Have the Kids Plan a Fun Summer Family Activity
Summer can often be explained by a well known phrase from the book A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Has your summer been the best of times? Or the worst of times? Our family, usually spends the first week of summer being lazy. We sleep in and watch too much tv. Before we have a chance to really recover from the school year, summer camps and activities start. Then we go non stop the rest of summer.
Whether you have a quiet or busy summer planned, it’s so important to make time for family activities. You can plan a big family vacation. Or schedule some single day activities. No matter when you decide to hold your family activity, you want to make it memorable.
You never know, this family activity may end up being so memorable that you decide to make it an annual summer tradition.
The How – Kids Plan the Family Activity
Each family is unique and different. Your perfect end of summer family activity should be tailored to fit your family’s interests.
And who better to plan the family activity than your kids?!
Let your kids do all of the planning. If they aren’t old enough to plan everything, let them help as much as they can. Your kids can do the work while you sit back and watch just how amazing and creative they are.
Putting your kids to work planning the family activity offers more than a break for you. They are working on the skills of planning, organizing and executing their plan. And I’ve found when kids are part of the planning, they take real ownership in the activity. They have a first hand experience with the time and effort it takes to plan something big. They can also see that family activities are worth all of the hard work.
As an added bonus, when kids are part of the planning, they are less likely to complain, say they are bored or ask when family time is going to end. Give your kids the chance to be an active participant in planning a memorable family experience.
Your kids can plan a memorable family activity in 3 super easy steps.
3 Steps to the Perfect End of Summer Family Activity
1. Set a Budget Amount and Brainstorm Activities
Determine how much your family will spend on the activity. There are lots of free activities, but if you want to spend money, make sure to set a budget amount. I learned the hard way and didn’t set a budget for my kids. Before I knew it they were planning their dream vacation and I had to bring them back to reality.
Make a list of everything your family would like to do together. The activity might be something you’ve done in the past or something you’ve always wanted to do.
Here’s a list of 25 free/minimal cost activities followed by 25 paid activities
Free Activity Ideas
- Have a water fight
- Go on a walk or hike
- Visit a park
- Movie night at home
- Go on a bike ride
- Go to the library
- Visit a farmer’s market
- Work out together
- Have a picnic outside
- Fly a kite
- Go camping
- Have a yard sale
- Service project
- Scavenger or treasure hunt
- Make a summer scrapbook
- Watch the starts come out together
- Pull out board games and have a game night
- Color outside with Sidewalk chalk or blow bubbles
- Attend a free concert, play, or movie in the local park
- Make ice cream or another dessert together as a family
- Build a fort in the living room and sleep there for the night
- Have the kids cook and serve breakfast or dinner to the parents
- Host an end of summer party and invite neighbors and or friends
- Set up an obstacle course inside or outside. Time each other as you go through the course
- Spend the day at a local lake, beach or river
Paid Activity Ideas
- Visit a museum
- Take a day trip to a nearby city/town you have never been to before
- Go to the zoo
- Go to the movies
- Have one last epic family vacation
- Ride go carts
- Ride the city bus and spend the day downtown
- Go fishing
- Play miniature gold
- Attend a professional sporting event
- Go on a trip to visit family or friends
- Attend a concert
- Go horseback riding
- Eat at a nice restaurant
- Go berry picking and come home to make jam
- Spend the day on a boat
- Take a trip to an amusement park
- Go shopping and everyone buys a new outfit
- Go swimming
- Be a tourist in your own city
- Have an unbirthday party and everyone buys one gift to give
- Redecorate a room together
- Visit an indoor trampoline park
- Go roller skating
- Go to an indoor game or family fun center
A family service project can be a great family activity. Read my post about it here.
If you can get away for a couple days, family camps are an amazing family activity. A couple things I love about these camps
- They make it super easy to get extended family together.
- Meals, lodging and activities are generally all included.
- The prices range, but some are very reasonable
- Camps are located all across the United States
Here’s a helpful article with info on 50 different family camps.
2. Plan the activity
Resist the urge to step in and take over. Let your kids lead the planning as much as possible. Make sure everyone’s voice is heard and try to come to a consensus when there are opposing ideas. You may need to suggest when the kids need to compromise, but see if they can work out on their own.
Realize this family activity is actually all about what the kids want to do. It may not be what you would have chosen, but let them run with it. As long as the activity is in line with your family values, why not let them make the decision? It may end up being the most fun you’ve had all summer.
3. Have a great time
The last step is to have a great time together. You’ll want to take lots of pictures, but let the focus be on making memories. If you are generally shy in front of the camera, step out of your comfort zone and put on your best smile.
Cherish the time you spend together as a family. Make this activity so memorable that you’re talking about it for years to come.
The Support – How did it turn out?
We would love to know all about your activity. What went great? What went not so great. Are you going to try the same activity next summer or are you going to try something new?
Let us know all of the details in the comments below.
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