It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Summer! Listen, I LOVE the idea of no homework, throwing the schedule out the door and storing up loads of memories over the next three months. But I also need to be honest. Summer can be challenging. Active children with a ton of energy and pretty much nothing on the agenda can make for some very long days. So I thought it would be fun to start brainstorming some ideas we can all do with the kids this summer. I realize that geographically, different things are going to be available but I am planning to kick off our list with 10 summer activities for children and would invite you to add to it in our comment section.
Summer Journal. It’s easy to lose those writing skills over the summer but to keep it fun let the kids write their own story of summer. Teaching supply stores often carry journals that allow children to write a paragraph and draw a picture on each page. You can adjust this according to age. If your children are very little, have them draw a picture of what they did that day and dictate a sentence about it to you. It’s a fun keepsake at the end of the summer.
Pajama day. Listen! My daughter would stay in pajamas all day every day if she could. Thinking about making one day out of the week a pajama day where we lounge and stay home. Everyone stays in jammies and we let lazy takeover. It’s good for the soul.
Exercise scavenger hunt. Even if my kiddos aren’t in an organized sport during summer I like to keep them active. Do you remember the Egg Hunt idea I posted about for Easter? I am thinking of amending that and creating something similar. I can still use the eggs and insert an activity in each one.
Evening hikes. We like to get out and walk and after dinner is always a nice time for this. Again it’s a way to keep everyone moving and to get some fresh air. It’s also a way to talk with your children without any screen time! Old fashioned conversation.
Lemonade stand. An idea as old as time but I really do see so much value in this. My kids begged all summer last year and for some reason it just never happened. This summer it’s happening. But listen up, moms! You drag this out! You put a date on the calendar maybe 3-4 days out (depending on age of your kiddos). They plot, they plan and they work on things for this lemonade stand for a few days. Maybe one day they come up with a name for their business and create a sign. Maybe the next day they plan out exactly what they need and the grocery shopping happens. You see where I am going with this. Make it an event that really takes planning and execution. It will be that much more fun for them and it’s something to work on each day.
Service work. We all know those dreaded words we are bound to hear at least once. “I’m bored!” Perfect! Nothing to do, let’s put those talents of yours to work for others. As a family we plan to work on coming up with a service project we can do together. Maybe it’s cleaning out closets and donating. Maybe it’s packs of socks, first aid kits, protein bars and waters for the homeless. Whatever it is, I like the idea of turning the focus away from their own needs.
Inflatable pool. That’s right! An inflatable pool. This is for those of us that are not blessed with our own pool. Even if you have a community pool, there is something about a body of water in our own yard that can be hours of fun. Our last home had only a small patio, but we still had a water table for the kids. We recently bought an inflatable 8′ pool from Costco for $30. Best money I’ve spent in a long time. My kids have already been spending hours in this thing. And yes, they are big for a blow up pool but they use their imaginations. You give a kid some water and some freedom and it’s a life saver for those days you need some relief from being supermom.
Slumber party. Have a tent? No tent, no problem. Make a fort. I have such fond memories of making a fort with dear friends of ours and sleeping in them. You can pretend you are camping. Kids love anything that is out of the norm, am I right? It’s just enough of an activity to keep the excitement going but it won’t break the bank or be too much trouble.
Kids make dinner. My son would serve up mini pancakes! Let the kids plan everything. If they are young, help them learn how this process works. Great teachable moment about balanced meals and how to write a grocery list. Everyone gets a job and can help put dinner on the table. Anytime we do this the kids LOVE it. Thinking about assigning one night a week this summer to the kids. Wish me luck. . . I can’t eat mini pancakes all the time!
Lights, camera, action! While screen time is not our favorite over here I am all about the iMovie and the trailers. Have you used those? My kids LOVE making these trailers and they will work on one all day long. They choose music, take video, create captions and edit. It’s awesome. These have actually become some of our favorite keepsakes. They love making them and the finished products are always so awesome because of the way the templates are formatted.
Hopefully this gets you thinking about summer activities. This summer thing snuck up on me and to keep myself from getting short-tempered or cranky, I really do need to put some thought into making it enjoyable for everyone.
I would be so excited if we could add to this list in the comments below. What a great resource for all of us if we keep adding to this. Tell us what you plan to do to keep things smooth sailing this summer.