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60 Ideas For Summer "Staying Home" Family Fun

Two children swimming in a pool

New norms and transitions are becoming our thing. We’ve transitioned into school closures and staying home, into wearing masks, going virtual, and celebrating holidays and birthdays while socially distancing. 

And now we are prepping for another transition: summer. Many are wondering what will summer look like. Public pools, family trips, and summer camps? Maybe, maybe not. No one really knows yet. 

Here's a list of activities you'll want to add to your family's bucket list.

60 Summer Fun Ideas For Families:

  1. Camp in your backyard. Pitch a tent and make smores in an open flame. 
  2. Stargaze. Lay under the stars and find the constellations. Use your naked eye, telescope, or try an app like Star Walk. Or make your own telescope before stargazing. 
  3. Watch the clouds. Lay on your back and watch the clouds float by. Use your imagination to transform the clouds into objects. What do you see? Take note, or sketch what you see. 
  4. Build something together. Build a birdhouse or try one of these family projects
  5. Go Geocaching. Adventure through your town for a treasure hunt
  6. Play nature Bingo. Seedling Scavenger Bingo allows you to plan and execute a scavenger hunt while tracking progress on a digital bingo board. It’s awesome. 
  7. Play “I spy.” Look for tiny, beautiful things in nature with a game of “I spy.” 
  8. Look for leaves. Look around in nature to find leaves of all shapes and sizes. 
  9. Go on an animal tracks scavenger hunt. How many different animal prints can you find?
  10. Search for shapes. Look for different shapes in nature. Can you find a circle, square, heart, and so on?
  11. Look for textures. Nature is full of all kinds of amazing textures, just go outside and look for different textures in your own backyard or during a nature walk.
  12. Create shadow art. Trace your shadow or the shadow of another object.
  13. Make chalk art. Make your own chalk and create beautiful art on your driveway, the sidewalk, or your back deck. 
  14. Fashion your own bubble wand. Explore nature and create bubbles and a bubble wand
  15. Fly a kite. When the wind is right, go fly a kite!
  16. Join a Read-A-Palooza. Scholastic.com offers a Summer Reading Challenge as well as a printable Summer Reading Book List for kids of all ages. 
  17. Learn a new skill. Take up a new skill such as playing an instrument, learn to sew or knit, or do that thing you have been wanting to try. 
  18. Plant flowers. Choose your favorite flowers and plant them around your home.
  19. Plant a vegetable garden. Choose your favorite produce, plant seeds, and watch it grow. 
  20. Pick flowers. Make a flower arrangement to brighten your home or to brighten someone’s day. 
  21. Care for Mother Nature. Volunteer your time to help clean up litter. 
  22. Create a Summer Scrapbook. Invite your kids to keep a journal about their favorite summer activities, and add mementos and pictures.
  23. Make a family time capsule. Choose items to put in your capsule and bury it somewhere special. 
  24. Host outdoor movie night. Cozy up and watch your favorite movie outdoors. Don’t forget the popcorn!
  25. Live stream mini-concerts in your backyard. Several artists and DJs are streaming live music via Instagram Live, YouTube, and other social media platforms (look for #TogetherAtHome). 
  26. Be your own DJ. Create your own playlist or play your own instruments and jam out to your own tunes for a backyard music festival. 
  27. Go on a hike or family bike ride. Several parks still offer hiking and biking while socially distancing. Live in the city? Go for a sidewalk walk or ride. 
  28. Take a day-long car ride. Stop at random parks and explore nature. See where the ride takes you. 
  29. BBQ at home. Create a big feast using seasonal ingredients for a family BBQ. 
  30. Play tag.  Freeze tag, flashlight tag, plain ole tag … any kind of tag! 
  31. Build a fort. Turn sticks, leaves, blankets, whatever you can find into your outdoor hideout.
  32. Build a treehouse. Find a good tree and create your own “home” alongside the birds.
  33. Catch lightning bugs. Run with the lightning bugs and collect them in a mason jar (be sure to set free) or make your own glow in the dark lightning bug jar.
  34. Trace stones. Create colorful art by tracing stones
  35. Stack rocks. It is like a primitive Jenga. How high can you stack your rocks before they fall?!
  36. Tye-dye shirts. Grab a white shirt, pick a design, choose your colors, and create your very one tye-dyed shirt
  37. Create an outdoor sensory experience. Create a sensory chalk walk, play shaving cream twister, or paint with colored ice cubes
  38. Decorate your lawn. Create summer pinwheels and watch them blow in the breeze. 
  39. Chip ice blocks. Have fun hammering, chipping, and chiseling during this ice cube adventure to find what’s hidden inside. 
  40. Field day. Go outdoors for parachute volleyball, relay races, potato sack races, and tug of war.
  41. Play outdoor games. Try backyard Yahtzee, outdoor charades, corn hole, and more
  42. Create your own at-home summer camp with themes. Maybe your kiddos are into theatre, cooking, science … find their interest and create a home-camp around the chosen theme. Maybe it lasts a day, a week, or longer. One mama shares her home-camp here
  43. Cook as a family. Take an online cooking class with your kiddos. 
  44. Make a family bucket list. Create a bucket list and then work towards doing the list items one by one.
  45. Family Karaoke night. Host your very own American Idol and sing your heart out. 
  46. Family dance party. Crank up the music and dance, dance, dance. 
  47. Build your own maze. Use chalk, caution tape or masking tape to make an outdoor maze. 
  48. Build a backyard zipline. Fly through the air with your very own zipline
  49. Play ball. Baseball, basketball, kickball … any ball game of your choosing. 
  50. Swing. Playgrounds may be closed but you can still swing. If you don’t have a home swing set, all you need is a good tree and a swing of choice. Opt for a tire swing, platform swing, a rope swing, or a bucket seat. 
  51. Put on a family play. Find your inner Shakespear to write and act in your own play. 
  52. Build a sundae. Choose a flavor of ice cream and top with your favorite toppings. 
  53. Make icy treats. Make homemade juices, smoothies, and popsicles to enjoy with the family. 
  54. Go on a boat ride. Rent a canoe or paddleboard and take it to the water.
  55. Check out local park events. Many parks are still holding events while adhering to social distancing policies. 
  56. Make water balloons. Fill up water balloons and play a game of water balloon tag. 
  57. Play water balloon baseball. Use your water balloons to play backyard baseball
  58. Dance in a splash-pad. Cool off in your very own splash pad. Make your own or try one of these portable splash-pads
  59. Go for a swim. Take a dip in a body of water near you, your backyard pool, or a blow-up pool. 
  60. Create your own water park at home. Make your own slip-n-slide or try one of these

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