adventure with Pikes Peak Library District this summer! The Summer Adventure presented by Children’s Hospital Colorado game helps kids and teens stay engaged and active over the summer months. If you’re looking for at-home activity ideas, the PPLD can help! Anyone ages infant – 18 can participate and win prizes through reading, moving, and imagining. Either participate in one of our virtual programs or use one of our activity ideas! Learn more>>

For all virtual resources being offered, visit to see what's new for families with young children!
Family SPEAK Resources for Families is a website especially for families with young children. See our website for ways to Build a Strong Family, a video library on developmental miliestones, and blogs related to emotional well-being, nutrition, health, and learning at home. (Many resources are COVID-19 specific to help address current issues you may be facing.)
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Alliance for Kids, El Paso County's Early Childhood Council and initiative of Joint Initiatives for Youth & Families | 719.634.8045 | Facebook @Allianceforkids
Family SPEAK is a project of Alliance for Kids | Family SPEAK .org | 719.466.0099