Families have had to get really close this past year with all the pandemic mandates and lockdowns – whether they were wanting to or not.
All that quality time offered many opportunities to get creative in school, meals, and free time.
Even though you got to try making Moroccan food for the first time, or finally got around to that family bike ride you’d been planning for two years, it doesn’t mean you’ve done it all quite yet – so here’s some new summer experiences to try!
1. Art day in the park
Now that public parks are opening back up with less mandates, it’s high time to get a change of scenery.
A great way to really soak in the environment is to try and paint it!
Bring an easel and canvas for each child, along with a palette and an array of colors for them to express what sticks out to them at the park.
Opt for a picnic blanket and some finger paint if you have preschoolers, and then be sure to bring a packed lunch to enjoy when you’re all done (and lots of wipes for messes!).
2. Car wash
During the age of extreme social distancing, having a car wash was way too close for many individuals’ comfort.
This summer, more people are out and about and getting back to their usual activities – which includes keeping the car nice and clean for the family road trip.
Have the kids make a car wash sign and get a soapy bucket of water at the end of the driveway to raise some arcade money or just to reconnect with the neighbors.
If you’re not a suburbanite, then have the kids set up a mock car wash where they can drive their power wheels or toy cars through.
There’s no way to go wrong when you give kids a hose on a hot summer day – even if they just use it to spray each other.
3. Write and act out a play
Every family has at least one star performer, and what better way to get the family working together and having fun than to act out an epic tale.
Have the kids gather around to brainstorm about play themes and characters.
Then go around the table, writing down the story as it develops from each child’s unique perspective.
Be sure to get creative with cardboard props and dressing up in full character.
At the end of the day, have the children perform in front of you with a celebratory pizza dinner afterwards!
4. A surprise a day
Kids love surprises, and not just the elaborate kind like a birthday party with a real pony, but small ones too – like sprinkles on their oatmeal.
Have a designated “surprise week” where you give the children special twists to their everyday routines to add a little more joy during the summer break.
Some fun ideas are to fill the living room with balloons for the kids to wake up to, or cut their sandwiches into dinosaur shapes, or have story time in sleeping bags under the stars.
5. Read a book together
Never underestimate the power of a classic novel.
Gathering together in the evenings to read a chapter of a beloved family-favorite instead of watching TV until everyone is too tired to move will make more powerful memories to look back on.
Choose a classic like Swiss Family Robinson or Huckleberry Finn to keep the kids interested and broaden their literary knowledge.
You will never forget cuddling together on the couch after a long day at the pool, sharing in the laughter and thrill of an active imagination.
It can be tough finding new and exciting activities for the family when so many kids have been home for the last year.
You may feel like there’s nothing left to entertain them with – or you could just be exhausted.
However, finding enjoyment by stepping outside of your monotonous routine with one of these activities could spark a joy in the home that’s been lacking during the recent trials and tribulations.
(h/t Mommy Underground)