Have your run out of ideas on what to do with your children this summer? Tired of them playing X-Box or being on the computer? Worried that their English and Math skills are vanishing before your eyes? Here are a few ideas on how to engage your children over the summer, no matter what the age.

  • Backyard Bash:  Pick a night…yes, any night and plan some kind of backyard family event.  Let your children come up with the event, do some part of the planning, theme, decorations, food, and invitations.  Maybe it involves friends or it could be just your family.  Events are a fun way to teach your children planning, details, even how much things cost.  Children are creative and imaginative.  Parties are a fantastic opportunity to see their unique perspective on having fun!
  • Bucket List:  The idea of a bucket list is pretty self-explanatory.  So what is a bucket list when it involves a family?  Try coming up with a list of ideas you would like to do for the summer.  The beautiful part of this idea is that even if you cannot do all the things you dream up, these begin to become ideas the family can organize around.  It could be that the idea of seeing a Broadway Show becomes a play you see locally.  Or it could be next year’s summer trip!  Regardless, creating adventures is something you can do as a family!
  • Camping Out: Yep…it’s hot and sleeping outside may seem unappealing, but you can camp out inside by making a tent. Or you can simply do a campfire type BBQ with S’Mores or have a picnic by the river or lake. Camping out can be a weekend trip in the woods or it can be in your own home. It’s the experience you are really after.
  • Game night: Spice up game night by keeping a running competition. Keep tallies of who has won Candyland the most or fight an epic battle of Risk over the summer. Monopoly is a staple so use it as an opportunity to teach managing money because who wouldn’t like to collect rent on Park Place. Catan is another fun game with lots of strategy and planning. If your family likes card games, pair up in games like Spades or Hearts or try the 3 person versions. Games are a great way to not only have healthy competition within the home but are easy ways to spend time together laughing.
  • The Lemonade Stand: The beauty for younger children in a lemonade stand is not only a fun way to teach them why adding and subtracting matters in other areas than just school, it is way they the can be motivated to earn money for themselves. For older children, the concept of a lemonade stand seems childish but mowing lawns or babysitting is based on the same principle: exchange your time and service for a return…extra spending cash!
  • Movie Night: Make movie night more than just sitting in front of the TV. Really do it up by putting out all the items from popcorn to candy to even ice cream sundae’s.
  • Volunteer:  Is there a way to use a cause or a charity to provide your children with an important perspective?  Certainly there is.  Christ spoke often of the poor, the hungry, the widows, and orphans.  Hurting people are everywhere.  Have your children pick a cause that is important to them.  You can even use ideas like The Lemonade Stand for a purpose where they give the money to a charity or family.  Allowing your children to be a part of the solution to problems and pains they see is an invaluable life lesson.  Being an asset to society is an early lesson that all parents should teach their children.

What summer fun do you have planned for your family? Leave a comment below with your ideas.

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