Summer is just around the corner, which means you’ll be needing some ideas to keep your kids entertained! It can be tough to come up with things to do every day, but don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Summer camps are great, but they aren’t the only way to have a good time!
In this blog post, we will give you a few tips on how to have a fun summer with your kids. By making a list of activities, getting input from your kids, looking online for ideas, and setting goals, you can make this summer one that they won’t forget!
How to Plan a Fun Summer
Have you ever heard your kid say they were bored? Are you dreading the possibility that they’ll be saying that for the whole summer?
If you don’t have any big trips planned, you might think it’s hard to conjure up some summer fun for your kids. But there are actually a ton of fun things you can do that the whole family will enjoy!
Here are some of our favorite ideas for how to make the most of your kids’ summer vacation.
Make a Summer To-Do List
To-do lists are usually seen as fun, but making a summer bucket list can be a great way to plan some summer activities your kids will love.
Hold a family meeting with your kids and see what they want to do all summer long. Ask them for suggestions that they want on your family’s summer bucket list.
Do they want to go to a nearby amusement park? Do they want to meet friends? Play board games? Go to the county fair?
If you have kids with an age gap, your younger kids might want to do different things than your older kids, and that’s okay! The idea behind this bucket list is to find things the entire family will enjoy and can give you some quality time together.
You can also have a list for the family, and then some other ideas or smaller lists for each child of things they want to do that summer. Making a list of things to do over the summer will help you make a summer schedule. I try to do one bigger thing (like going to a local event or having a themed day) about once a week. That gives us all something to look forward to.
PRINTABLES FOR EASY SUMMER FUN
Engage in Lots of Outdoor Play
Depending on where you live, this might be difficult. It might be insanely hot, so spending time at a local park might not be the most comfortable (or possible).
But there are still lots of fun ideas for things you can do on a hot summer day. Enjoy nature by going on a hike or visiting a nearby river or lake. Bike rides are also a great way to get outside. Take a quick bike ride to the new park in town!
If you live somewhere really warm, use a sprinkler or kiddie pool to have some fun outside! Set up a sprinkler in the backyard and let your kids cool off while they play. And don’t underestimate how fun a water balloon fight can be. Just fill up some water balloons and have fun!
If you have a backyard, make up silly games to play in your backyard like balloon tennis or playing with a bubble machine.
Check Out Local Events
Most cities have some fun events going on for kids during the summer. Check out your local library or community center to see what’s happening. Many places have free or low-cost events like movies, concerts, and classes.
Some towns also have a farmer’s market or carnival during the summer. These can be great places to take your kids for an afternoon of fun.
Look up the weekly schedule or daily schedule of different activities going on in your area. This can be a great way to get out of the house for a few hours and try new things over the summer.
Of course, you don’t have to plan something big every day, but look for things going on nearby that sound interesting and add them into your summer schedule.
PRINTABLES FOR EASY SUMMER FUN
Have Themed Days
Another way to have a great summer is by introducing theme days to your summer schedule. Theme days are a day when the family does something together that revolves around a certain theme.
You can have a movie day, game day, sports day, arts and crafts day, or even a beach day if you live close to one. Themed days are a great way to spend some quality time with your kids and bond as a family.
Last year we decided to invest in some decor and equipment so that we could have outdoor movie parties!
You can also pick a theme like a different country to learn about. Make dinner with popular foods from that country, watch a movie or show about that country, and have your kids look up some fun facts.
There are lots of great ideas for themes you can choose from online if you’re looking for more ideas. But having a theme day every week or two (or even just once or twice over the summer) is a nice way to introduce more learning and family activities to your summer plans.
FUN SUMMER TOYS
Have Your Kids Make Goals
Speaking of learning, having each child make a list of goals is a good idea. Have them set goals like reading a certain number of books, learning to swim, or perfecting a cartwheel.
They can choose whatever goals they want as long as they’re things that they can reasonably achieve over the summer. This will give them something to work towards and feel proud of by the end of summer.
They don’t need to be super educational either. Of course, school is great, but this is their break from the school year. And learning isn’t just about math or science!
Ask your kids what they want to accomplish. Do you have a child who likes crafts? Try out one of those craft kits or challenge them to learn to make a specific type of craft.
During quiet time, they can learn how to make something new or read a new book. It gives them a chance to learn a new skill or do something they love.
My kids really like to take advantage of summer and earn money! Set a savings goal with your kids so they can have something to work towards.
Take a Day Trip
What towns or landmarks do you have nearby? Consider taking a mini road trip to one of those locations for the day. It can be a lot of fun, and you might even learn something new about your area!
If you have a state park nearby, you can go for a quick hike. Check out a nearby beach or small town. Go to nearby mountains or lakes. Grab some paper plates, pack a picnic basket, and have lunch outside. Visit museums for the day or any nearby historical sites.
If you have the space, let your kids bring along some friends and have a great time exploring your area! Just don’t forget bug spray if you’re outside, or it might make the next day a disaster.
Have Lazy Days
Having a great summer doesn’t mean having everything planned out to the second all summer long. Make sure you have some lazy days throughout your summer break. When the new school year starts, your kids will be busy with homework and class, so let their summer break be an actual break.
Obviously, you don’t want your kids to spend their whole summer on devices, but let them have some screen time and just relax around the house on some days.
Having chores and structure is important all year long, including through the summer months, but it’s okay to have some days where nothing gets done and everyone just gets free time.
Relaxation, free time, and quiet days are important for everyone’s mental health and happiness – even adults – so teaching your kids that at a young age is important. You don’t have to do all the things every day of the week. Teach your kids it’s okay to take a break every so often!
PRINTABLES FOR EASY SUMMER FUN
Make a “Bored List”
If you have a problem with some family members telling you they are bored, make a bored list and hang it up in your house.
A bored list is a list that has activities written down on it that the person can do when they say they’re bored.
You can write things like read a book, take a walk, make a fort out of blankets and pillows, draw a picture, play outside, build a tower out of blocks, etc. You can put tons of different things on your list. You can even get extreme like “learn how to make ice cream” and see if anyone in your family wants to tackle the harder games and activities.
This will help give them ideas of things to do when they feel like there’s nothing to do.
How to Have All the Fun This Summer
There are lots of ways to spend the summer months, but if you don’t have any big vacations or summer camps planned, it can be easy to feel daunted by two long months of trying to entertain your kids.
I hope these ideas have helped you see that there are lots of ways to play and have a wonderful time over the summer. Make a plan of things you want to do each week and ask your kids what they want to do for the summer.
Have play dates with friends, explore the area, and help your kids learn a new skill. If you work full time, a lot of these things can also be done in the evening or on the weekend. Do what works for your family so you can all enjoy a wonderful, fun summer.