Much of the appeal of video games for kids lies in flexing their logic/strategy muscles and developing spatial aptitude via the game’s fast action and leveled challenges—not to mention getting the opportunity to be a “hero”—all of which can be translated into active summer fun with a little creativity.

Grab a few squirt guns from the dollar store and make an obstacle course in your backyard or a local park that your child has to navigate through along a set path without getting wet.

Start with just a few obstacles with no time limit. Increase the challenge by adding more obstacles or putting a time limit on goal achievement. Let your child alternate roles between “hero” and “bad guy”, since both sides will require different strategies. One of the keys to remember within video game setups is that, in most cases, there’s one “hero” and multiple “bad guys”. So, if possible, ask friends or other family members to join the fun.

Extra credit: Make the game even more interesting by adding “treasures to collect” along the way and hide rewards in random collected objects that your child enjoys (e.g. movie rental, reprieve from one chore for a day, a favorite pack of gum, extra bedtime story, etc.)

Out-of-the-Box Gaming