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21 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids This Summer

Summer vacation fun with kids
Summer is here and with it the opportunity to take advantage of longer days free of homework. Why not use this summer to build memories of fun times together as a family? Here are 21 ideas to spark your imagination and create some fun in your home.

  1. Take the train to the zoo or beach.
  2. Use time you spend in the car to sing or play your children’s favorite tapes. On longer trips try listening to a book on tape.
  3. Visit the Children’s Museum in Pasadena or Los Angeles. Both offer “hands on” experiences.
  4. Go to a family camp with your church, scouts or get together with other families and go camping.
  5. Declare vacation days throughout the summer. Go to the beach, out to eat or do what it takes to create that more relaxed vacation atmosphere for the day. Use your imagination.
  6. Go for a hike in the hills or hike one of the park trails.
  7. Relate family stories, family history or legends. Wonder together about what life might have been like for past or future generations in your family.
  8. Have a water fight. Use Balloons, hoses, buckets, etc.
  9. Sleep outside or have an inside family slumber party.
  10. Go to Olvera Street, China Town, Little Korea, etc. Expose your children to different cultures in a fun way.
  11. Plan time away from home with each child individually. Make sure they have your undivided attention.
  12. Get together with other families for an evening of baseball, basketball, or skating.
  13. Tell your kids stories about when they were younger.
  14. Let the kids plan, cook and serve a meal to the family. Even a very young child can make a sandwich.
  15. Celebrate an unexpected occasion; a lost tooth, a flower blooming, the temperature changing 5 degrees. Be creative.
  16. Go to an outdoor concert sponsored by Parks & Recreation.
  17. Plan/produce a video. Let the kids take the lead.
  18. Have a beginning of summer, mid-summer or end of summer party. Get everyone involved in the planning.
  19. Go for picnics in parks or places you’ve never been.
  20. Set up a table for a large puzzle or project.
  21. Take the family out for ice cream. Encourage everyone to try a new flavor. Ask for samples.

There could be more than 21 choices. What is it that can make something as simple as a hike or as involved as producing a video fun? It’s all in how it’s approached. Take a deep breath, relax, make sure everyone is well rested, plans are kept simple and guidelines are set in advance. If approached with an attitude of encouragement, lots of energy and a playful spirit, even taking out the trash or painting a fence can be fun. So use your imagination and have a great summer!


This post, written by Sue White, MA, LMFT,  was originally published in our newsletter in 1996!  Proves that good content is timeless.


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