51 ways to have fun with your family this summer for little or no money…
- Take a hike. Go around the block, up the mountain, down the trail
or under the elm trees. Ideally, we should all be walking 10,000 steps
- Ride bikes. If the adults don’t have bikes, borrow them from the neighbor kids.
a scavenger hunt. Divide in teams and look for items in your house,
yard or neighborhood that begin with the first letter of your name.
a treasure hunt. An adult hides clues all over the neighborhood and the
rest of the family searches for them and a treasure that everyone can
- Hide coins in a room or area you want to have
thoroughly cleaned. As the family finds the coins they are deposited in
a hat and then used to buy movie tickets for the matinee or ice cream
- Have a garage sale. It not only cleans out
closets, but it helps the kids with math, sorting, organizing, selling,
negotiating and making change.
- Plant a garden. If you don’t
have room either plant a flower box or planter with a tomato plant in
the middle and lettuce around the edge. You will grow your own salad
- Have a sleep out in the back yard.
a birdhouse. Check with your local building store about free clinics
for the kids. Home Depot offers one every other Saturday, so sign up
- Build a tree house. This is a wonderful family
project that incorporates lots of life skills in the planning and
executing of a hideout in the branches of a big old tree in your yard!
A real memory maker.
- Play hopscotch. Draw the grid on the sidewalk and challenge your child to see who can win by balancing on one foot.
- Play tag, Red Rover, hide and seek, kickball or just run around and chase each other.
- Teach each other how to dance the “in” dance of your generation.
- Jump rope.
- Put on a play. Invite the neighborhood
- Write life stories.
- Build a model.
- Start a collection.
- Restore an old car.
- Paint a mural on the garage.
thank you notes to public officials who make your community safe and a
great place to live: firemen, police, teachers, principals, mayors etc.
- Serve food at the homeless shelter.
- Gather food for the food pantry in your community.
- Pick up litter along a stretch of road.
- Visit a national monument.
- Go fishing.
- Dig worms, use them for fishing and put the rest back in the earth to make better soil for your garden.
- Have a picnic at a free band concert in the park.
- Volunteer to usher at a play or music recital and get in free.
- Shoot some hoops with the kids at the schoolyard.
out videos at the library. Or check out an audio book and listen to it
together while you drive. Be sure to talk about it afterward, so that
you can discuss the issues and ideas it sparked.
- Learn to crochet, knit or do needlework. Don’t know how? Ask a neighbor to teach you.
- Spend the day working in the yard of an elderly neighbor.
- Visit the nursing homes and listen to the stories of the elders there.
- Take a walk through the cemetery and remember the people who used to live in your community.
egg hunt. No matter what time of year, it is always fun to find the
colored eggs. Fill them with coupons, candy or coins for a visit to the
ice cream store.
- Pipe Cleaner People. Give everyone a
package of pipe cleaners and them make up a family, including animals
and then tell a story.
- Build a fort with blankets, clothespins and a clothesline. Or drape blankets over the backs of chairs.
- Run through the sprinkler.
- Water fights are some of the funniest summer fun. Now there are water balls made from sponge that are a blast to splat!
games are always enjoyable, if everyone can remember the object is to
have fun not compete for who wins the most. Remember, what we are
aiming for is communication, not competition.
- Card games
are a great pastime for all family members. Games like “Go Fish”
“Hearts” and “Uno” are fun for everyone over six years old. Even three
year olds love “Old Maid.”
A wonderful memory game made with photos
of family was a favorite for years with our children. We had duplicate
snapshots made of family members and then laminated each one on the
back of a playing card. When they were shuffled and laid facedown, each
player had a turn trying to remember where the matching pairs would be.
- Make your own piñata. Cover a large balloon with strips
of newspaper dipped in a mixture of flour, water and white glue. Allow
the strips to dry before making another layer. This is a long process,
so be prepared for a mess for a week or so.
- Work on projects to enter in the fair. Entries may receive a blue ribbon!
- Read a book together. Take turns reading each chapter or page.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle. Leave it out for a while so the whole family can work on it.
- Buy coloring books and new crayons at the dollar store. Everyone color and have an art show.
- Drive down side roads and see what you have been missing.
- Go swimming in the creek, river, ocean or plastic pool in the backyard.
the sunset together and count your blessings. Always end every day on a
positive note and nothing makes you more grateful that recognizing how
blessed and fortunate you are to have a group of people who love you
unconditionally. Tell each other thank you often.
For more ideas order the booklet: Playful Parenting, More Than Just Fun & Games from www.ArtichokePress.com