I love summer. I love the weather and the lazy afternoons and a long break from the school year bustle. I especially love the extra time with my kids when we can explore, play, and be a bit more spontaneous. Over the summer this family stays busy! From fun backyard time to on the go beach time, finding “our thing” has never been easier over the summer time! To inspire you and share a bit more about our family, I wanted to share 10 Awesome Summer Ideas for Family Fun and Focus that we do during the long summer days and nights.
10 Family Friendly Things to Do Together this Summer
Host your very own family Olympics. Get everyone involved in the creation of the different events – think egg and spoon races, three-legged races, an obstacle course, and more. One of my favorites is to see who can balance a water balloon on their head the longest while walking on a chalk line drawn on the driveway. Other great options might be counting who can jump rope the most times before tripping and who can hula hoop the longest. As you can see above, we like to lay out the plastic, some shaving cream and paint, and have sliding contests! Be sure your events are varied so that everyone’s strengths can emerge. Create medals for everyone and hold your very own ceremony at the end! When your Olympic games are over, I strongly recommend a dance party for everyone to celebrate.
Play evening hide and seek with flashlights. If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE flashlights. My kids will do just about anything to have a chance to wave that magical beam of light around in a darkly lit room. When the summer days are too hot for playing at mid-day, take advantage of the cooler evening hours with an awesome game of hide and seek, with flashlights. There are endless variations of both hide and seek and tag that work great with the lights. One of my favorites is to play freeze tag – when the person who is “it” shines their light on you, you’re frozen! Once frozen you can swap places with another player by shining your light on them. Giggles guaranteed. (Check out our Flashlight Scavenger Hunt)
Play four square. After endless hours on the four square court as a kid myself, this one comes back to me easily. Grab some chalk and draw out your square or circle – don’t forget to number your boxes! If you’re playing with either fewer or more than four players (four is optimal) consider drawing a circular court and dividing it up into wedges based on the number of players you have. Any type of bouncy ball will work, even if you don’t have a rubber four square or kick ball. Make up all the wacky rules you want, but be sure to decide on how you handle ball bounces on the line early on to avoid inevitable squabbles.
Try kick the can. I fondly remember attempting to play this with neighbor kids when I was younger; unfortunately, none of us really understood what we were doing. To play, you’ll need a large coffee can or other tin. Choose something that doesn’t have sharp edges but makes a loud and distinctive sound when you kick it. Place the can in the middle of the play area; this will be home base. You’ll also need an area designated as jail. One person will be “it” while the others will hide and try to return to home base without being caught. If the “it” person sees a hider, they call out their name. Both people run to the can and try to kick it. If “it” kicks the can first, the hider goes to jail. If the hider kicks it first, anyone in jail is released and “it” must count again while everyone hides.
Scavenger Hunt Put down those devices and head outside for an easy and fun scavenger hunt. You can make up items you know are in your local area, or simply send the kids on a hunt for nature! I have our own scavenger hunt sheet here and you can grab a copy free (Head here to Download Scavenger Hunt Printable) on MomDot. This is definitely Phoenyx’s thing!
Play lawn Twister. Rather than fuss with the plastic mat outdoors, draw the board right on the lawn. Cut a 10- or 12- inch circle out of cardboard and use washable marking paint (like contractor’s marking spray paint) to draw the circles on the grass. The traditional game includes four colors on a 5×4 grid. Consider adding more circles, especially if you’re playing with a bigger crowd, or make it more challenging and stick with the original. You can also buy one here if you prefer.
Practice your throwing with bean bag ladder toss. While corn hole games are still incredibly popular, the boards can be stunningly expensive and awkward to store and move around. However, pretty much every home has a ladder sitting in the garage. Pull yours out and set it up! Use paper or cardboard to label each ladder rung with a different number of points players can earn for their tosses. You can buy your bean bags or make them at home with fabric scraps and dried beans. Not only can you be playing quickly, but it’s nearly free to boot.
Water balloon dodge ball. There are few kids who would pass on the opportunity to throw water balloons at each other. Choose smaller sized balloons to make it less painful when you inevitably get hit and to make it easier for little ones to toss. Be sure to lay down some guidelines (and consequences) for shots above the chest to keep the game fun and safe for all.
Tie Dye With Water Guns Kids love messy and my kids are no exception. Easily add dye to water guns and make a dress, sock, shirts, anything you can dye! Children of all ages can play and we love how the results are different every time!
Practice your balloon badminton. Generally, my kids need no invitation to play this one. Batting a balloon or two back and forth is something we play often. You can keep this one simple, or build your own paddles using paper plates and popsicle sticks. You can also use fly swatters or anything else remotely paddle-like. For a more advanced game, layout a court on the lawn using washable contractor marking spray or keep things free form and casual. Either way, from your youngest to your oldest players, everyone is sure to have a blast.
Need more ideas? You are in luck! Here are 101 activities to help you connect with your kids this year.