With school around the corner, we have to face the reality that summer is coming to an end. However, there’s still time for some last hurrahs before your downtime looks like Googling how to teach math… Bond with your sweet family by doing some or all of these 7 free things together before summer ends! No need to let these last few days slip by without squeezing in some free fun for the family!
1. Be Explorers For The Day!
Soak in some sunshine and quality time with your family. Not sure where to start? AllTrails has 100,000+ trails listed all over with reviews and photos so you can find one perfect for your family. If you have some paper and a broken crayon laying around, bring it along to make an etch. Have your kiddo(s) pick out a tree or rock they think would have the wildest texture, then put the piece of paper on it and rub the crayon on top (preferably unwrapped and horizontally).
While you’re out adventuring in the great outdoors, answer these questions:
- What is your favorite part about exploring?
- What do you see that is interesting or fascinating to you?
- If you were going to bury treasure out here, where would you bury it?
2. Become Champions of the FTF Family Challenge!
This 30 Day Family Activity Challenge is packed full of fun for the whole family! If you love a good belly laugh, some friendly competition, or just some good ol’ quality time with the ones you love most, this is perfect for you. Of course, you may not finish it before the summer ends, but you can continue the challenge into the school year. You can download it for free and have some fun sitting in your back pocket. With a little help from the challenge, you keep your relationship with your family a priority as life picks back up. Be flexible with your schedule; you can do a challenge week or every other weekend.
After you all do a few activities together, ask:
- What activity has been your favorite so far and why?
- What’s your favorite part of family time?
- Have you learned anything new about yourself, like discovering you’re good at something you hadn’t tried before or perhaps that you don’t like something?
3. Picnic Together!
Simple, but always a favorite. Throw together a family meal and pick your favorite spot. Maybe for you it looks like driving to a local park, a lookout, or sitting in the yard. If it feels nice out, instead of dinner and a show, make it lunch and a game and bring along a family favorite board game to play when you’re done eating.
- What are three words you’d use to describe yourself?
- How do you know we love you?
- What’s your favorite thing to do as a family?
4. Be Expressionist Artists.
Now, I’m not talking oil canvas painting with classical music playing in the background—I’m talking expressionist like using a piece of paper and some sort of drawing/painting utensil to express yourself. Think of it like a picture journal.
You can use whatever is on hand—crayons, watercolors or even pens! You will be painting your thoughts about what these last few months have been like. If we’re honest, COVID-19 has changed the way daily life has been lived for the last few months. Putting those feelings into words can be hard for kids. Nonetheless, reflecting on what has happened is healthy and a great way to make sure you all are on the same page!
Sit down at the table or lay the art supplies out on the floor and paint/draw what the last few months has felt like. Here are some prompts: Draw/paint…
- How have you been spending your days?
- What feelings and emotions have you experienced?
- The hardest part of quarantine?
- The best part of quarantine?
- If your kids are a little older (8+) suggest drawing a comic strip to show their experience.
Once you all have finished, ask these questions:
- Tell me what’s going on in your picture?
- Why’d you choose to draw that?
- How are you feeling now?
5. Water Day!
Get ready to make a splash and go to the nearest body of water before summer ends. Whether it’s a creek, lake, ocean, river, pond, pool or hose in the yard, take advantage of it being hot outside and jump in!
You can do so many things with water!
- Build a dam with rocks at the creek.
- Play tag with the ocean by running as close to the waves as you can and then running back to shore without getting your ankles wet.
- Skip rocks.
- Feed ducks or fish with some stale bread or cereal.
- Splash contest! (Big or small.)
- Critter Count Contest. (See how many different critters you all can find!)
6. Movie Night!
Lights, Camera, Action! Take it up a notch and make a movie ticket for your kids and give it to them in the morning so they have something to look forward to all day. You can make it a “dine-in” movie and eat dinner while watching the movie. When it comes time for the movie, show your kids their seats, whether it be the couch, epic fort you encouraged them to make that day to watch the movie in or a pallet of pillows. Make it feel special. Presentation is everything. If you’re excited, they will be too!
Questions to ask after:
- What was the best part of the movie? Why?
- Would you have done anything differently than (insert main character’s name here)?
- What character do you think I am most like?
7. Silly Day Out.
Run errands or go to the park dressed up in costumes or goofy clothes. Take pictures and share laughs wherever you go. Teach your kids not to care what others think about them and to enjoy making the most out of the mundane things like grocery shopping. Not only is it a great lesson, but it will definitely be entertaining.
Questions to ask:
- What was the most fun part?
- Do you think other people were having as much fun as we are?
It’s good to be reminded that making some of the best memories cost nothing but time. Taking the time to enjoy being a family and having fun together is so important for the relationship you all have together. The more fun you have, the more you’ll love to be together.
✦ If you do any of these ideas, we would love to see! Tag us on Facebook and/or Instagram and have fun!
Bonus Blogs to Checkout:
- 25 Things To Do When Your Kids Say They’re Bored
- 5 Ways Summertime Can Help Your Family Bond
- A Family Guide to the Best Summer Ever
- 6 Ways to Create a Summer to Remember
- 7 Keys to a Happy, Healthy Family– Free Ebook!