Summer Family Fun Traditions and Ideas


I posted this last year, but it was full of fun ideas, I thought I would recycle it for WFMW at Rocks in my Dryer!

Have FUN with those kids of yours! 🙂 Embrace and love life with them this summer!

At our house summer is a great time for some good old fashioned family fun. Hubby and I are both public school teachers, so summer is a special time to enjoy time together as a family. We have a list of about 10-15 things that we do every summer, the list has become known as our “summer traditions.”

Our first tradition is one of our all time favorites, the day after school is out we all head to Shady Maple Smorgasbord for some serious eating. This place has more food than you can imagine, and we go for breakfast, but I can assure you that is the only meal we will need for the rest of the day!! We linger, chat, and eat until we are ready to burst. We already have it on the calender for next Wednesday and I saw today that one of the kids wrote “yay!” next to it. Can you see the excitement building. 🙂

Some of our other summer traditions include

  • A family squirt gun battle
  • Camping in the woods behind our house
  • Individual dates with each of the kids, hubby and I plan a special “hot date” with each one of them. For instance one year I went and played laser tag with my son for hours, last year we went to one of those gigantic, indoor arcades where you get lots of tokens to play all kinds of games and then we went to a movie together. Hubby took dear daughter swimming and then bowling and out for ice cream. These dates have been a great time of bonding, fun and insightful discussion.
  • We make a big family breakfast together.
  • We play lots of board games together ( current favorites include; Clue, Blokus, Scrabble and Monopoly)
  • We take in a major or minor league baseball game together. ( this year we got free tickets to see the Baltimore Orioles play)

There are other traditions, but these are a few of our favorites, and as you can see they don’t cost a lot of money. Fun does not have to cost a lot! 🙂

Here are a few other fun things I have done with the kids in the summer.

  1. I put several coins in the bottom of an old cake pan, fill it with water and freeze it. When it’s a nice solid block, dip the frozen pan in hot water for about 10 seconds, the ice should then slide out, take it outside on a hot day and let the kids chip away at the ice to get the treasures! Also add a little food coloring to the water….and that really makes it fun!
  2. We all have an ice cream addiction at our house in the summer, but what the kids still love is when I put a special treat at the bottom of their ice cream cone and scoop their favorite ice cream on top. They love trying to guess what is at the bottom of the cone. Gumballs, gummies, marshmallows, pieces of chocolate, M&M;’s, sweedish fish, oreo cookies, have all been hits!
  3. We take a “reading hike,” the kids and I all pick a favorite book to read ( depending on their age, I would read to them or they would read their own book). We would then head off on a “hike” in our woods ( or go to your backyard, or at a local park, or a nearby trail), and each person could pick a spot to “stop, drop and read.” We would then have to read for 5-10 min. in the special spot each kid picked (I have read on sliding boards, cramped in the back of the car, on a log in the woods, on the swings at the park, and many other silly spots!).
  4. I made up a scavenger hunt of our local town. It took about 1/2 hour one night to prepare, since I could find most of the info on the internet. Questions may include something similar to these; find the local library and find the date it was built, look for the WW II statue on Main Street and write down how many men are wearing a hat on the statue, Find the menu for the local pizza place and see how much a large, cheese pizza costs. I think you get the idea, it’s a great way for the kids to learn history or cool facts about their town. We have always ended with a special snack from one of the local places at the end.
  5. When the kids were little I would give them several large paintbrushes, a bucket or 2 or 3…….of water and tell them to paint the deck or the house or the chair or whatever you think “needs” a little painting!! 🙂
  6. When the kids were learning their numbers or letters I would write them on the driveway in chalk and tell them to run/hop/ jump/skip or whatever else you can think of….to the number 4 or the letter b or the letter the makes the mmmmm sound. You get the idea, it was an active way to learn their numbers/ letters. And then when they are done, have them paint (see #5) the number 6 or letter J with their water paint.

I have more fun ideas, but you will have to check back, my dryer is buzzing……….by the way I haven’t seen the floor of my laundry room for weeks….but that’s a whole other post. 🙂

Thought for the day – ENJOY your family!


  1. I love the frozen money idea! What did they chip with. Somehow I can’t quite picture my kids with ice picks.

    I used to do theme weeks when my kids were younger. Animal week, Occupation week etc. One of my fondest memories was during transportation week. We went to the airport, the river to look at boats, rode the trolley into town and the best we went to a car dealership. The kids went in and out of new cars and the dealer gave them a promotional stuffed animal. See, I was pretending I was interested in a Navigator. Haha…it was so fun.

  2. They used rocks to chip away at the ice, or a SMALL hammer! Or when they were real little, we just poured warm water on it and chipped at it with sand shovels. Kathy!!!!… are so like me, I used to do theme weeks when the kids were little also. And I did something VERY similar with transportation week. 🙂

  3. What the kids you teach fail to understand is that teachers love summer vacation more than the kids do. 🙂

    Wonderful ideas. Isn’t it fun that kids, even when they get older, expect and look for ward to older family traditions?

    PS I haven’t been to Shapy Maple in a long time. Perhaps I should introduce Not-So-Classic to it.

  4. These are all such great ideas! My kids are alot older, but actually they would enjoy many of them still. We do alot of things together as a family even at their ages and I am so grateful they still want to hang out with us! I can already picture being very close with my sons in law and daughter in law. I pray for that anyway.

    The rainbow picture is just gor-ja-mous!! Beautiful.

  5. Wait — you have a laundry room?

    I need to have some fun this summer – even though we’re still doing school work. We’ve got passes to the pool. I’m waiting to see how that will work. 🙂

    Nifty list.
    Thanks for sharing.

  6. These are some of the best ideas I’ve seen!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Can’t wait to try them with my kiddos! I’m off to dig my way into the laundry room too!

Leave a Reply to samismom22 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s