For some of you, Summer is already in full swing. For others (like us) Summer hasn’t quite started yet, but will be here before we know it. The transition from full time school to full time play can be tough. It’s important (for us) to maintain a routine, even if that routine is different than the rest of the year.
How many of you are wondering how in the world you are going to fill up all this TIME? I know I ask myself that question every Summer, and yet by the end of the Summer I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. Here are a few of our favorite summer activities for kids, plus tips (from outdoor games to kids crafts):
- Maintain a set bedtime and wake time. Otherwise, there is a tendency to stay up late every night and sleep in every morning.
- At the beginning of the summer, schedule a weekly library day. We always join the library’s summer reading program, which offers incentives for the kids to read and keep track of the books they complete.
- Find out what summer programs are going on at your library. Book groups, read-alouds, and special visitors are ideal for long summer days.
- Take advantage of cool or cloudy days to hang out at the park or go on a walk. Our area can get very hot and muggy and sometimes outdoor activities can be miserable. So we like to enjoy the few days that are cooler to be outside.
- Speaking of walks, take your child on a Nature Sense Walk.
- Join a local pool, find a friend who has a pool, or just make a day trip to a pool in your city. Get wet and cool off! No pool? Try the sprinklers or a hose to get wet.
- Plant and maintain a garden as a family. Then enjoy the “fruits” of your labors together!
- Find a local theater that has free or cheap Summer movies. We go to free movies weekly at the Regal Cinemas close to our house.
- Send the kids to a session of Summer camp. Summer camp doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Many churches offer Vacation Bible Schools and are fun for kids even if they don’t belong to the hosting church. My girls have also enjoyed going to Girl Scout sponsored day camps, meant to give non girl scouts a hint of what girl scouting is all about. They were cheap and lots of fun!
- Make your own kites to fly.
- Decorate your sidewalks with colored chalk. Even more fun: Color the sidewalks the day before rain is in the forecast. My kids love to watch it wash away.
- Give your older kids (7 and up) cooking lessons and let them help with dinner. Summer time is a great time to get kids started cooking.
- Strap on the camera and look for pictures to take together for a Favorite Photo activity.
- Play board games together inside. There are a bunch of games now that are fun for multiple ages. One of our favorites is Guess Who
- Start a chapter book together and read aloud at a set time every day.
- Invite friends over regularly (the plus to that is that your kids will usually get a return invite!)
- Let your kids take you on a Hopeful Journey.
- Don’t forget to drink lots of water (like Aquafina FlavorSplash). I love to write my kids’ names on cups for the day or give them each their own unique water bottle so that they always have something to drink.
- Play a game of In Your Shoes.
- Play some games together online (Have you tried Yoursphere yet for free with my referral code?)
- Visit a museum or other local attraction (like the aquarium or zoo) that you don’t have time for during the school year.
- Go on a Happiness Scavenger Hunt with your family.
- Make (or buy) some playdough and make some creations with your kids.
- Play a game of make-believe.
- Attend an outdoor concert (check to see if your community has free summer concerts)
- Look for Colorful Things together.
- Have an “old favorites” TV marathon by watching a full series on DVD (we love to do this with shows like Little House on the Prairie).
- Go on a hike.
- Play tourist in your home town. Give everyone a camera and look at your city through different eyes.
- Most of all….enjoy time together, whatever you do!
What are your plans for this Summer?
Inspired by MamaKat’s “30 things you vow to do this summer” writing prompt, which was inspired by Maegan from Life Set To Words. I must also disclose that I am a faculty mom for Fishful Thinking (see my footer for the statement) as well as a test drive mom for Yoursphere.com and an ambassador for Aquafina FlavorSplash. I have or will receive compensation for my participation in these programs (including writing blog posts). Please see above mentioned posts for my full disclosure about these programs. In the writing of this post, I included activities because I love them, not because I was told to do so!
© 2010 – 2015, Food Fun Family. All rights reserved.
Usually, we plant garden with my kids and play board games. My kids really like these activities. Anyway, thanks for an awesome list!
Great list. I would love to read a chapter book with the girls through out the summer. The challenge is finding one they will both be interested in. I’m gonna have to steal some of your great ideas.
.-= Amy´s last blog ..Wow – those are great business cards! =-.
What great ideas. Can I steal some of them for my crew.
One thing I do really want to do is be a tourist in our town. So much has changed from when we left and them moved back, I want to head downtown and check it all out!
Susie's Homemade says
Great ideas! Another one that I am bookmarking:-)
Summer as a kid meant 2 things for me: reading books and going to the pool. I love that my kids are getting the same taste of summer!
There are so many great things to do with kids when you’ve got a little more time. It’s harder for me to do activities like these during the school year because we stay so busy.
Ooh! I look forward to reading your Friday post then!!
You crack me up!! I know all about library fines. Ugh! My kids do well when we go….but then we end up with 150 books. And, really, we’ve already got 300 books at home. I, too, and a book-buyer.
Wow! I am impressed! Our summer hasn’t even started yet and you’ve accomplished half my list. :)
Summer is always super busy with 5 kids….but this year they get to go to camp again. Wahoo!
I think my favorite summer activity as a kid was going to the library and getting a huge stack of books…and then, of course, reading all of them! The incentives were just a bonus!
.-= Ronnica´s last blog ..Out of Oblivion: My Real Blogging Start =-.
Kelli @ writing the waves says
Love all those Fishful Thinking ideas!!! I’ve been wanting to try the Hopeful Journey with my kids. And, of course, we love taking Nature Sense Walks. :)
.-= Kelli @ writing the waves´s last blog ..Fishful Thinking Summer Reading! =-.
Run DMT says
I really like your list. I’ve vowed to do a lot of the same things, like the weekly library trips and trips to the bookstore. Barnes & Nobles and our local libraries have a wonderful summer reading programs for the kids.
I’m going to work on a second Writer’s Workshop and combine my 30 things with a BIB/PSF post, but for now here’s my ultimate honey-do list:
.-= Run DMT´s last blog ..Wimp =-.
parenting BY dummies says
I’d like to send The Dudes to your house for the summer. We usually just spend everyday at the lake. Every place else seems to hate us. Including the library. They hate us the most I think. I’m not sure if it’s the loud talking toddler we bring with us or the fact that we owe them a month’s salary in fines?! Either way, you won’t catch this band of brothers there this summer. We just send Dumb Dad in to pick up books in his sunglasses and mustache disguise. Or we buy them. For all we owe at the library it’s really the same thing! Hope to see you this summer!
.-= parenting BY dummies´s last blog ..Wordful Wednesday. The Runaways. =-.
I’m happy to say we’ve done about 1/2 this list so far! I guess that means my kids are having a great summer!
.-= Jess´s last blog ..Music on Main =-.
Wow, you have a busy summer lined up!
.-= Allison´s last blog ..Chugga, Chugga, Choo-Choo! =-.