Summer vacation is here. While summer, as a season, does not begin until 21 June, most people make the switch after Memorial Day. There are twelve weeks of summer left between now and Labor Day. Why not use those weeks to make this summer a time to remember!
Simplify your home routines, family schedule, and your work schedule. There are twenty-four hours in a day. We typically sleep for seven to eight hours of them. This leaves sixteen to seventeen hours to work, play, eat, and maintain our homes.
How do your children like work? How well do they work? Not looking forward to chore wars? Then, try something new this summer. Suspend chores and instead, work together with your children to prepare meals, do dishes together, get meals on the table together, tidy together, fold and put away laundry together. Surprise them and help them clean their rooms; which should be easier because you streamlined things, right? This should really surprise them! Put on some music and enjoy your time together! Make life enjoyable and let the children learn from your example how to work hard, enjoy work, and do quality work. If they hate or avoid work, now is the time to learn to enjoy work. After all, it will be their lifetime companion and was meant for our and their benefit. Why not embrace work now? Build relationships as you work together. Look for the teaching moments and share your love of God. (Deuteronomy 6:7)
Enjoy the summer journey together!
Work with you children in the garden. This is an opportunity to teach about God and the laws of nature's God, while you work side by side and sneak in Horticulture, too
Instead of just setting limits on screen time or using screen time as a reward to do chores independently, plan activities and simple summer routines that keep family engaged. Free time and a little boredom can be a creativity spark, especially when screen time is not and option during certain times of the day. You do not need to leave town for a memorable summer. Enjoy a stay-cation! There are plenty of activities that can be done at home or near home.
Enjoy a slower happier pace. Summer vacation does not need to be expensive or excessively boring. Neither does summer vacation have to be exhausting, running here and there, nor does it mean checking out in front of screens. Here is a list of fun activities that can inspire you to make summer memorable and not cost a fortune.
105 Ideas for "Summer Activities on a Shoestring...
1. What are the local opportunities? Get a calendar and list local fairs scheduled nearby. We have local city festivals during the summer months. We also have a huge Fourth of July Festival, a Colonial Festival, a Scandinavian Festival, a Scottish Highland Festival, and other festivals near our town every summer.
2. Look in the local newspapers or online to find out about free activities near your home. Schedule them in your family activity calendar.
3. Are there any free local open-air concerts available nearby; include those in your calendar.
4. Enjoy meals, Al Fresco! Eat outside on the porch, patio, deck, under the shade of a large tree, on a blanket on the lawn, or have a picnic at the local park. Listen to the natural outdoor sounds as you eat. Enjoy the time with your family.
5. Cool off at a local splash pad or make your own by turning on a lawn sprinkler.
6. Get frozen pop forms. Mix up your own banana berry smoothies pour into the forms and freeze! Enjoy!
7. Take a few minutes in the cool of the morning to chop veggies and fruits for quick serving during the day. Store cut vegetables in wide mouth, half-pint and pint freezer/canning jars in the fridge. Chop, rinse, and spin Romaine lettuce. Store the prepared lettuce in wide mouth quart jars in the fridge. This makes for a quick salad bar or lunch or a first course for dinner.
8. Everyone is an author! Get everyone a dollar store photo album. They can keep pictures, ticket stubs, and even add little journal entries of their wonderful summer vacation. Before bedtime, have each person write their favorite activity of the day in their journals.
9. Blog Summer and share your adventures! Keep a family summer stay-cation blog, add pictures, and share your summer joys on your family stay-cation blog.
10. Garden to Table! Create a garden, even if it is just a few container plants. Dig in the soil, feel the sense of joy as something you nurture comes to fruition.
11. Be creative! Get some sidewalk chalk and have fun with your family drawing or doodling on the driveway.
12. On hot days, chill out, go to the library and start a summer reading program. Or start your own family reading program. Everyone contributes. Time reading aloud contributes points. We did "Have you Bean There?" Use a series of five jars from the size of a spice jar to a one-gallon jar. As one jar filled it flowed into the next larger jar. Then we start again at the smallest. We had different numbers of pinto beans for each level of difficulty of books of what could be read in a certain time period. We changed things up and decided they could also earn points for exercise 1 bean per 15 minutes. Each jar when full represented a family award. Then that jar would be poured into the next size jar. Love it when we get to the tipping point of one jar topping off the next, and that one topping off the next! We get all the prizes.
13. Take daily family walks and personal walks in the cooler part of the day. Enjoy the sights and sounds, as well as, the fresh air and exercise.
14. Have a yard party and BBQ. Invite neighbors. Make Frozen Bananas. Prepare jar salads and Mason jar drinks. Fill a bucket with ice and keep the drinks and salads cold.
15. Get a badminton set, volleyball set, Frisbee, or croquet game to play with family and friends. Learn how to play these outdoor games.
16. Get a few families together and organize a summer day camp for your children.
17. Organize a summer Bible day camp with some families you know.
18. Visit a different local park with your family each Friday for a picnic and games.
19. Learn how to cook outdoors.
20. Have a classic movie night.
21. Create an- "I'm Bored Jar." Fill it with strips of paper with a single activity listed on each strip. Some ideas:
- Do 10 sit-ups
- Make a cold dessert for the family and clean up afterward.
- Learn something new from a book and share what you learned.
- Play checkers with your younger sibling.
- Make paper airplanes and have a race.
