Summer is here, and it is time for parents to go from school teacher to camp counselor. With that in mind, we came up with five fun family activities for when summer camp is not an option. This list includes an activity for every type of family member.
Biking is a powerful workout for the fitness junkie and outdoorsy type.
Getting physical is a great way to tire the little kiddos out. With biking, the entire family can have fun exploring the neighborhood and the great outdoors. Bike riding is a fun, eco-friendly activity that is easy to learn—even if you haven’t done it in years. The summer days are warm, so be sure to bring cool water. No bike? No worries. In most major cities, you can rent for as little as $15/day.
Stargazing is a wonderful adventure for that budding space explorer.
The local planetarium might be closed, but families can still enjoy the beauty of the nighttime sky with backyard stargazing. Did you know that in the northern hemisphere, you can see the little bear (Ursa Minor) all year round? The Ursa Minor constellation contains the North Star (Polaris), which is the most important start in our night sky.
If the light pollution is too great in your neighborhood, consider creating your own planetarium and doing an indoor star show. All you need is some cardboard, a dark room, and a light source. Here is a great stargazing guide.
Urban gardening is a relaxing activity for the naturalist and animal lover.
In balconies, and rooftops, or small patches of land, urban gardening offers lots of options for families in big cities. You can buy seeds or experiment by ‘catching’ plants. Even if you don’t know a thing about the garden or don’t think you have a green thumb, gardening is super easy to get into. You can even have fun seeing what grows despite your efforts. In fact, lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, and tomatoes are some of the easiest foods to grow.
If food is not your thing, consider growing flowers or plant a butterfly garden. By creating a butterfly habitat that is able to house butterflies in each life stage, you’ll get a close-up view of some of the most beautiful insects. According to Unicef, there are over 750 types of butterfly species to attract.
Filmmaking is a wonderful escape for the artsy storyteller.
Take your summer reading to the next level by producing video book reports. Today’s technology makes it easy to create quality video productions. All you need is a camera and a video editor. Mac users can edit videos with iMovie. Windows users can use Windows Movie Maker and newer versions of PowerPoint to produce videos.
If you think you have a baby Spike Lee in the family, challenge them to adapt a section of the book into a short film. Get creative with your filmmaking by using toys as your actors or get artsy and try your hand at stop-motion animation.
Coding is perfect for the future-minded engineer and developer.
If going outside is not your family’s thing, use computer time more wisely by learning to code. Knowing code is the basis for many careers in the future. Programming helps children learn to problem-solve. When kids spend time solving problems, they build resilience—which is an excellent character trait. According to TeachYourKidsToCode.com, “Computer programming isn’t just about teaching how to type lines of code. It is more about teaching children how to think differently.”
There are lots of family-friendly activities you can try at home this summer. Remember, happiness is in the journey, not just the end destination or product. So go easy on yourselves and just have fun with this summer activities!