Welcome to summer! Whether you homeschool year-round or take a break in the summer, these next months can be rich times of getting outdoors, building family memories, and letting your children explore what interests them.
If you’d like some inspiration for intentional ways to make memories and expand your children’s horizons, try a few of these fabulously fun summer activities.
1. Let Your Kids Get Bored
First and foremost let’s remember that it is OK for kids to be bored this summer. It can even be good for them. Check out this article and scroll down for a motivating video about letting your kids pass through the stages of boredom that lead to creative breakthrough and reflective self-knowledge. (You could also check your library for Peter Spier’s funny and inspiring picture book called Bored, Nothing to Do.)
Now for the actual activity ideas …
2. Go to the Farmer’s Market
Head to your local market to explore the produce and talk to the farmers. Pick something new and prepare it with your children. Or give each child a few dollars to browse and buy whatever they want to share with the family.
3. Live Up the Picnic Season
Pack up some peanut butter and jelly, grab a blanket, and head to your backyard or a park. Add something unexpected to your bag, such as a Frisbee or sketchpads and pencils.
4. Head to a Summer Festival
Many towns have a special festival at least once a summer. Look up your options and put something on the calendar now so you remember to go if you want to.
5. Read, and Read Some More
Whatever you do, please read this summer! Read out loud to your children, keep the house stocked with good books for them to read on their own, and let them see you enjoying your own books. Of course, our Summer Reader packages are a great place to start.
6. Experiment with Science
Whether you missed some of the scheduled science experiments this past school year, or you want to find new ones to tackle, you might take advantage of your relaxed schedule to attempt a few experiments. Summer is the perfect time to take the mess outside so you avoid the worries of spills and disasters in your kitchen.
7. Get Out the Art
If you didn’t have time for much art this year, or if your children really love it, you might want to bless them with the opportunity to create. Provide some supplies, a vision, and be willing to let the kids make a bit of a mess. Check out ARTistic Pursuits or our other art materials for inspiration.
8. Find a Family-friendly Outdoor Concert or Play
From Shakespeare to a string quartet to your favorite bluegrass group, pack up dinner and make a night out of it.
9. Help Your Kids Build at Fort
Choose a locale in your yard, down by the creek, or anywhere that feels special and exciting. As you know, kids even love a simple blanket fort inside. (Stock it with books and a flashlight if you want!)
10. Get Ideas from Your Kids
Ask your children what they want to learn how to do this summer. Even if they answer with something outrageous, you still might let them give it a try and see where it takes them.
11. Tackle Home Improvement
Let your children help in the planning, budgeting, shopping and the actual work. It will probably take longer than if you did it yourself, but it will certainly be a learning opportunity for everyone. Your kids will feel so proud of the finished product.
12. Tour a Local Farm
Many farms are happy to have visitors–especially eager, “love to learn” visitors. Look online to see what your local farms have to offer by way of tours and visiting hours. Some even let you come and volunteer for a while! If you visit a farm now and in September, you’ll be amazed at the difference from the beginning to end of a growing season.
13. Go Camping
It’s the ultimate family-bonding, nature-appreciating, funny-story-generating adventure. We camped often when the kids were young. I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!
14. Look for Wildflowers
Do you have particularly good wildflowers anywhere around? Take a camera or some sketchbooks and go explore.
15. Make Homemade Ice Cream
What child wouldn’t be excited for the chance to make and eat real ice cream? Even without an ice-cream maker, you can definitely make it at home.
16. Suggest a Lemonade Stand
Inspire the entrepreneurial spirit in your children. If you want to add some real-life math and money lessons, have your children calculate the cost of all the ingredients they use for lemonade and cookies. Then have them pay you back from their earnings and calculate their true profit.
17. Marvel at the Stars
Look online to see if any meteor showers will be visible soon. Or just pick a clear night to go lay out under the stars somewhere away from city lights. You can be sure your kids will remember that special night for years to come.
Again, please don’t feel pressure to do more than you want to here. If you just need to relax, organize your house, and send the kids outside, that can be great too. But I also know from experience that if you do want to do some special activities this summer, it can really help to make some simple plans or write your ideas down now.
I pray you enjoy the next few weeks of summer with your family!