When the days are longer and the sun is shining, it is always nice to have some ideas at hand to take advantage of summer. and do something special with the family. Spending and enjoying time together will create the bonds and memories of a lifetime.
Nothing is better for all of you than getting out and playing. Pull out some of those school ground favorites or find some new games and activities and start your own family traditions.
- Jumprope: Single rope, Double Dutch, snakes, and more, great for all ages and skill levels
- Play ball: From horse to kickball to four square and pickle, whether bouncing, kicking, or tossing its great exercise
- Water fights: Surprise the kids with a bucket of water balloons, water guns, or squirts and have at it
- Hopscotch: With lots of fun variations, this is a great eye-hand-foot coordination activity for everyone
- Bubbles: Make your own solution (1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin) and use straws, rings, hoops, string, and create your own magical and crazy wands
- Build and fly kites: Nothing is more fun to do as a family – it makes for a great rainy day activity, too, with the promise of the sunny day to come
- Create a carnival: As a surprise for the kids or as a family activity, this is a great way to celebrate summer and get the whole gang involved
For a Rainy Day
Sometimes it rains, but instead of having that frown be upside down, keep some of these ideas tucked away for just such the occasion.
- Board Games: Nothing can fill a day faster than playing board games, whether classic or new, its good family fun
- Paper airplanes: Creating, decorating, flying, even making obstacle courses will make the day fly quickly
- Scavenger hunt: Try making one using the alphabet, crazy objects, using clues, or even shapes
- Sing: It doesn’t matter if you have a piano, karaoke machine, CD or record player, or radio, find some family-friendly tunes and sing them out and loud – throw up a sheet for a curtain and its show time, you may even be able to create a whole talent show
Go out into the backyard or just snuggle down in the front room, family camping is fun. Here are some ideas for camping outside:
- Cooking things on sticks around a campfire or cooking stove: Hot dogs, bread sticks, and marshmallows for starters
- Tell ghost stories: Scary or not-so-scary
- Make shadow puppets: These are great fun outside or inside
- Check out the stars: See if you can find constellations or make-up your own by playing connect the stars
Here are some ideas if you are camping inside:
- Make a blanket fort: Lots of different ways to build your castle
- Watch favorite movies: Pop some corn, pull the blankets over your head and huddle up together
- Pillow fight: International Pillow Fight Day may have passed, but that doesn’t mean you can have one of your own
Cook Up Some Fun
Getting everyone into the kitchen is a great family experience and if you do it right, you can even sneak in some math using fractions. Just don’t tell the kids they’re learning!
- Make pizzas with faces: Animal faces, people faces, alien faces, really any kind of faces can be made on pre-made, English muffin, French bread, or home made dough…a great way to encourage your kids to try new veggies & fruits, too
- Cookies: Bake up your favorites or let everyone create new flavors
- Pack a picnic: Let everyone help make delicious sandwiches and wraps, homemade potato chips, decorate cupcakes, and lemonade and take it to the backyard, park, beach, or into the family room
- Ice Cream Sundae bar: Surprise everyone with ice cream for dinner and a do-it-yourself ice cream buffet (and don’t forget the cookies you made for homemade ice cream sandwiches or make some crazy versions)
Try Something New
- Origami: The paper folding art is great activity for everyone and excellent for eye/hand coordination – start with something simple and build to the complex
- Magic tricks: Who wouldn’t want to learn something with which they can astound and amaze their friends?
- Create a flip book: Learn this art of simple animation
- Plant a garden: You can plant flowers or vegetables in a small plot in the front or back yard, in pots for the porch, a table, or window sill, or maybe there is a community garden in your neighborhood
Let your imaginations go wild and let your artistic talents get some exercise
- Write and illustrate your own family book: Gather paper, pencils, crayons, glitter, glue, and anything else you would like to create your own story
- Make slime: Who doesn’t want to make and play with their own goop? Fun
- Make play dough: Create lots of different colors, you can even add glitter
- Tie-dye a shirt: Admittedly messier, but lots of fun with results that can be worn for years to come you can create patterns or just do your own thing
- Collect and paint rocks: A great activity for any age and makes for great keepsakes, too, for the garden or planter
- Color: Give everyone paper and black thin markers to create pictures or designs, then have everyone swap pages and bring out the crayons to color everything in
- Sock puppets: Perfect for those socks that are now solo, create puppets then put on your own performance
Explore Your Town
Take the opportunity to check things out in your own neighborhood.
- Free workshops: Many places like Lowe’s, Home Depot or Pottery Barn offer classes for kids and adults
- Visit museum: There are lots of different kinds from art and living history to science and maritime museums and many offer free admissions days so be sure to check their sites online for details
- Go to the playground: Swing, slide, and spin on the merry-go-round together…and don’t forget your picnic
- Visit the library: Many libraries offer great programs including storytimes, movies, and special events and you can check out books, movies, and music, too
- Go to the zoo or aquarium: Look for special dates for events and programs
- Volunteer: Lots of local organizations love have families help out so check into your local animal shelter to see about walking dogs or brushing kitties, the local park, lake or beach to help with trash clean-up, or food bank to help put away supplies or prepare bags for recipients
Whether you are looking for something for a weekend, school break, or over summer vacation, spending time together as a family doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. The only thing you are really spending is time and that time together is what makes each and every experience together so valuable.