The kids are home for summer and it’s time to figure out what we’re going to do with all that quality time together! I am a “keep it simple” most of the time kind of girl. But, what summer is complete with a few planned activities that create lovely memories? I try to ensure we do a couple of fun things each year, whether that’s at home or elsewhere. Below are five that we’ve done in the last few years and while they might include a smidge of planning, they really are easy to execute. Let me know what you think!
Can’t justify the hundreds of dollars for a large, blow-up slide this year? No worries – I have an idea for you.
I grew up country and we did many things in our own way and made due with what we had. You know those jokes, “You know you’re a redneck if” , my family fit the bill. It was comical. So, a few summers ago, when we had a super hot day, the husband and I did what we could to make what we had work. We used large clamps from the garage to secure the hose over our small plastic play structure. We realized quickly our splash pool was needed to complete the project and keep it remotely safe. Enter, the redneck water slide.
The kids..loved it! It was no frills, but they had the best time.
Explore a new place locally
I remember when this photo was taken. It followed a time when my oldest daughter had a severe reaction to Penicillin and we were cooped up for quite a while with an epic rash like I’ve never seen before. When she was better, my husband and I took her to a shady park we had not been to before and put her on a swing. It was such a simple joy for all of us, the act of her swinging under tall trees and giggling.
It was so simple, but so joyful. And, it resulted in some sweet dimply toddler photos that I treasure so much.
I mean, she’s nearly ten years old now. These photos are priceless and a reminder that grand plans are necessary to foster joy in our children.
Geocaching is a fantastic outdoor activity that requires no money, only a little preparation. It’s a lot of fun for the whole family, including the grandparents in your life – which is who went with us on our first trip. What I love is the kids gain some exploring skills, if they’re older, they’ll learn about latitude and longitude. You can plan for a picnic along the way and it’s a great way to get some exercise as a family.
We learned a few things along the way, check out my 7 Tips for Geocaching with Kids to learn more!
Art camp at home
Create a paper bag scrapbook that your kids can add to throughout the summer as you go on adventures and explore new things.
You could also create your own NEW crayons by upcycling your broken crayons. Find a fun mold and voila!
Raise money for charity running a modern beverage stand that includes lemonade for the kids and iced coffee for the adults! We ran one a couple of summers ago for an International Delight campaign and it was so much fun. Plus, we got to raise money for a local family in need.
Each summer, making memories is a goal. I don’t need to have high frills to create those memories as you can see, but I do like to try new things and allow my kids to be wholly included in the process. Some is good ol’ fashioned fun, while other things are a learning opportunity. All in all, we’re doing things as a family, and that really is the point of summer vacation, isn’t it?
What are your favorite things to do with your kids in the summer months?