Our kids get bored. ALL. THE. TIME. It’s exhausting, right? Even when we tell them to go play outside, why are they back 10 minutes later complaining that there’s nothing to do?? So with a long summer staring you in the face, we’re here to share a few super fun, easy, and unique activities that will keep your kids busy and entertained… in your driveway or neighborhood… on their bikes!
1. Bike Car Wash with PVC Pipe
Hot summer days need cooling off, and whether you knew it or not, bikes + water do mix! Building a “bike wash” is not that hard, and is likely to earn you the award for coolest mom on the block.
If your kids are like ours, they love going through the carwash with you, and now you can give them their very own version for their bikes. With a minimum amount of time, effort, and money, you can set up a bike wash that will be the perfect outdoor activity on a hot summer day… and keep your kids occupied all summer long! Check out this cool blog article by Design Mom for inspiration!
2. Pokemon Go!
Let’s be honest. If your kids are like ours, then they’re probably hoping to spend the summer playing video games, and you’re trying to figure out how to get them outside in the sunshine! Well, we’ve got the perfect compromise for you: playing Pokemon Go! by bike. Never in our lives have we had our kids beg us to keep riding… and after voluntarily putting down their XBOX controllers to go on a bike ride!! Until Pokemon Go! by bike.
Pokemon Go is the perfect solution for older kids who just aren’t that interested in biking anymore, and also is super fun for mom to come along. Your kids will get to play their favorite game all while exercising, learning bike safety, and soaking in some vitamin D! For safety (no screens while riding!), we prefer to use the “Nearby Pokemon” function, ride to a location, catch a Pokemon, and then decide on our next stop.
3. Pool Noodle Limbo
Pool noodles are not just for pools, people! They’re also perfect for a game of limbo by bike! Learning to shift your body weight around on a bike is an essential skill for biking on trails, the road, and even around the neighborhood.
Teaching kids to get low on their bike and limbo beneath a pool noodle helps to prepare them for dodging low branches as well as lowering their center of gravity when going down a hill. You can also challenge kids to hit the top of their helmet on a high pool noodle to help them learn the essential skill of standing while riding.
4. Bike Ramp
Few things are more thrilling to kids than catching some sweet air while they’re riding a bike (even if it’s just an inch). Having a bike ramp in your own driveway (Landwave ramp shown below) makes it possible for kids to do this any time they want – and you don’t have to drive them to the local bike park.
For those handy with a hammer, you can also work together with your kids to make your own ramp! DIY ramps like these are great for experienced riders, but not ideal for balance bike riders or beginning pedalers due to the strong drop-off.
5. Bike Rodeo
If you have kids who love competition and love bikes, then a bike rodeo might just be your ticket to a boredom-free afternoon. Set up some game stations, invite your kids’ friends over, and sit back and sip your lemonade. Pinterest is full of ideas from paper boy, to a slow riding contest, to drop the pin in the bucket. Your kids will have hours of fun!!
6. Cone Courses
From obstacle courses to races, a simple set of cones can turn a mundane afternoon ride into an adventure. Kids can practice zig-zagging through the cones, setting up and riding through various race courses, or practice their turning and learning skills by doing number 8s through two cones.
7. Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk adds such an easy and creative element to bike riding. The options are really limitless – from creating obstacle courses, side-by-side race tracks, and more.
Over the years, our sidewalk has been home to a chalk lemonade stand, police station (and corresponding jail), as well as plenty of road signs and construction zones (aka road hazards!). Within minutes of completing their chalk cities, bikes quickly morph into cars, banks get robbed, and police are quickly on the chase! Paper delivery boys are also a common appearance :).
For a fun and easy way to create road lines, try the Chalk Trail attachment which allows kids to draw with chalk using their bikes!
8. Water Balloon Pop
Learning how to track a specific line is an important biking skill for kids to master! While learning to track well takes time, teaching kids to keep their focus on the path they’re following (rather than on the obstacle they want to avoid!) can be fun and rewarding.
Popping water balloons is an exciting way to teach tracking just about anywhere. Simply fill up some small water balloons (Bunch of Balloons work great), and place them about five or more feet apart. Straight lines are best for beginners, while wavy lines are a fun challenge for more advanced riders. As they ride, kids try to pop as many balloons as they can with their front tires. Kids and parents will both be surprised by how challenging it can be!
9. Bike Bowling
If you think your kid on a balance bike is the cutest thing ever, prepare yourself for something even cuter: kid-sized inflatable bowling pins for your balance biker to knock over. This is one we can honestly say your toddler will want to do over and over and over and… you get the picture. While this might seem like a silly game, it will actually help your balance biker to learn how to ride in straight line and aim their bike in a specific direction. Skills + adorableness = total win!
If you’ve got a reluctant rider, geocaching might be your ticket to biking enthusiasm! What kid doesn’t want to be part of a treasure hunt? Geocaching can be done in your local neighborhood, on urban bike trails, or even while mountain biking. Let your kid take charge of the navigation and watch them go!
11. Basketball Court Games
Turn the outdoor basketball court at your local school into a game board for bikes! Safe Cycle out of Australia is a government-sponsored curriculum to help kids learn to bike safely on the way to school and in the community.
In addition to detailed lesson plans and posters for those amazing do-it-all parents, they have also compiled a list of games you can play on a basketball court. From popping bubbles to trying to catch a tennis ball, there are plenty of games and activities for various ages.
12. Bike Park or Pump Track
If you’re lucky enough to live near a bike park, we have one word for you: GO! Bike parks are fantastic for letting your kids get out lots of biking energy in one location. Most bike parks also have special elements intended to teach your child (and even you!) new biking skills like riding through rollers, berms, and drops. This is a perfect opportunity to learn to ride safely before heading out on bike trails.
Find a kid-friendly bike park or pump track near you in our Bike Park Directory!
If your bike rider is a numbers fan, then an odometer will probably be right up their alley! You can challenge your kid to go a certain number of miles, see how far they can go in one hour, or ask them to keep track of how far your bike group has gone. No matter what you do, watching those numbers climb will keep your numbers-loving kid entertained and happily riding on even the most difficult trails.
14. Biking Classes
We know from (painful) personal experience that some kids just will not listen to parental biking advice. No matter how great the information is, some kids refuse to listen to mom and dad. And because biking is just so much more fun when you know how to do it well, we are huge advocates of biking classes.
Your kid will be in a fun group of peers learning new skills that will help them have an even better time when you’re out on the trails. Plus, your kid will be outside, staying active, and making new friends instead of sitting around at home. Total win-win.
15. Family Biking Vacations
Sometimes all it takes to get a kid excited to ride their bike is a new location. Luckily for all of us parents, there are tons of bike-friendly vacation spots throughout the U.S. We’ve found amazing urban bike tours, national parks with bike paths, and even beautiful mountain resorts with their own bike parks. Whatever your summer travel plans, you can probably find a cool biking opportunity nearby!