Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm a list of family activities each member of your family can participate in. Get creative and make it fun. Here’s a few ideas to get the list started:
Go roller skating
Visit the library
Walk around your neighborhood
Learn a new song
Play a board game
Have a picnic
Build a fort
Run through the sprinkler
Have a backyard campout
Go on a family bike ride
Fly a kite
Put on a play
Have a water balloon ﬁght
Spend the day at the zoo
Surprise neighbors with baked goods
Visit a museum
Complete a puzzle
Wash your car in the driveway
Play on a playground
Work in the yard/garden
Walk through a farmer’s market
Put together your family tree
Try a new restaurant
Go to the lake
Attend a musical
Go on a scavenger hunt
Build a fire to make s’mores
Go to a sporting event
Go visit a nursing home
Have a barbeque
Go to a splash park
Plant a garden
Paint works of art
Visit the aquarium
Visit your favorite amusement park
Spend the day at the local community pool
Kick a ball around the yard
Write out prayer requests and pray for each other
Read and discuss your favorite Bible stories
Save your change to raise money for your favorite charity
Take a long drive and discover a new town
Take advantage of the warm evenings to plan a few outdoor activities. Try this one to get started:
Following the directions: Create a map or use a GPS to guide you to a favorite place such as park. Load up the family and let them know you are going for a fun surprise. Have children give directions from the map/GPS device-guiding you step by step. As you get directions, insist you know best and turn the wrong way. Try to end up at some dead end and admit you got lost. Ask the kids what you should do. (Answer: Start over and follow directions!) After you finally arrive at the destination after properly following directions, read Psalm 119:104-105 and discuss the following:
Watching movies together as a family can be fun and intentional. Watch together and use the following questions to open up dialogue.
Summer is often a time with hours in a car or plane. Make the most of travel time together with these great ideas.
You can also get creative and work together to make up your own games.
Take turns asking questions, letting your kids ask you questions as well. Questions
can be as simple and silly as “If you were any animal what would you be and why?” to deeper questions like, “What is one thing you want us to pray for you this next year?”
Keep in mind, the goal is to listen and learn – not to correct their impressions or “fix” anything too quickly. Also, remember that your teen may feel awkward talking to you about some of these concerns if you have not had similar chats before. Be patient, and don’t worry if they struggle opening up. Simply move on to whatever fun experiences you’ve planned and try again later.
Choosing a summer scripture helps focus on the importance and power of God’s Word and allows you to have fun together along the way. First, pick your verse. Consider choosing a topic in an area in which your family might need to grow. (for example: kindness, gratitude, compassion), or find a verse that speaks about God’s love. Have each member of the family find versus that speak on that topic and vote on your favorite.
Have fun and get creative with all the ways you can discover to help memorize the verse. Here are some ideas:
Kick off an “All About Me” project that can continue throughout the entire summer!
Making Summer Count, by Joyce Heinrich and Annette Heinrich LaPlaca, includes scriptural devotions, stories, reinforcing activities for the whole family, suggestions for vacations with a difference, and more.