Simple and Free Ways to Spend Quality Time with Kids in the Summer
Summer vacation has started for many of us homeschoolers as it’s a time of renewal and relaxation. Yet, we should also take this opportunity to develop a deeper bond with our children! Our busy schedule during the school year can sometimes get in the way of one of our top priorities — our kids. Here are some simple and free ways to spend quality time with kids in the summer.
WALK TO THE PARK
Find the closest park in your area and walk to the park! We have several around us and it’s only half a mile away. Pack a backpack with a picnic lunch, grab some basketballs, and have some fun — together. Don’t forget tick spray! We live in Pennsylvania and they are everywhere! Check your children for ticks, as well, when you get home.
I’m not thrilled about doing this activity, but boys love it! This would be a great family excursion for the day. You could even discuss the different types of fish that they could catch and what types of bait work best. Throw some snacks and drinks in a bag and you’re all set. Don’t forget the fishing poles!
FIND BIKING TRAILS
Biking is one of my favorite activities! There are so many more options when you bike. We have bike trails around our city. Do a Google search for your area and you should find plenty! Don’t forget to pack a small backpack with water, snacks, and drinks.
DISCOVER HIKING TRAILS
This is another adventure I love to do with my family. Just find those trails online and start planning! Purposely find some trails that you’ve never been on before and make sure you pack food and water.
We live close to the city of Pittsburgh and there is a TON to explore downtown. I actually wrote an article here about how you can go on a cheap excursion to the city. It’s also a great time to discuss the architecture of the buildings and ask for their favorites. You can pack a lunch or save up for a lunch and eat outside as you enjoy the breeze and smells of the city!
VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
Our library has SO many fun things to do all summer long. They have summer reading clubs, classes, and it’s always a great time to grab a paper or audio book for traveling.
PATRONIZE YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
This isn’t usually free unless you can avoid the temptation, but if we have to eat anyway, why not enjoy the fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers instead of grocery stores? Go to the farmers market to see all the vendors and fresh produce. They usually have organic produce plus unique items to see.
HELP YOUR CHURCH
Our local church always needs a helping hand. Find ways to minister to or serve others. Clean the church, visit an elderly member, or send a card to someone. There are so many easy ways you can help your church body. Pray about it and He will lead you to the right ministry.
VISIT AN ELDERLY PERSON
There’s nothing more precious than seeing an elderly person’s face light up after getting a visitor. We must remember there are a lot of lonely and neglected people in this world. Be intentional about visiting members from your church or making frequent visits to a home for the elderly during the summer. Make a simple plan to bake cookies, write cards or drawings to pass out. [Editor’s note: Check to make sure the elderly don’t have dietary restrictions before taking food products to them.]
Be intentional — write these fun events on your calendar and stick to them! And, yes, I’m talking to myself as well!
As you complete each excursion, don’t forget to take pictures. At the end of the summer, you can print them out as a collage, then hang it up on the refrigerator for smiles during the school year. Additionally, you can ask the kids to write in a journal about each activity when you get home. It will keep their writing skills sharp and a provide a great keepsake!
I am hopeful you found some simple and free ways to spend quality time with kids in the summer on this list! There should be enough information for you to get started on your exciting new Summer Adventure! Enjoy the time with the kids; they grow up so fast. Certainly, there is no reason to make it complicated; just have fun and get out in the sunshine!
Natalie Fullmer is married with two children. After leaving her IT career in the healthcare industry, she decided to stay home full-time and homeschool both children. In the early days, she used boxed curriculum but has now adopted a Charlotte Mason & Eclectic-type style the last few years. She works part-time as a Virtual Assistant and teaches English to Chinese children. Natalie is also a proud member of Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Besides homeschooling, her passions include raising animals on her mini farm, reading non-fiction, gardening, learning the latest tech, and sharing her minimalist approach with other homeschool moms on her blog at http://contentwithsimple.com. Favorite bible verse for encouragement is Philippians 4:13.