Simple ways to keep your Girl Scouts’ minds active on those summer days when they just don’t want to be outside? Here are 10 indoor activity ideas to help you get started:
1. Get ahead with summer badge work!
No need to pause the Girl Scout experience until fall. Approach every potential activity with a Girl Scout mindset and you’re bound to find a way to earn a badge. Take a look through the Badge Explorer and you’ll find many badges for all age levels that can be earned while indoors. Here are a few suggestions:
- With the Home Scientistbadge, Brownies open their eyes to the everyday science that happens all around them. Make something bubble up, create static electricity, and be a kitchen chemist!
- Is your Junior musically inclined? She can earn the Musician badge while exploring how music is made and making her own mix of sounds. So dust off that guitar in your garage and help her brush up on chord progressions!
- Cadettes can delve into the world of comics with the Comic Artist badge and learn how to tell a story visually with “sequential art”.
- For Seniors and Ambassadors, the Novelist badge is a creative way to hone the necessary writing and editing skills needed for college.
2. Beat the heat with indoor ice-skating
Indoor ice rinks make ice-skating available year-round, and are located in most communities. Remember to bring gloves so you don’t get frostbite in July! So you can spend a whole day there having fun with a group.
3. Rock the roller rink
Bundling up to skate on freezing ice not quite your scene? You can still stay cool at a roller rink! Your girls will love cruising around to funky jams with their friends. Roller rinks may have been fading from popularity when I was a kid, but that didn’t stop me from having a pair of skates with chunky neon pink wheels. Locations aren’t as prevalent, but you can still find one within a reasonable driving distance.
4. Strike it up at the bowling alley
Rent a lane, grab some snacks, pick a ball, and aim for those pins! Bowling works well for all groups, big or small, depending on how many games you want to play.
5. Plan a movie night
Your Girl Scouts may be off doing their own thing during the summer, but they’ll probably love to pull together for a movie night and/or slumber party. Have everyone pitch in to bring snacks, party games, extra blankets, and DVDs. If they can’t decide on which film to watch, have parents narrow the list of age-appropriate movies, have the girls write their desired movie title on a slip of paper, toss them all into a hat, and draw a random winner.
6. Lend a hand at your local library
Have you visited your local library this summer yet? If not, you should! Libraries often have volunteer programs where kids can help with tasks like sorting and re-shelving books or prepping for events while earning volunteer hours. Libraries also run summer reading challenges for kids of all ages, oftentimes with literary themed prizes like bookmarks and free books. Talk to your librarian to see if they’re hosting any author signings or storytelling gatherings. And don’t forget to take a look at the community bulletin boards to learn what other events that might be happening in your area.
7. Learn a new skill
Craft stores like Michael’s and JOANN stores often host crafting workshops just for kids throughout the summer where they can learn useful skills, like sewing, basic woodworking, and painting. If you’re new to a neighborhood, these workshops are also a great way to meet other like-minded parents (and maybe potential Girl Scouts for your troop!).
8. Meander through museums
Victorian era tea? The science of making? Pinball machines? Snakes and slithering things? There’s a museum for everything! They can range in size from privately maintained single-room displays to giant multi-story buildings with exhibits you could spend a whole day exploring. Many museums offer group discounts, if you’re taking your whole troop or going with several families. Browse online to see what kinds of museums you have in your local area. Be sure to check their calendars, too, since summer programming and workshops offer prime opportunities for bonding and badge work.
9. Care for your community
Encourage caring and leadership in your girl by helping around your community. There are numerous opportunities to volunteer year-round, but the summertime gives you more flexibility to participate during weekday and daytime activities. Brainstorm together about what you can do to make your corner of the world a better place. Here’s a list of indoor community service ideas to get you started:
- Help out at a local animal shelter.
- Read stories to the elderly at a nursing home.
- Collect toiletries and donate to a women’s shelter.
- Serve a meal at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
10. Embrace quiet time
From fall to spring, the school year is full of after school clubs, sports, Girl Scout meetings, and homework, and it’s easy to carry that same sense of busyness over into the summer. Before the new school year starts, try kicking back a little, if you can, with some low key activities your girl can do by herself or with a few friends at home. You’ll both benefit from the down time, and if she’s an introvert (or just an avid bookworm), she’ll appreciate that you made space in the summer schedule for her to finish that twenty-five volume animal clan book series all her friends have been reading. For younger girls, pull out leftover school supplies and have a crafting party, or make your own play dough. Tap into your girl’s creativity and bond over memories with side-by-side activities like scrapbooking or writing a book together.