While summer is a great time to kick back and binge on Netflix with your kids, it can also be a great time to participate in more active activities as a family. However, that can be a bit of a tall order, especially if your children have large age gaps. So, to help kickstart your unique summer activities planning, here are four simple summer activities that the whole family can enjoy.
1. Water Gun Painting
No matter the actual artistic talent of your various family members, everyone can create water gun art. For this project, you’ll need:
- Water guns
- Liquid watercolor paints
A stop at your local craft store, Walmart, or Amazon should allow you to acquire all the supplies you need for this activity. Make sure the triggers on the water guns work smoothly or it may make the painting process a bit frustrating. Tack some paper to trees in your yard and let your family go wild with the colors and water guns! I recommend old clothes or swimsuits, as some family members may not be able to resist the urge to turn their water gun away from the paper and paint each other instead.
Once the art is dry, have everyone sign their art and you will have beautiful reminders of your summer fun.
Head over to SomewhatSimple.com to see exactly how it’s done!
2. Photo Scavenger Hunt
Rather than organizing a scavenger hunt which leaves your home clutter with random items, a photo scavenger hunt is the perfect variant. Split into teams where there is at least one camera holder, whether the camera is a digital camera or smartphone, it doesn’t make a difference. There are plenty of scavenger hunt lists you can download and print or you can create your own for your family hunts. To encourage fun photos, offer bonus points for photos which feature items from the hunt posed with the hunting family members.
3. Water Balloon Volleyball
Playing water volleyball can be a great way to cool down on a hot summer day, and you don’t need a volleyball net to play this game. A simple string tacked up in your backyard will do just fine. Other supplies you will need are:
- Water balloons
Depending on the athleticism of your family members, you can arrange the teams in several ways. Using full-sized towels, you can have two family members per one towel, with a person holding their own end of the towel. That way they work together to both catch and launch water balloons from the towel they are holding.
To make things more mobile and difficult, you can use kitchen and hand towels. That way, each person is responsible for their own water balloon catches and launching. This can help you engage your teenage children more in the family activity. If the water balloon explodes, falls off the towel, or hits the ground, it is counted as an out and the team which scored a point can launch a balloon.
We found some amazing photos of how this game is done over at UrbanFunnyFarm.blogspot.com–– head over to check them out!
Every time you go camping, each experience is different. This is a particularly budget-friendly activity, as you don’t have to travel farther than your backyard to enjoy some camping. A great way to make your camping trips more memorable is to have family members help in the planning. Maybe your teen recently studied the Grand Canyon and wants to go camping there or other national landmarks. It can help everyone feel more invested when they help plan.
Research has shown that strong parent-child bonds are key to raising children to become mentally healthy adults. So, you can feel good about investing time into making unique summer activities, knowing it is also an investment in your children’s future happiness.
Tyler Jacobson is a father of three and avid outdoor enthusiast. He’s learned a thing or two about parenting and has turned from a full time career in digital media to helping fellow parents of teenagers. He pulls from his own life experiences raising spunky, free-spirited children, as well as his work with various organizations that help teens be their best selves. During his free time, Tyler enjoys taking his family into the mountains to connect with a simpler side of life which he finds grounding and rejuvenating.