Mom playing with her three children in a lake on a sunny day

What Is Summer For?

What are your hopes for your children as they enter the summer months?

What experiences, learning, and growth do you wish for them? What do you remember from your own childhood summers that you hope they will also experience?

Summer’s long, unstructured hours can lead to creativity and new experiences, but that unscheduled time can also be a source of stress for parents.

Let us help: Here’s our list of stellar summertime family activities, most of which require no advance planning, to keep things as low-stress for you as possible.

Follow us on Instagram for more inspiration! We’ll be posting activity ideas all summer long.

Water Adventures

  • go swimming
  • visit the beach
  • cool off in a splash pad or fountain
  • search for pond critters — tadpoles, frogs, crayfish, newts…
  • paddle a canoe

In Your Neighborhood

  • play a game of frisbee
  • visit your favorite playground, or make it an adventure with a playground tour!
  • go to a new playground
  • go for a family bike ride
  • climb a tree
  • fly a kite
  • create a four square court and play
  • explore somewhere new — a new park, playground, library, trail, or town
  • ride a scooter
  • go for a stroll

Backyard Fun

  • blow bubbles, even really huge bubbles like this
  • swing in a hammock
  • enjoy a popsicle — or make your own, then enjoy them!
  • create an obstacle course outside
  • read a book in the shade
  • play hopscotch
  • play catch
  • kick a soccer ball around
  • stay up past bedtime to stargaze

Summer Foods

  • go berry picking
  • plant in the garden
  • have a picnic
  • explore a farmers market
  • make your own ice cream
  • harvest and sample veggies from the garden
  • make flower petal ice cubes
  • make lemonade from scratch
  • create a solar-powered oven and try “cooking” a snack
  • go to a BBQ

Camp Life

  • make s’mores
  • sleep outside
  • go to camp

Sensory Play

  • sand: an outdoor sand box, the beach, or even kinetic sand indoors
  • water: splash with water using cups, buckets, watering cans, or a sprinkler
  • make your own play dough

 Rainy Day Activities

  • read a good book together
  • make a friendship bracelet
  • surprise a friend with a letter — write it, decorate the envelope, and mail it
  • build a fort
  • tie dye a shirt
  • visit the library
  • after the rain stops, make a mud pie

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