June 9, 2022 By CDHD 15 fun summer activities for people of ALL abilities With summer unofficially underway, it’s time to start planning a little fun in the sun. We’ve pulled together a list of family-friendly activities that are suitable for all ages and abilities. Even better, many of these options are free and can be done in your local area! Get out into nature Did you know that Idaho has more than 20 million acres of national forest and some of the nation’s best nature trails? Even better, there are trails to suit all ages and abilities. Trail Link provides more information about wheelchair accessible trails around the state, or visit the Department of Parks and Recreation for information on Idaho’s hard path trails and motorized and non-motorized trails. Try a scavenger hunt Combine this with your nature walk or set one up in your own backyard! Create a list of native plants and/or items your kids can keep their eyes out for as they explore the area around them. It’s a great activity that can easily be customized to suit different needs, and it provides excellent hands-on learning opportunities. Look for wildflowers What better way to pass some time while appreciating the native beauty of our public lands. The US Forest Service provides lots of information about wildflower viewing areas in Idaho as well as the many different spring and summer species. Just remember, it’s best to look not pick. This helps to ensure these delicate plants and the ecosystems they support will continue to thrive. Picnic in the park If you have a spare sunny day on your hands, you may want to plan a picnic at the local park. Don’t forget to pack the essentials: blanket, snacks, drinks, sunscreen and the camera! Arts and crafts This activity is an all-weather staple when it comes to summer fun. From finger paints to tie-dye there are plenty of arts and crafts you can plan for your family. A quick Google search will produce endless blogs and lists of project ideas that will suit different ages and abilities. CDHD Adaptive Movement classes Get moving this summer at one of our Adaptive Movement classes (PDF). Instructed by a CDHD student trainee, this group fitness class is suitable for adults of all abilities! Classes take place every Monday at 12-12:30 pm PT and Wednesday at 5-5:30 pm PT at East City Park in Moscow. Safety activities If you have younger children at home, the summer can be a great time to plan safety activities. Aimed at developing memory and valuable life skills, this can include things like: Learn their full name and your full name. Memorize their home address and/or phone number. Learn how to safely cross the street. Understand what an emergency is and how to call 911. Learn about the buddy system. Make a fire escape plan and practice fire drills. Learn how to swim. Cooking classes If it’s too hot or wet outside, setting up a cooking lesson inside can be a great way to spend the afternoon. Choose easy recipes you can complete together and let the good times roll. Even better, this lesson ends with a tasty reward! Try a sport Sports can be a fun way to get outside and burn off some energy through the summer. It also provides the opportunity for kids and adults to practice individual and team skills. Check out the Challenged Athletes Foundation for a list of adaptive sport contacts by state. Alternatively, Coach Art offers some helpful advice on how to adapt some sports to suit those with different needs. Clean-up and donate Who says cleaning up can’t be fun? Maybe the car needs a wash or the garage needs a clear out. Use these seemingly mundane chores as bonding activities! Cleaning up together is a great way to share memories while making new ones. Bonus points for creating a donation pile and taking it to your local charity or secondhand store. Gardening Planting a garden is the gift that keeps on giving through the summer and beyond. It’s a great way to work on motor skills, creativity, mindfulness, patience and self-confidence. If you have the space, create an outdoor garden with different plants that thrive in your local area. For children, show them how to plant seeds and watch as their plants grow to produce flowers, vegetables or fruit. Volunteer your time If you’re feeling a bit cooped up, volunteering can help you get out and about this summer. It also happens to be a great way to work on socializing skills while giving back to your local community. There are many options for volunteering, which makes it easy to find something you’re interested in. Check out Serve Idaho for more information about volunteer and community service programs across the state. You can even find opportunities in your local area. Museums, libraries and historical sites There's no shortage of historical sites across Idaho. Not only can you trek portions of the Oregon and Lewis and Clark historic trails, but the state is also home to fossil beds, lava flows, Native American history, mining and logging towns, missions and more! On top of the plethora of landmarks peppered across the state, many Idaho communities offer museums and libraries that showcase local and state history. Whether you’re looking for something nearby or you’re planning a road trip to see some of Idaho’s notable sites, there’s plenty of history to fill your summer days. Read a book If you’re more interested in sitting back and enjoying more peaceful activities, reading is just the ticket. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the warm weather and the written word, depending on your age, ability and how social you’d like to be: Start a book club. Challenge yourself to finish a certain number of books over the summer. Join a reading club at your local library. Find a shady spot at your local park and read a chapter or two. Build a blanket fort with the kids for story time. Participate in reading lessons. Illustrate your/your kids' favorite books or characters. Swap books with your friends. Lay in the grass and relax Summer fun doesn’t have to be about rushing around. Sometimes the simplest things provide the greatest reward. Just lay back in the grass and relax. Look for familiar shapes in the clouds or simply enjoy a moment of peace and quiet. This is a great way to take a beat from the hustle and bustle, focus on yourself, rest, reflect or destress.