Summer break commonly brings a sense of freedom from the pressures of homework, grades, and rigid scheduling for kids and their parents alike. Children suddenly transition from a great deal of structure, discipline, and routine to a new normal, often devoid of any schedule or much responsibility. While it’s important for children to be bored at times and to use their creative imagination to address that boredom, summer break is also an excellent opportunity for parents to bond with their children by spending quality time getting to know each other, working as a team, trying new things, and having fun!
Getting kids (and adults!) away from their preferred electronic devices can be quite a challenge, but the rewards are surely worth the effort. The following 25 activities can help get your family started on creating new traditions and memories that will last each of you a lifetime.
1. Build an ice cream sandwich bar with homemade cookies and ice cream.
2. Make personalized popsicles using your favorite fruit juices.
3. Play Mad Libs (you can find them at places like Target and Barnes & Noble).
4. Pack a picnic for lunch at a local park or beach.
5. Collaborate on a family photo journal or family yearbook.
6. Construct a Lego masterpiece.
7. Collect shells or rocks at a nearby beach, lake, or river.
8. Design a scavenger hunt in your living room or yard.
9. Pick up groceries at a farmer’s market (bonus points for trying something new).
10. Take on a new hiking trail or another physical challenge.
11. Compare the rainbow sherbet at 3 local ice cream shops.
12. Run in the sprinklers or an outdoor ground-level fountain.
13. Wash the family car in the driveway.
14. Go on a leisurely bike ride.
15. Find a local ice skating or roller-skating rink.
16. Try out a new park or playground.
17. Camp out and stargaze in the backyard.
18. Draw cards and write letters to family and friends.
19. Collect items around the house to donate to a local charity.
20. Plant a garden of flowers, fruits, vegetables, and herbs (windowsill gardens count!).
21. Visit a museum or amusement park.
22. Compile recipes into a family cookbook and challenge yourselves to add to it over the summer.
23. Create your own family board game using components of other games.
24. Browse books at your local library.
25. Attend a community event (live music, art show, swap meet, etc.).
With its warmer weather and longer days, summertime offers a unique opportunity to go on new adventures and explore the local community as a family. While many of us frequently default to using electronics to avoid boredom and to stay entertained, it’s rarely as rewarding as quality time spent with loved ones. Before you know it, the new school year will begin. What do you want to remember about the summer of 2018?!