This extended holiday weekend we celebrate Memorial Day, where we honor those who were lost in service to our great country. Memorial Day also unofficially kicks off summer (actual summer solstice is Thursday, June 21), and most families will be getting together for bonding, great food, and fun family activities.
When summer rolls around, the kids are done with school and are always looking for stuff to do. Families travel together (which can sometimes be chaotic), and of course holidays are always a good excuse for families to make time for some enjoyable activities as often as they can. Here are a few fun family activities that you can do right at home any time!
A lot of the time, the simple, tried and true summer staples are also inexpensive, and are often things you can make at home which is a fun family activity on its own!
Bubbles- Who doesn’t love blowing bubbles? There is a simple majesty of a slowly moving bubble catching even the slightest of winds that begs to be chased in your backyard. Simple, homemade bubble recipes mean you can create your own mixture using household items you already have! And if you don't have any bubble wands - never fear! You can make your own bubble wands with pipe cleaners.
Homemade Scavenger or Treasure Hunts- As simple as a game of “I Spy” in your own home or backyard, scavenger hunts are a great indoor and outdoor activity that you can create right at home, and you can theme in a variety of ways! Create checklists on construction paper pertaining to finding nature-related things, common household items, or even creative ideas like a road trip checklist for things to find while the family is traveling or even when running errands! Up the creative angle even more by making it a treasure hunt, leaving a breadcrumb trail of clues in your own backyard leading to a prize!
Frisbee- Another inexpensive summer tradition is the simple act of playing catch with a frisbee in the backyard. It’s great exercise which can include any number of people and you can bring it everywhere. If your family wants to spend a summer day at the park or beach, it’s frisbee time, anytime.
Paint the Recycling- This project was born out of desperation. The kids wouldn't stop fighting and I was out of construction paper. What I did have was loads of cardboard boxes and some leftover paints. I let them go crazy on the deck with multiple sections of boxes and then didn't feel bad when we tossed everything back in the recycling when they were dry. You could even make your own paint!
Classic Yard Games- Remember the hours you used to spend playing Red Rover, Tag, Marco Polo, and other yard games? Introduce them to your own kids and get the neighbor kids over for some fun. We had twelve kids in our yard playing Marco Polo the other night and it was hilarious!
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Getting the children interested in the cooking and food prep process at an early age is beneficial and can be made into a wonderful bonding experience for families. Planning a fun picnic in the backyard gets the family to enjoy quality time in the great outdoors
Sandwiches- There are a variety of healthy and delicious sandwich options for kids, and if your child doesn’t want the crusts on their sandwiches, use large cookie cutters to cut the sandwiches into fun shapes like heart and stars!
Cookies- Making cookies is a fun and easy activity with the kiddos and they will love cutting them into fun shapes and decorating them with frosting, sprinkles, candies or whatever else your sweet tooth desires! While waiting for the cookies to bake, read the kids a storybook or do some light exercises instead of stepping away from family time to return shortly thereafter!
Healthy Snack Tray- Picnics are perfect for finger foods, which means they are perfect for all types of veggies, fruits, and other healthy options. Load up a tray with pepper strips, carrot sticks, cucumber slices, hard boiled eggs, grapes, watermelon, and berries for an easy, fun, and healthy feast!
Though we are grateful for the sunny days that summer brings, there are going to be some days where it’s just going to be rainy and you want to have alternative options to stay occupied. Rain showers don’t mean that the family fun has to stop!
Get Artsy- Whether it is coloring with crayons, drawing, painting, or molding with clay, the rainy days don’t have to get in the way of the family exploring their creative sides. My kids know that a rainy day usually means time for Play-Doh!
Movie Night- Pop some popcorn and get your favorite beverages and plan a family movie night! Rent a new release from Redbox, pop in an old family favorite, or use services like Pure Flix to stream family-friendly entertainment to devices in your home!
Dance Party- Crank some of your kids’ favorite tunes and have a dance party in the living room! Who says you need to go outside to stay active this summer?
Board Games- Board Games make great go-to family activities on a rainy day. There’s nothing like a little friendly competition with the family, and the great variety of games for all ages flex kids minds, and sometimes their bodies with a classic game of Twister!
Play Trivia with Google Home or Alexa- Both voice assistants offer a variety of trivia games to play with the family. For Family Trivia on a Google Home device, say, "Hey Google, play a game with my family" for questions good for ages five and up. To play Mighty Trivia on an Amazon Echo device, say, "Alexa, open mighty triva."
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend and try to incorporate some of these new family traditions into summer plans of your own for you and your family! Finding joy in the chaos of every season is key!
Want even more summer fun ideas? Grab my Free Summer Bucket List Bingo Cards and see if you can get a coverall this summer as you make memories with your family!