Making summer special for your family.
We’ve all experienced the excitement of being a kid, counting down the days until summer break starts. Most of us have great memories of bright, warm summer days—some full of excitement and adventure, others pleasantly lazy. As parents, summer is a great chance to spend time with your kids and help them build similarly happy memories.
You still need to work, however, so it’s sometimes a balance of finding activities they can do to entertain themselves and making time to do activities together that will help all of you build those same warm, happy summer memories. If you’re struggling to think of ideas for activities you can use to keep your little ones busy during this summer break, don’t worry! Here are 5 activities that will keep your kids—and in some cases, you—busy this summer break.
1. Go camping.
Summer break is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful nature that Alaska has to offer while the weather is warm. One of the best ways to do this is by going camping as a family! Camping provides plenty of ways for kids of all ages to burn off a lot of energy and learn about nature, while giving you an abundance of time to talk to them with fewer distractions. You can spend a day exploring, hiking, or fishing and can roast marshmallows and tell funny stories at night, building memories along the way that you’ll look back on for years to come. If you don’t have the time to go on a full trip, you can always go for a short weekend, a single night, or set up a tent in your backyard—or even in your living room! Your kids will still love the novelty of the idea and getting to spend time with you, so they’ll have a blast no matter where you are!
2. Bake a delicious treat together.
Baking is a simple activity you can do with your kids right at home, but it’s also incredibly fun and will keep your kids entertained for a good chunk of time. Plus, it works as a hidden learning experience! You can teach younger children about measurements or work with slightly older children on fractions and math. It also teaches them valuable skills about cooking and taking the responsibility to clean up after themselves. Despite all the potential lessons that go with baking together, your kids won’t realize they’re learning anything beyond how to bake their favorite cookies—they’ll be too focused on having fun and looking forward to the result. When you’re done with all the baking fun, your child will have fresh, delicious treats to reward them for all their hard work! It’s a good way to keep learning during summer break while still having fun
3. Have a family game night.
There are plenty of fun summer break games and activities for kids that you can experience as a family. Having a game night is a great way to get your entire family truly engaged in an activity together, helping you bond with your kids and create happy memories! Your game nights can look however you’d like them to, from playing card or board games to competing against each other in video games. All you need to worry about is having fun!
4. Let them turn their bedroom into a blanket fort.
If you ever built a blanket or pillow fort as a kid, you know just how much fun it can be! Letting your child turn their bedroom into a blanket fort can provide hours of fun for them. When they’re done building it, they’re going to want to enjoy it—so they’re likely to spend a good chunk of time playing games or reading inside their new fort. While it can make quite a mess, you can confine that mess to their bedroom, and you can also tell your child that they’ll need to clean up the fort themselves when it’s time for it to come down, which makes for a small but valuable lesson on responsibility. These factors make building a blanket fort a great activity to entertain your child when you’re busy. That said, it’s also a genuinely fun thing to do together when you have time! It’s great for letting your own inner kid out and provides a chance for one-on-one time with your child doing something that makes them happy.
5. Encourage your kids to read.
Reading is a great, low-energy activity that many kids can do on their own. Books can be incredibly entertaining, especially if you encourage your kids to try different genres until they figure out what types of books they enjoy reading the most. Let your kids read for fun, as this is much more likely to help them develop a love of books. Once they’ve fallen in love with reading, they’re more likely to enjoy—or even choose—informative books down the line. Plus, even purely entertaining books will help to build your kids’ vocabulary and improve their reading skills. Over time, these factors mean that reading will help improve your kids’ performance in school. They’ll have fun, but they’re also learning—whether they realize it or not! Even better, it doesn’t create a mess that you’ll need to worry about cleaning up later!
Summer memories last a lifetime.
We’ve all experienced the excitement as children of waiting for summer break to start and the great memories the season brings. But we’ve also likely experienced the boredom that can set in during summer. Planning fun activities to entertain your kids helps prevent potential behavioral issues that can crop up due to boredom, keeping your days calmer while ensuring that your child has plenty to do whether or not you’re working. Along the way, you’ll grow closer to your child and gain plenty of great memories that will last your whole family a lifetime.