Midsummer is one of the best times to be a kid. Here are fun ideas for maximizing your kids’ time outdoors, then pulling back inside for a bit of art and engineering.

Hit the trails

The Seattle area is brimming with beginner-friendly hikes, and you’ll find six good ones at st.news/family-hikes. They’re all still accessible during the pandemic, according to the parks’ websites, but check before you go in case conditions change. Other tips:

  • Remember your masks and hand sanitizer.
  • Aim for off times when the trails won’t be crowded, like weekday mornings.
  • Get reluctant young hikers out the door with a make-your-own-trail-mix routine. Pull out a mix of dry foods, from cereal to pretzels and chocolate chips, and let them go to town bagging up their mix.

Stage your own summer Olympics — kind of

The pole vault probably doesn’t translate well to most backyards, but how about substituting a Hula-Hoop hop or garden-hose tightrope walk? The nonprofit Action for Healthy Kids has suggestions for fitness circuit-court stations that kids can rotate through (and, in most cases, set up by themselves) at bit.ly/circuit-course.

Cool off with fruity ice pops

You’ll find five recipes for healthy ice pops on the University of Washington’s Whole U page at bit.ly/healthy-icepops (strawberry-hibiscus-watermelon pops, anyone?). The Test Kitchen Kids’ recipe for mango lassi ice pops, at bit.ly/lassi-pops, is divine. Or construct your own recipe, using the guidelines at st.news/diy-pops.

Create a collage flag

Artist Nam June Paik created a flag using unusual materials: 70 old television monitors. The images flash by quickly, making the viewer think about what it means to be American. What does that mean in your family? The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., has a project that will be thought-provoking for all ages: making your own American collage flag. Find the plan at bit.ly/collageflag.

Build an Art Bot

Here’s a project for aspiring artists and engineers alike. You’ll learn about circuits and batteries as you build these googly-eyed, art-making robots. Directions from the Smithsonian Learning Lab, with plenty of helpful photos, are at bit.ly/artbotproject.