It’s never too early to start thinking about summer break. If we don’t take the time to do some planning, it can slip by before we know it. Take some time now to intentionally plan some screen free family summer activities to keep your kids busy. It doesn’t have to be perfect, expensive or even involve travel. The most important thing is that you’re together and creating memories.
Simple Summer Activities for Kids
1. Get outside. Summer means warmer weather. Warmer weather means more outdoors activities. Consider planning a few weekend picnics in the park. Head out as as a family to the local swimming pool or a beach. Take a hike or ride a bike. Getting outside and being active (away from the screen) is a great way to pass the time in the summer.
2. Check out your neighborhood offerings. Many communities have creative opportunities, many of which are free or low cost. Summer art in the park, arts camps and arts fairs are common activities that families can enjoy. You may also be able to find summer theater or concert series that will give your family something to share and an opportunity to be creative at the same time.
3. Plan and plant a summer garden. There’s nothing like eating a fresh tomato that you’ve planted yourself. A simple family garden is a great summer activity that you can share with your kids. And if you have a bumper crop, you may even want to consider selling your produce at a road-side booth or stall at the local farmer’s market which would enhance the learning experience.
4. Plan a family read-aloud for the cooler summer nights. Invite extended family members and friends over to join you. You might want to have the adults read a story and let the children act them out. This could become one of the activities they remember most from the summer.
5. Set up a picnic table and chairs underneath a big shade tree or umbrella. Put together a basket of board games the family would like to learn or has enjoyed in the past.
6. Have a water balloon war. You could also buy water guns for everyone in the family and see who can stay dry the longest. Not only will this get the family involved in an activity together, it will keep them active and hopefully cool them off at the same time.
7. Backyard camping. Your family may enjoy camping out but maybe circumstances keep you from taking a camping trip. Don’t let that stop you! Pitch your tent in the backyard and enjoy the same fun just a little closer to home.
8. Plan a random act of kindness each month. Do you know anyone who’s going through a tough time or a charity that needs some help? Do random acts of kindness for people in your neighborhood such as weeding an elderly neighbor’s flower garden, mow a single mom’s lawn, gather canned goods from your neighbors and take them to the local battered women’s shelter or food bank. There are lots of ways to make a difference as a family.
9. Indoor fun works too. Maybe you live in a hot climate like we do or are limited by chronic illness or special needs in your family. There’s still ways that you can make memories and have fun together. Visit your local library, take some craft classes at your local Michaels, Home Depot or Joanne’s, have a tea party, create a fairy garden or catch up on getting old photos into scrapbooks. If you’re having some down time or are homebound, you’ll want to check out Pure Flix for family friendly TV viewing that you can trust. And if you’d like to throw some educational choices in there too, Pure Flix has you covered with homeschool options.
Special Needs Summer Activities
With unpredictable schedules and too much down time, summer can be a challenging time for special needs families. Read some of my ideas here:
P.S. Don’t neglect your own self care..even if it’s just five or ten minutes here and there!
These are just a few ideas of things your family can do together during the summer. Take some time to sit down together and talk about things you would like to do. Obviously, everyone will want to do their own thing as much as possible during the summer, but think of the benefit of spending time together as a family.
Children grow up so fast, make this summer a season of family memories that will last a lifetime.