5 Free Summer Activities the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Keep the Family Entertained With 5 Simple Tips

If you’re looking for free things to do in the summer, you aren’t alone. The long, hot days of the summer months can make it a challenge for the family to enjoy the outdoors without overheating, but staying inside can test the nerves of even the most patient families. Choruses of “we’re bored” and “there’s nothing to do” are commonly echoed through the house, and many summer activities will drain your bank account.

Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of five activities that your entire family can enjoy together this summer, and they won’t break the bank. Read on to get the scoop on how to get your summer plan on the books.

Create a Home-Based Culinary Class

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Each week, the whole family works together to learn how to make one menu item. Pick a meal you’d like to cook together and buy the ingredients during your regular grocery shopping trip. Kids ages 2-5 can do the stirring and measuring, those ages 6-10 can crack the eggs and cut things like butter, and older kids can microwave and preheat the oven for you. By the end of the summer, each family member knows how to make a breakfast, a lunch, a dinner, a dessert, a salad, and any other items. This benefits the parents as well, since you’ve probably had a meal you’ve been interested in learning to make. Now you can make it, and you have built-in help!

Stage a Production

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Kids often want to share their creative sides, so by staging a production at home, you can include every family member. Mom and Dad can help write the play and create the costumes, younger kids can color and paint the set pieces, older kids can play the roles in the play and find the props to use from around the house, and other family members or neighbor kids can handle the lights or film the performance. Most computers (and even some phones) come with video editing software, so you can edit together the performance at the end of the summer and have a well-produced movie to show visitors that the whole family helped create.

Create a Vegetable Garden

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This activity may cost you a dollar or so in seeds if you don’t know anyone who can give you their clippings, but it could end up saving you hundreds of dollars on your grocery bill. If you don’t have a plot of land to dedicate to a garden, you can even create one in a container such as a large crate or a plastic wheelbarrow with holes drilled into the bottom for drainage. Young children can help rake the yard and plant the seeds and can even water and clip the plants. Older kids can tie the stalks to stakes when necessary, identify whether netting is needed to repel pests and determine when the produce is ripe for picking. Start with a few easy to handle vegetables (such as tomatoes or zucchini) and if the kids are pros, you can add plants that are typically more challenging to grow (like corn).

Start a Book Club

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This may sound like a very “grown up” activity, but if each family member picks a book for each meeting, the options will range from early readers to more advanced titles. Even young kids can learn something from the lessons in books that older kids and adults enjoy. For instance, if you’re talking about an older child’s Harry Potter book and a two-year-old isn’t paying attention, print out a Harry Potter coloring page and have the younger child color the picture. Then, during the discussion period of the book club, the child can come to the group and show the picture they drew so everyone can see what Harry Potter looks like.

Keep a journal

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You may think of a journal as a diary, where you write about your thoughts and dreams (and it can be that in many cases), but family journals are often a bit different. Each family member can write (or draw) something each day showing what they did that day of the summer. At the end of the summer, each family member can present their journal to the rest of the group, sharing what they considered to be the highlights of their summer break.