Here are some fun activities you can enjoy with your family without much planning or major budgets. They can take as long as you want them to, so they are perfect for a whole afternoon or if you just have an hour to spare. Sometimes the best of times are a result of spur of the moment ideas!
- Camp out (or camp in)! If you can plan a camping trip at a national park even better, but if your time is limited and or the weather doesn’t cooperate, don’t feel left out: Camp in! Arrange chairs in the living room, drop a long sheet over it and let the kids use their sleeping bags. Turn off all the lights and use flashlights only, no other electronics allowed either! Just camp stories and family bonding time. And of course indulge in camp like foods such as s’mores; which my version skips the marshmallow, we use a graham cracker with dark chocolate squares and peanut butter! No fire required and oh so good!
- Dance in the rain. Seriously, if you don’t do this at least once in your lifetime you’ll be missing out on one of the greatest moments in life. There is something magical about laughing and jumping in rain puddles with a child. No rain? No problem! Turn on your sprinklers and watch your kids’ faces light up with excitement.
- Summer time journal Choose a notebook and decorate the front page with your family member’s names, this can be a whole family activity. One member of the family must write it in everyday! Write down what you did that day and you can even get more detailed by adding pictures and “mementos” you pick up along the way. During the school year there just isn’t enough time to do all this, so summer time is a perfect time to write wonderful family stories.
- Let the kids be in charge of meal time! Let the kids handle from planning the meal, choosing recipes, going grocery shopping all the way to cooking. Depending on their ages you can even let them surprise you with the end results all by themselves! Nice break for you from the kitchen, and they get to learn a little bit about all that hard work you put into cooking every day!
- Build something. And I really mean anything. A bird house made out of twigs or a wooden table requiring a table saw! Children thrive when working on projects. All of us have something we’ve always wanted to make (if not, visit Pinterest and you’ll be running to the supply shop full of inspiration), so enlist your children to help and get your hands dirty. Think about using recycled materials like old food jars or old broken furniture you may have in your garage, turn something old into new again.
- Take a hike. Sky is the limit on this one! It can be as simple as a long walk around a park or a special visit to an official trail near you. When going on a longer hike, don’t forget to pack up some snacks and lots of water. Nut butters and crackers are a perfect combo of protein and energy and they pack easily and can sustain the heat well.
- Make some music. If you have anyone in the family who plays instruments let them take the lead. Just grab some old cans and fill them up with beans and start creating a beat! Turn trash cans upside down and use them as drums. Get your phones ready to record your musical creation to have a dance party!
- Explore the Map. Gather your family around a world map (on the web or a globe works too!) and pick a country you’d like to learn more about. Assign each family member a mission to dig deeper into that countries food, culture customs, native animals and plants. Share what you’ve learned and maybe discover a new spot to take a vacation trip to one day! It is so important for kids to learn and become aware of how amazing our world is, how different our cultures can be and how interconnected we all are nowadays.
- Be an artist. Choose your canvas and paint to let creativity run free! Find a beautiful landscape you’d like to paint for example. Each one will paint their own view of the landscape and who knows… you may just have some new wall art to hang!
- Summer time picnic! Take meal time outside. Visit a park near you or go just find the nearest patch of green grass to lay a blanket in, it could even be your backyard! Take fruits and vegetables and remember to drink lots of water when outdoors this summer.
… enjoy your summer!