Updated: Jul 10
1. Family Movie Night
Is there anything better than watching movies as a family. Whether it’s watching the newest animated film or introducing your children to a favorite classic film. Movie nights are great ways to bond and create lasting memories. On nice nights you could even rent a projector and movie screen to take in a flick under the stars.
We like to match our snack and dinner to the movie to make it a completely immersive event. For E.T. We have pizza and Reese’s Pieces. Some of our favorite family movies are
The list could go on and on just as the memories will.
2. Summer Fun with STEM
A good science project can turn any day from ordinary to extraordinary. Summer is the perfect opportunity to head outside and do some messy fun work. From solar ovens to bottle rockets and egg drops to Rube Goldberg reactions there is something for every family and all ages can get in on the fun. My kids love s’mores and summer is just to hot for a fire and the microwave is just so boring. A solar oven is the perfect chance to let your little practice “cooking“ on their own. STEM is a wonderful way to keep the learning happening over the summer while also spending great family time together. Have a competition for the best egg drop parents vs kids. Spend the day as a family making a giant chain reaction. The possibilities are endless for family summer fun when STEM is involved.
3. Community Kids Art Show / Charity Fundraiser
This is a great way to get the kids to start thinking about helping others while also having fun themselves. Organize a community event for the kids to create one of a kind masterpieces and sell them to raise money for a worthy cause our favorite charity is Children's Tumor Foundation. Have all the kids in the neighborhood bring their art to display at a centralized location or community center and then the adults come through and vote on and purchase their favorite art pieces. Increase the fun by contacting local restaurants to donate gift cards or other items as prizes for the winners. You can also give the community the night off from cooking and support local business by having a few food trucks come by and set up shop.
4. Outdoor Games
Summer days are longer and the perfect time to move indoor games outdoors. There are several companies now who make outdoor versions of traditional indoor games like Jenga, Connect Four, Yardzee and Scrabble. There are also tons of outdoor games already on the market like Yard Darts, Can Jam, Ladder Ball, Cornhole, Washer Toss, Ring Toss and Disc Golf. You can even swap beer for root beer and play some tailgating games like Flip Cup or Root Beer Pong. These games can actually be beneficial for kids who need to work on their coordination skills like my ASD son. Having to aim at a certain cup, bouncing the ball and working on soft tossing skills are all things he works on in therapy that we can also do at home to improve skills. It doesn't matter what you play as long as you get outside and just have fun.
5. Make Your Own Backyard Water Park
Is there anything better than water fun on a hot day? Are water parks just too expensive to take your family to? With a few pvc pipes, some sponges, buckets, slip n slide and some water guns you can have an epic backyard water park. I even crocheted some reusable "water balloons" for a no mess water balloon fight. Pools are expensive and expensive to maintain even the small inflatable family pools can be cumbersome and ruin your lawn if left out for long periods of time. You can find some DIY instructions to build your own water park here.
6. Get Back To Nature
Summer is an excellent time to hop on a bike, hike that nature trail or just go out and explore. Where I live summer is the time for beautiful natures light show as fireflies light up the night. Just east of us in Gatlinburg early summer is the perfect time to take in the synchronized firefly show which is an amazing sight to behold. In summer depending on where you live you can catch the tail end of migration up north and the beginning of the migration back south. It is also the perfect time of year to see those springtime babies away from their nests or dens. Scavenger hunts are great family friendly activities and all you need is a list and a camera. It's important to remember to leave no trace while out exploring and to look not touch so it's there for others to see. If trails are not available you can still get in on the nature fun in your own backyard you can climb trees, birdwatch or go on a worm hunt. You'd be surprised how today's kids will react when you unplug and go explore the wonderful world around us.
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