- Wash the car.
- Memorize a poem, quote or Bible verse.
22. Have a neighborhood of family recital night. Serve refreshments and hold the recital outside on the lawn.
23. Host an "End of Summer Art Show," in your yard. Invite neighbors to participate.
24. Stargaze and learn the constellations for your area.
25. Create a back yard carnival. Have a ring toss, a button plate, a sponge throw, three-legged race, a balance walk, and a fireline. Fire line teams line up and each person has a large cup. The first person fills their cup and pours it over the top of their head to the person behind, who must catch what water they can in their cup and do then pour water over their head into the cup behind them. The last person is trying to fill a bowl. The team with the first filled bowl full wins.
26. Have a campfire in your back yard, roast s'mores, sing songs, and tell stories!
27. Pack a picnic and go watch a firework display.
28. Practice as a family for a 5k (about 3 miles) run/walk and then sign up and participate in one together. Or create your own for families and friends with a potluck party at the end.
29. Go swimming as a family.
30. Shop at a farmer's market with the children or go to a "U-pick-it" as a family.
31. Make homemade ice cream and invites some friends over.
32. Have a neighborhood squirt bottle fight.
33. Make and fly kites at a park or area with no aerial electrical lines.
34. Camp in the back yard.
35. If you can rent a projection unit, have a neighborhood or family to family outdoor movie night in the back yard.
36. Play car games while traveling to activities or sing fun songs in the car.
37. Make a movie as a family. Invite friends to do the same and then have your own movie fest.
38. Have a family game night.
39. Design and make a family T-shirt.
40. Make bubbles and create monster bubbles.
41. Go hiking as a family.
42. Do Sparklers on the 4th of July.
43. Prepare something to enter into the county fair. My husband's family grew irises. My sister-in-law made candy. There are all kinds of divisions at the county fair and state fairs.
44. Do the garage sale circuit and find something to reupholster or repurpose. Then bring it home and do it!
45. Have a yard sale.
46. Play hopscotch.
47. Have a sunrise breakfast!
48. Grill a pizza.
49. Shop at a flea market or antique shop.
50. Build a sundial.
51. As a family, serve an elderly or shut-in neighbor. Mow and trim their lawn, bring in a meal, tend the children so a new mom can rest.
52. Visit your state capital.
53. Visit local and nearby historic places.
54. Play flashlight tag.
55. Take a glow stick moonlight walk.
56. Skip stones on a lake.
57. Take a nature walk each week and keep a nature notebook.
58. Eat veggies from your own garden.
59. Go to a parade.
60. Visit an art gallery.
61. Have a hula hoop contest.
62. Build a fort in the back yard.
63. Use a few magnifying glasses to go on a neighborhood bug walk and see what a bug's life is really about!
64. Play in a kiddie pool.
65. Plant flowers in your front yard.
66. Build a birdhouse.
67. Create wind chimes.
68. Go to library story time.
69. Play balloon volleyball.
70. Make cookies and then turn them into ice cream sandwiches.
71. Have a luau.
72. Have a tea party.
73. Make a windsock or whirligig windmill.
74. Make a weather station and keep a weather log.
75. Make homemade salsa and homemade tortillas.
76. Sun-dry Tomatoes.
77. Make shorts from old jeans (yours or second hand).
78. Check out a local farm.
79. Have a neighborhood BBQ cook-off.
80. Collect seashells, rocks, or other natural objects.
81. Make Strawberry or Raspberry Lemonade.
82. If you live near fireflies, make a firefly lantern. If you do not live near fireflies, make a paper, jar, or tin can lantern, use a tea light or a battery operated tea light.
83. Create a butterfly or bee garden.
84. Put on an outdoor play, based on a book you have read.
85. Ride a Ferris-Wheel or other ride at the State Fair, a carnival, or amusement park.
86. Go to a playground and do a family Olympics.
87. Take a mini one-two day road trip.
88. Play Hide and Seek.
89. Visit a planetarium.
90. If you live near a beach or can drive to one, build a sandcastle, draw and write in the sand.
91. Do leaf rubbings and add them to a nature notebook, nature journal or frame the art. You can also extend a clothesline on the wall and hang pictures with clothespins.
92. Go to a cemetery and do rubbings of interesting grave markers. If they are distant relative's stones find out about them and write a story about them.
93. Make homemade pizzas.
94. Get up early on a weekend and watch hot air balloons.
95. Roast hot dogs on a stick.
96. Have a New Testament Read-a-Thon. Prepare quick food, invite other families and read aloud the New Testament in a Day. With lots of readers, this can be easy.
97. Plant a herb garden.
98. Make melt and stir soap with fruits or herbs.
99. Learn a Bible verse a week.
100. Bucket List Celebration! Have an end of summer party.
101. Make and send postcards! Use pictures you have drawn or photographs you have taken.
102. Make paper air planes and have a competition...the one that flies the furthest, the highest, stays in the air the longest, and the most unique.
103. Make little boats of cans, wood, or paper etc. have a boat race in a small stream, gutter, baby pool or rain-gutter.
104. Create a bucket list of field trips and activities for the fall and winter!
105. Take lots of pictures of activities. Create a Mom and Dad's Great Adventure Summer Year Book. You have about 12 to 14 weeks of summer. Costco makes photo books for under $20, you can add words, and for about .75 you can add pages!
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