When summertime comes, there’s no shortage of activities you can do with your family. You can pack up the car and go on cross-country trip, you can head to the lake for a day of fun on the water, or you can even visit an amusement park, riding rides and eating carnival food.
Those are all good ideas for some great family fun. But maybe you’re looking for something different. Maybe you’re looking to have your kids learn more responsibility around the house. Maybe you’re looking for different activities for them to do that don’t always involve electronics or big vacations.
If that’s the case, fear not. There are plenty of ways to have tons of family fun this summer by staying at home and doing interactive home projects. Three of the best areas to get kids and your whole family involved in summer projects are:
- Yard work
- Gardening and planting
- Home improvements
Everyone loves being outside in the summertime. But for kids and adults that usually means two different things. For kids, it might mean playing on a swing set and playing with lawn toys. For adults, it might mean mowing the lawn, weed whacking, getting the pool in order, and doing other yard work.
If you’re looking to get your kids involved in yard work chores, there are many ways to do that while still having family fun.
Make A Game Of It
If you’ve got younger kids, one surefire way to get them involved is to make chores into a game. If you’re planting in the spring, you can have a contest to see who can fill flowerbeds with potting soil the fastest. If you’re cleaning up leaves in the fall, you can award a prize to whoever can build the biggest leaf pile. When it comes to making up games, the only limit is your imagination. If your kids really get into it, they may even make up games on their own.
Making yard work into family fun time can be easily done by giving your kids simple, short responsibilities and then increasing them as they get older. Some kids may see yard work as unwanted work that takes away from playtime. But if you give them easy, short-term tasks they get rewarded for, they’re going to love yard work.
Gardening And Planting
There’s no better way to get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and strengthen family relationships is to plant a family garden. In this way, you can nurture your children’s green thumbs and get everyone involved in an enjoyable activity.
A great way to make your kids excited about planting and gardening is to give them their own section of the garden to work on. You can let them choose what’s being planted and then supervise them while they do it. You can easily give them bowls or pots with holes drilled for drainage and let them plant a few plants per bowl.
If children are going to be doing some planting, give them easily plantable seeds like beans and peas, which have strong germination. You can also supervise them as they plant things the whole family loves to eat.
When you think of gardening, you think of it as an outdoor activity. But there are many DIY gardening activities you can do indoors.
- You can make easy-to-use watering cans out of old milk bottles and you can have your kids decorate the outsides.
- You can also have your kids create some plant labels or pictures to place around your garden. This can help them identify what seeds have been planted and what they’ll grow into.
- If you want to grow some plants and veggies indoors, there are many grow-your-own plants available such as tomatoes that you can use to teach your kids about gardening.
- Should you need a more heavy-dutry area, wooden pallets can be used for gardening as well, and are stronger than plastic.
Let In The Wildlife
For young kids, sometimes there’s nothing more exciting than looking out your window and seeing wildlife in your backyard. You can make this possible by helping your kids grow a space that encourages wildlife to come and explore.
If you’re looking for some ideas, trying planting some nature-friendly flowers and plants to get caterpillars, bumblebees, butterflies and other wildlife to stop by. You can also create a sort of ‘bug haven’ by filling a pot with some garden waste. By creating this space, you’re encouraging family fun, but it’s also an opportunity to teach your kids about different creatures and their importance in nature.
In addition, maintenance to the trees and shrubs you already have in your yard is important. Overgrown shrubs can deprive nearby plants of resources they need to grow. Not only that, but keeping them maintained improves property value by up to 14%.
Build A Compost Pile
Another great way to foster an interest in gardening and family fun is to have your kids build a compost pile. This can easily be done by going through the kitchen and finding items to add to the pile such as pet bedding from rabbits, dry dog or cat food, lint from the dryer, and even dust from sweeping or vacuuming.
As you’re doing this sort of compost scavenger hunt, you can help you kids understand the importance these items can have for soil and helping plants in your garden grow.
DIY Home Improvement
Planting and gardening are good sources of outside family fun, but you can also teach your kids the value of work by working on DIY home improvement projects. Whether it’s adding a more contemporary look to your kitchen or simply repainting the living room, updates to the home are something the whole family can be involved in.
Make Organization Fun
These days you can find all kinds of ways to tidy up the house, whether you’re looking to do a total home makeover or just spruce up a room or two. Let’s say you want to re-organize your children’s rooms. There are many things you can do to make them fresh and new:
- Rearrange the furniture to change the feel of a room (and maybe even free up some space).
- Set a budget and buy some new furniture for your kids’ rooms. You can get some stackable cubes or furniture to give a room a new look.
- Another budget-friendly idea is to visit a thrift shop and pick up some things that may freshen up a room such as used furniture or some things to hang on the walls.
- If your kids need a place to do school work, get them a desk. An easy way to make it unique is to buy a wood desk and spray paint it whatever color your child desires.
- If your kids are collectors of things like action figures, dolls, sports cards or something else, make collecting easy by getting them stackable storage containers and label them. This makes their favorite toys easier to find.
- Give your kids’ rooms a fresh coat of paint. You can even get them involved by having them pick the color and have them join the painting. You can cover up the floor and use painter’s tape to block off certain areas and then have your kids practice letters and shapes with a paint roller.
Spruce Up The Mailbox
If you’re looking for other DIY activities, a good one to do with kids is to paint your mailbox. You can do this outside or you can lay down some newspaper in the basement or garage, find some mailbox-compatible paint and get to work.
Once the painting is done, you can use the activity as a segway into having your kids practice their writing, learning how to write letters and how to send letters to friends and family.
Create A Kid-Friendly Space
There is no shortage of ideas for tidying and freshening up your kids’ rooms. But another good way to get them involved in some house renovation is to create a kid-friendly space. Maybe you’ve got some extra space in the living room or an extra bedroom that you don’t use.
This space will be a huge source of family fun because you can let your kids go wild and help you transform it.
- If they love to draw, you can give them markers or crayons to color with on any walls that will be painted over or knocked down. Bigger kids can even take a swing or two with a hammer if they’re supervised.
- Let them make some of the décor decisions. Maybe it’s a paint color; maybe it’s picking the color or design of an area rug; maybe it’s letting them add a little bit of a glitter finish to renovated walls.
- You can also let them be involved in the creation by picking some items that might go in the kid space, such as beanbag chairs or even a little tent for them to play in.
If you’re looking for activities the whole family can get involved in this summer, in many cases, the sky is the limit. By involving your kids in yard work activities, you not only teach them the importance of doing such chores, but they’ll get more enjoyment out of certain activities in the future. For instance, if you involve your kids in getting the pool ready for summer, they’ll understand what it takes to keep the pool clean and they’ll appreciate future swims even more.
By planting flowers or a vegetable garden in the backyard, you’re not only fostering an environment of family fun, but you’re also getting everyone involved in a stress-free activity that shows kids the importance of gardening and where certain foods come from.
By involving your kids in even small home renovations, you’re teaching them the importance of keeping a clean house and how you can make spaces like brand new without spending a lot of money.