Don’t you love summertime? The pools are open, the sun is shining, and our darling, wild, messy children are home. All. The. Time.
Fret not! We’ve got DIY, budget-friendly summer family activities to keep them entertained all summer long, saving you time, money, and stress (and your sanity).
When you want to get outside.
- Recruit little garden helpers. Planting a veggie or herb garden is a great way to keep your family active and productive.
- Keep cool with a sprinkler. Water the lawn and entertain the kids in one easy step. You know, two birds, one stone, right?
- Giant “board” games. Enjoy the kids’ favorite board games without sitting around all morning! Get the kids to help craft giant versions of Scrabble, Mancala, Bananagrams, or Twister and play outside.
Chalk it up…Call us old fashioned, but we love sidewalk chalk. It’s affordable, easy to clean up, and the possibilities are endless.
When you want to chill out indoors.
- Food prep together. Having the kids home for the summer is a great opportunity to teach them some basic kitchen skills. Make lunch time more fun with a “picnic” in the living room if it’s too hot to eat outside.
- Build a fort. Use blankets, pillows, dining room chairs, and whatever else you can find to build an awesome fort for your kids to snuggle up in. This is a perfect way to encourage some afternoon quiet time, or even a nap.
Yo ho, yo ho. It’s a pirate’s life for the kiddos! Set up a treasure hunt by hiding treats or toys around the house. Or, for a productive spin on this game, make the mission to find all of their missing and mismatched socks.
When you need to get away for the day.
- Splish, splash. Help the kids (and yourself) keep cool and take them out for a pool day. Just don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Go to a museum. A lot of local museums offer free or discounted admission during summer hours. Pack lunches to save money on eating out.
- Library cards, anyone? A weekly trip to the library will help the kids stay sharp over the summer. Grab a book and hit up the fort you built earlier for a relaxed afternoon with the kids.
- Play dates for parents. Tag team the kiddos with other parents by scheduling weekly playdates with a group of friends. Each family can host the play date on alternating weeks to give all of you hardworking parents a break every now and then.
Bonus tip: Boredom can be beautiful.
Children and teenagers spend all school year moving from one structured setting to another. Letting them have some unstructured downtime fosters independence and creativity and gives them space for the mental and emotional rest they may not have during the school year.
Give yourself a break and trust that they don’t have to be entertained all day everyday. You’re doing great!