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By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 at 8:08 am in Backyard fun.

Volunteers (Gary Meader Illustration) In this morning’s paper, we talked about ways to unplug your kids this summer and the importance of balancing their activities, getting them outdoors and immersed in all the creative pursuits that languish during the hectic school year. Need ideas? We’ve been talking about ways to make your own backyard fun for weeks now. So here’s a round-up of fun backyard activities, plus links to the how-tos we’ve already talked about. Cardboard pirate ship, anyone?

• Read outside, under a tree
Build a fort
• Go on a picnic
• Paint outside, Jackson Pollack-style and splattery
• Learn some new backyard games – Sharks, Statues and Diminishing Points
• Make ice cream sandwiches or homemade popsicles
Make your own sidewalk chalk
Plant a bean pole tepee or sunflower hideout
• Take your teddy bears on an adventure
• Play Marco Polo or Ping Pong Scramble at the pool
• Plant flowers
• Blow gigantic homemade bubbles
• Go on a nature scavenger hunt
• Finesse your whiffleball skills
• Wash the family car, bikes and trikes
• Go geocaching
• Go to Shakespeare camp or Berkeley Rep theater camp
• Take an art class or learn ceramics, welding and other fire arts at The Crucible
• Read “Little House on the Prairie,” churn your own butter or enjoy some old-fashioned fun at John Muir Mountain Day Camp in Martinez
• Go to “Grandma Camp
• Explore the city, ride BART or pick up a Teen Passport to Summer Adventure at the Oakland Library

Got ideas to share? Click comments!

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