Brainy Parenting

We’ve waited for it all year—the weather has warmed up, the pools are beginning to open, and school is finally out. All that can only mean one thing: Summer is here!

So, how do you keep your kids engaged and active—both mentally and physically—over the next few months? We have ideas!

1. Take family field trips.

Whether you can take a day off work, or simply plan something fun in the evening, take a few hours to go to the zoo, visit a local museum, or find a baseball game to attend.

2. Volunteer locally.

Find a local charity or talk with your church about ways your kid can help out during the summer. 

3. Plan a family game night.

Or make it a party and invite some friends over. Most importantly, let them plan the activities and menu!! You’re busy enough during the day, so don’t feel like you need to be the family cruise director all summer. Getting them in on the planning allows you to settle back and just have fun!

4. Read a book series.

Almost every kid in school will have some type of required summer reading. But, outside of that, let them get creative and pick a longer book series to read over time. Bonus points if you read the book at the same time! 

5. Plan a family dinner night.

Again, let them do the menu planning. Encourage a certain theme, whether it’s Italian, Mexican, or burgers and fries. When it’s time to cook, you can help, but you would be surprised at how many kids begin to love cooking after they first give it a try. 

6. Work out together.

Invite your kids along on your morning run or when you go to the gym. You might even think about planning some kind of “30 Day Fitness Challenge” to energize them over the summer. 

7. Give screen time a purpose.

Take advantage of all of the positive aspects of iPads and iPhones. Find some fun, educational apps to download (we’re sure your kid’s teacher would have suggestions) to help them continue learning over the summer. Or, find a fun app you can connect over, like Heads Up, Words With Friends, or Mad Libs. 

8. Take a hike.

Literally, go for a hike. While you’re at it, find some memorable spots you can revisit—something like a waterfall, quiet creek, mountain overlook, or just the perfect spot to watch a sunset. 

9. Clean out the house and have a garage sale.

Sure, they might hate this idea, but it’s their stuff, too. This will help them take ownership of things around the house and possibly help them keep their rooms and closets cleaner in the future. For even more incentive, offer to give them the money they make from selling their stuff.

10. Make puzzle time.

Grab a massive, 1,000-piece puzzle, put it on the kitchen table, and spend a few weeks putting the whole thing together. 

Summer is long—so we have more activity ideas for you. Download the FREE Summer 2021 Family Challenge for all 30 ideas. After the craziness of 2020, you have so many more opportunities this year to get out and do so much more. So go and have an amazing summer!



This post originally appeared on The Parent Cue