Summertime brings with it plenty of opportunities for family fun, no matter the age of your kids. Make the most of each other’s company before school starts up again with one of these four activities:
Take a Staycation — Not every family can afford to head out of town each summer for a vacation, but that doesn’t mean they can’t get away for some fun. Pick the most family friendly resort in the area and make a reservation. Some resorts have their own waterparks on-site, allowing the entire family to stay cool during the day while having fun. Other resorts offer activities for specific age groups, such as day camps for kids and golfing for adults. If you opt for the latter, be sure to meet up several times during the day to fill each other in on the fun had. Arm your children with a digital camera so they can capture memories, as well.
Build a Fort — What adult doesn’t have fond memories of building a fort, whether out of sheets in the living room or in the backyard. Create those same memories for your children this summer. Go the more permanent route, though, by following one of the many plans for building forts available online, such as this excellent one from This Old House. This project will likely span several weekends, so get started now!
Volunteer Your Time — The family that volunteers together knows the value of giving back to the community. Certain organizations do not allow children to volunteer because of liability issues, but you can find plenty of opportunities through website such as The Volunteer Family. Keep in mind your children’s comfort when choosing an opportunity so that everyone enjoys the experience. For example, your kids might prefer volunteering at a local orphanage more so than picking up trash as part of a community cleanup. Start with something fun, then work up to volunteer opportunities that involve more hard work than kindness.
Host a Barbecue — Typically, mom and dad run the show when having friends and family over. Make it a group effort and every family member will feel like a host. Start by sitting down together and coming up with a menu, then assign everyone at least one dish. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to handle cupcakes from start to finish, or you may just let them finish up with the frosting. Go shopping as a family, too, even giving older kids their own lists and carts. The day before the barbecue, get the backyard ready and any areas open to guests inside your home; if you run short on time, you can always outsource the tidying up to a cleaning service. During the barbecue, give every family member a job (or several, most likely the case for mom and dad) as part of his or her hosting duties. Children can restock coolers with soda and keep trash where it belongs, while mom or dad mans the grill or bar.
No matter which activity you choose, remember to enjoy the moments along the way. It’s not about completing a task, but about spending time together as a family.