School season is just around the corner, which means our summer is almost over… can you believe it? As you plan to take those last-minute family trips, to the places you’ve always wanted to go, we’d like to give you 20 creative and fun activities to do with before the kiddos head back to the books.
These 20 activities are inexpensive, simple and provide eventful opportunities to bond as a family – let us know if you give them a go!
1. Go on a Picnic
Having a picnic is a great way to get outside and enjoy a simple, delicious spread. Think fruit bowls, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, your favourite salad, veggie turkey tortilla rollups, pizza, meat and cheese tray, cowboy caviar and tortilla chips with cookies for dessert. You can go as extravagant or as simple as you’d like – it’ll be a fun change to the lunch or dinner routine.
2. Set up a Tent and Try Camping in your Backyard
If you’ve never tried camping before but have always wanted to – this is your nudge! Grab a tent to fit the size of your family and set it up in your backyard. This goes perfectly with your favourite snacks and a good book!
3. Have a Family Slumber Party
Grab your pjs and the best snacks! You can blow up the air mattress that’s tucked away in the basement, or fall asleep on the sofa, whatever you do just do it together.
4. Have a “Yes Day”
This sounds like it could be your child’s favourite day! Say yes to whatever your child wants: food, dollar store, balloons, ice cream, going to the park, visiting the grandparents, going to the water park, they name it all. And of course, the “yes” is within reason.
5. Make a Fort in your Living Room
Let the creativity begin! Blankets, sheets and cushions – that’s all they need to create something special for the adventure they bring to life.
6. Play “I-Spy” Outdoors
“I Spy with my little eye, something that is BLESSED” – that’s you!
This game can go as long as you’d like, there are always fun things to discover outdoors.
7. Have an Outdoor Fire and Make S’mores
Who doesn’t love sitting by the fire on a warm summer night? If you don’t have a fire pit, you can always get a gas fire bowl to bring a similar experience. Fire and S’mores they just go hand in hand!
8. Bake a Special Treat for a Family Friend
There’s nothing quite like fresh, homemade cookies, banana bread or rice crispy treats. Your friend will feel the love and thought that went into making something just for them. Maybe you know their favourite treat – give it a try!
9. Take a Tour of your City
Whether you are in a big city or small town taking a drive or a walk around some historic places could even be an educational outing. If you’ve always lived in your city, it would be a great opportunity to tell some old stories and share them with your kiddos as you go down memory lane.
10. Go Berry Picking
There is something special about farm to table style grazing. Search the web to find the nearest berry picking farm and take a quick drive. You could pick strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or even wild berries – you and your little one won’t be disappointed!
11. Plan a Block Party
This may take a bit of planning and organizing but it is worth it! Block parties are awesome for building connections that improve your local community.
Spread the word among your neighbours and contact your town hall to see the steps you have to take to make it official. It will look something like:
- Pick a time and place
- Organize your party
- Determine if you need insurance (most cities offer free insurance subject to limitations and exclusions)
- Review guidelines and apply for a permit
- Guidelines are things like: Be respectful of noise and amplified music, cleaning up afterwards, notify neighbours at least one week ahead, etc.
- Permits are most often free
- Rent barricades (if necessary) and have your party! YAY!
12. Go on a Family Hike
Hikes really do help us become familiar and aware of what God created around us – let’s take advantage of it! Have a trail you’ve heard about but never tried? This is your summer to take the family and give it a go! Oh, and don’t forget the bug spray, sunhat and sunscreen.
13. Try a New Bakery in Town
Trying new baked goods are always fun! Invite you child’s friend and family to join and enjoy every bite!
14. Collect Bugs
Insects can teach your child so much and it’s a simple way to have fun outdoors. Head over to your local dollar store and purchase a bug container – it usually has a magnifying glass on top to help see all the bugs. Or you can use a mason jar with cheese cloth secured with a rubber band on top.
15. Set up a Lemonade Stand
On a hot summer day, lemonade is refreshing! Make a quick batch of lemonade, add some slices of lemons and you have something your kiddo can learn to manage with joy! Plus, your neighbours will be very happy.
16. Have a Water Fight
What else is there to do when it’s 30 degrees? This brings the backyard fun for your children to a whole new level. Check out your local dollar store to see their collection of water balloons and water guns – let the kids choose their favourite ones!
17. Have a Games Night
A night of nothing but games! This can be board games, hide and seek, card games, working on a puzzle, or playing chess/checkers. Whatever it is be sure to have your laughter and snacks ready!
18. Visit a New Park
Maybe it’s a new park or maybe it’s one that is new to you. Either way, decide on one with the best playground and bring some friends, fresh air is good for everyone!
19. Run Through the Spray Park/Sprinklers
Have a spray park nearby? Make it a day of adventure to the best spray park near you! If spray parks are not an option for you, running through a sprinkler at home is classic and brings all the laughter and memories.
20. Family Bible Trivia Night
Who was the mother of Jesus? How many fish and loaves did the boy give to Jesus? Let this ____ be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.
Those are some examples of what the trivia questions could consist of. You could make up your own questions or purchase some cards (based on age) at your local Christian bookstore.
The end of summer doesn’t have to come to a quick close. Let these 20 ideas create moments that will bring your family together. What are some creative things you do with your family? Do you have a summer bucket list to do before school begins? Let us know in the comments!