Summer Fun for the Family

By: Elizabeth Garner and Nicholas Johansen

Who else remembers when summer meant fun in the sun and playing until those streetlights kicked on, calling it another successful day of play? While that scenario might not be the current go-to summer plan for you and your kiddos, there are still plenty of fun summer activities to do together as a family. Here are some easy, fun activities for all to enjoy:

Family bike rides

Bike rides are a great way to get in that much-needed exercise and a super fun group activity that gets everyone outside in the sunshine. With so many different bike types and accessories out there, it's easy to get everyone loaded up on their bike or bike stroller for those smaller family members and the furry family members. Take a quick turn around the neighborhood or venture through a local park for a change of pace. A bike ride is a perfect escape where the wind can wipe through your hair and bring back the child in you! 

Homemade fresh churned ice cream

Making homemade fresh churned ice cream can be a memorable and tasty activity for you and your children. It's an easy win with simple ingredients like milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and whatever toppings you like. I can vividly remember being at my aunt's house over the summer with the whole family, where we were all taking turns churning the copper ice cream maker and tasting the sweets of our labor on the back porch together.

Family picnic

Having a picnic at a local park is also a great option. Take the time to pack up a tasty picnic basket of sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and snacks to enjoy while basking in the sunshine. Also, look into your local park's amenities since some of our area parks have duck ponds! Bringing some bird food can make for a fun experience and some great pictures of the kiddos feeding the ducks! Many of the local parks around town have shaded sitting areas, playgrounds, and trails to elevate your family picnic.

Sidewalk chalk

Sidewalk chalk murals can be a great way to unleash your child's creative beast while keeping everything with little to no mess. Place some folding chairs on your lawn, set up the kids with a rainbow pack of chalk, and see what they create. I love making hopscotch patterns and watching my kid with her friends trying to make it through without missing a hop! As a mom, I'm always looking for a no-mess activity, and sidewalk chalk makes fun for the whole neighborhood!

Backyard campout

Another great at-home activity is a good ol' backyard campout. Play music, dance under the stars, point out constellations that you can see from your yard, have a storytelling session, and make some s'mores! Setting up a tent or sleeping directly under the stars can be magical for your little ones while still having access to indoor plumbing.

DIY bird feeder

Making a DIY bird feeder can be a super fun joint activity and a great way to help supplement your local bird's diets. It can be as simple as smearing peanut butter on a paper towel roll and coating it with birdseed attaching it with string to a branch. Or, you can get fancier and build a DIY bird feeder kit from your local hardware store, which can also be an excellent activity for your kiddos. Show them what a hammer is and how to use it and teach them about your local bird species, then set up your new feeder and watch the bird frenzy unfold!

Blanket and box fort

This next one is perfect for a rainy day stuck inside. Making a grand blanket or box fort is a super fun interactive activity that keeps on giving. Building the fort is half the fun and the supplies needed are super easy to find lying around the house. Sheets, blankets, towels, and boxes are all great items to drive this activity home. Read books, have a tea party, or watch movies curled up underneath the blanket ceiling, and win your children's hearts when you tell them they can sleep in the fort too! 

Outside scavenger hunt

Staging a scavenger hunt can be a fantastic way to get outside. I made one recently for my middle schooler, and she had to solve riddles to find her next hidden clue. We had a blast, and seeing the pure joy on your child's face when they find the final clue is everything!

There are so many fun activities to do during the summer that we couldn't fit it all here, but we hope this short list helps jumpstart your summer vacations and brings you and your family joy!

Photo Credits: Jelleke Vanooteghem, Mark Stosberg, Ross Sokolovski, Patrice Bouchard, Annie Spratt, Randy Fath all on Unsplash

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