10 Summer Ideas

Dive into summer with lawn care tips, gardening ideas, and backyard projects — from tents and swings to bug boxes and bubbles.

1. Ride the slide. Make waves on a sunny summer afternoon with a simple PVC water tunnel and a hose for about $18. Get instructions.

2. Set up a tent. Have a backyard campout with this tent, built for about $39. All you need to make it is a cotton drop cloth (#249184), white wood boards (#280466), and hardware — no cutting necessary. The best part? The tent folds flat for easy storage. Get instructions.

Boy with tent

3. Unwind outside. Wash the car or water your container gardens with this 5/8” x 50′ (1.59 cm x 15.24 m] garden hose (#36196).

Garden Hose

4. Spray it down. This nozzle (#191062) has six spray patterns to make watering a breeze.

Nozzle

5. Water your world.
Timing is everything. The best time to water to reduce evaporation loss is early in the morning.
Less is more. Give your lawn a good soaking — about 1 inch [2.54 cm] — once a week to promote healthy growth. Use a rain gauge to measure the amount needed.
Raise the blade. Set your lawn mower blade higher during hot summer months to encourage root growth.
Spray zone. Check your sprinkler’s spray pattern to be sure you’re only watering the lawn — not the house, sidewalk, or driveway, too. Reposition as needed.
Spot check. Test the soil in containers and small pots often. If the top inch [2.54 cm] of soil is dry, it’s time to water. The smaller the container, the quicker it will dry out.

6. Collect a critter. Capture backyard creatures in a basic bug box made from poplar boards (#1095) and screen (#101467) for about $25. Let aspiring woodworkers assist in the assembly. Get instructions.

Boys with bug box

7. Play tag tonight. Summer and outdoor games go hand in hand. Once the sun goes down, illuminate the fun with a blast of flashlight tag. The rules are easy: The person with the flashlight tries to “tag” others with a beam of light.

Flashlights

8. Swing into summer. Make our tree swing from a single board (#43393) and twisted rope (#349194) for around $14, plus paint and rope. Use a double-bowline knot to attach the rope to spring snap links (#348290) and hang from a sturdy branch. Watch a video on how to tie the knots.

Girls on tree swing

9. Bubble up. Take blowing bubbles to the next level with bubble wands for about $12 each. All you need is a dowel and some wire.

Bubble Wand
Drill a hole the same size as the wire (#62931) in the top of the dowel (#19382).
Cut a piece of wire and straighten it out.
Put a drop of Loctite Blue Wing Super Glue (#45484) into the drilled hole and insert one end of the wire. Let it dry.
Bend the wire to create a heart, circle, or flower shape.

Bubble Solution
Make a solution of 1/2 cup [118.29 mL] dish soap, 1/2 cup [118.29 mL] water, and 1 tablespoon [17 mL] cooking oil.
Pour the mixture in a shallow tray such as a metal drip pan (# 35163) for easy access.

Good to Know: The secret to making great bubbles is to mix the solution and let it sit overnight before using.

Girl with a bubble wand

10. Plant a pizza garden. Top a homemade pizza with an assortment of your favourite vegetables grown together in container pots. The whole family can help harvest fresh peppers, tomatoes, chives, and herbs — then enjoy the tasty results.

Pizza Garden

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