Summer is officially here! If you have kids, you may be searching for ways to keep them entertained until school starts again. Kids may want you to take them to the movies, amusement park, or shopping at the mall. But, instead of giving in to their demands, encourage them to try some of these eco-friendly activities:

Make recycled art.

There are hundreds of art projects that your kids can tackle using recycled materials. Do your kids love playing dress up? Have them make these giant cardboard glasses using empty cardboard food boxes, markers, and decorations. There are other more challenging projects, too, such as this recycled robot made out of bottles, cardboard, and other miscellaneous items. These art projects are a great way to keep kids busy and show them how much fun they can have using recycled materials.

Plant seeds.

Kids love getting dirty, so let them! Find a spot in your yard where your kids can get their hands dirty by planting seeds. Let your kids pick what kind of plants they want to grow so they’re more engaged with the activity. Then, make sure they understand what they need to do to nourish the seeds so they begin to grow. Not only is this a fun, eco-friendly way to keep kids entertained, but it also teaches them responsibility.

Visit a national park.

If you plan on taking your kids on vacation this summer, consider visiting a national park. Taking kids to a national park helps them develop an appreciation for the great outdoors, which is something that they will probably carry with them as they grow into adults. Bringing your kids on this trip can also help them understand why it’s so important to preserve our national parks.

Shop at a farmer’s market.

During the summer, kids may end up tagging along with you as you run errands. Instead of taking them to the grocery store, stop by a farmer’s market and talk to your kids about the importance of shopping local. Be sure that you mention how shopping local is not only environmentally friendly, but also the healthier choice since locally grown foods are fresher and therefore more nutritious.

Take a hike.

Research natural trails in your community and take your kids on an educational and entertaining hike. Bring along a pair of binoculars so you can bird watch while you’re on the trail. Don’t forget to also pack your smartphone so you can take pictures of all the different birds you find. Taking a hike together is a great way to teach your kids about the plants and animals that are all around them.

Go on a scavenger hunt.

Plan an outdoors scavenger hunt that sends your kids on a journey to learn more about their environment. You can create your own scavenger hunt or use one like this for inspiration. This kind of activity is sure to keep your kids busy for the afternoon so you can get some peace and quiet indoors!

With these fun activities, you can keep your kids entertained in an eco-friendly way until school is back in session!