This was initially published last summer, but I’m bringing it around again!
Two weeks ago we had the busiest week ever. Within a 7 day period the kids had Vacation Bible School from 5:30 to 8:30 pm and then 5 days of swimming lessons… during naptime. So needless to say the kids were fussy, exhausted, and had gotten a tad out of control.
While I have been relaxing our routine for summer, I also needed to do a bit of tomato staking with the kids. So in order to have a calm week that was completely home centered, and also to give the kids a bit more structure to encourage better behavior, I decided we’d have a Family Summer Fun Week.
Basically, I created a theme for each day of the week and thought of no-prep, no purchase necessary activities that corresponded with the day. We probably spent two hours in the morning doing these activities (my husband included) and that was that. I didn’t want to raise my expectations too high because I didn’t want to get irritated if they weren’t into the activities. (See: anger triggers for moms, ha)
Here are 5 basic themes and some easy no-prep ideas for each day.
- Put on backpacks, explorer gear (these are cool), get some walking sticks, and go for a walk. Our yard is full of nature, but if not, go to a park!
- Put sticks, stones, pine straw, flowers, or whatever else they find in the backpack to store.
- Create some art with paper, glue, and what they picked up.
- Watch some nature videos if you have screen time. We liked this one.
- Use basic craft supplies to draw pictures of trees, flowers, the sky, clouds, etc.
- Make mud pies outside with dirt and, if you’re really keen, make a mud pie to eat. :)
- Do animal walks around the house. My kids loved this and we used this post as inspiration.
- Do a stuffed animal scavenger hunt by hiding stuffed animals around the house and looking for them. You can even use toilet paper rolls to make binoculars. Easy peasy.
- Draw animals with a Sharpie and have your kids color them in.
- Gather your books about animals and have a special reading time.
- Practice animal sounds really loudly outside.
- Watch some short videos about nature, we loved this one.
- Go for a swim in the pool, lake, beach, or even a kiddie pool.
- Make and throw water balloons.
- Teach children about the properties of water. We “made” ice and the kids still talk about it.
- Play in the sprinklers or water hose.
- Take a glow in the dark bath.
- Flavor water with lemon juice, lime juice, mint leaves, or a drop or two of essential oils and put it in a fancy cup for a tea party.
- Make a tower with blocks.
- Build with LEGO.
- Do some woodworking. My husband took my kids to help build wall art for my son’s room.
- Build a fire and roast marshmallows.
- Build with popsicle sticks (some good ideas here).
- My daughter likes to build and create with pipe cleaners.
- Build a race track for cars with masking tape along your carpet.
- Paint faces. We were given this face paint a while back from Kiss Naturals. It’s all natural, easy to use, and we got patriotic since it was the week of the 4th!
- Use clothespins or thumb tacks to attach poster boards, butcher paper, or any type of paper to a wall or fence and let kids paint standing up.
- Practice all the colors of the rainbow.
- Color in coloring books.
- Watch videos about art with the kids to get them inspired. Here’s a good art channel.
As you see I have a few photos, but nothing Pinterest worthy because for me when I start worrying about output I stop having fun. And I think the kids do too. So the goal was whatever came to mind that was easy to do and I didn’t have to buy anything (except the balloons to fully disclose, ha).
Do you do “theme days” with your kids?
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