Sunshine, real tomatoes, water fights, lazy days …there are so many wonderful things about this time of year!

Summer is almost upon us, and my children are so ready for their extended break!

The next three months pose the best opportunity to have cherished moments with the kids and create the kind of close family relationships that we want.

The rest of the year is filled with packed schedules, but this time is for us!

Besides, summer is supposed to equal fun for kids, so here are 5 ways to make that happen!

Get The MOST Out of Summer With The Kids

summer with the kids

Start A Memorable Last Day Of School Tradition

We try to be pretty healthy around here, but the last day of school calls for a fun treat at our house. For the last several years, the kids and I have gotten ice cream after the last day. Which has been such a sweet tradition!

Yet, my neighbor shared her yearly ritual, and I may be switching things up this year!

The morning after the last day of school, she takes her kids to get donuts in their pajamas. They pick out a donut, and all go to the park for breakfast to eat them. What a memorable tradition! They get to pick out their own treat, and get to wear jammies to play at the park!

If that isn’t the best representation of what summer should be for a kid, I don’t know what is.

summer with the kids

Create An Exciting Summer Bucket List

We started this about three years ago, and it has changed the way we do summer!

It helps keep us on target when we have nothing to do, and it also drives all of our family night activities for the summer! Easy planning for mom! And now that they are a little older, we include them in our list building which helps them feel like they are an important part of our family.

While there are lots of pretty lists out there, I prefer to write ours on a huge sheet of paper and tape it to the wall. It’s not as cute, I know. BUT we get to see it all the time, and the kids love crossing things off themselves.

summer with the kids


  • Go to a drive-in movie
  • Go to the beach
  • Have a picnic
  • Check out the new city park/lake
  • Make jello
  • Take a library summer class
  • Do the fire pit (s’mores)
  • Water balloons
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Slip n slide
  • Sporting KC soccer game
  • Bouncy house
  • Get ice cream
  • Family bike ride
  • Family water gun fight
  • Fireworks with friends
  • Check out 3 new libraries
  • Do a trail hike
  • Go to the pool with grandma and grandpa
  • Make ice cream
  • Go fishing

As a side note, if you have never done a drive-in movie. YOU NEED TO. It’s such a fun experience and an unforgettable way to watch a film!

summer with the kids

Throw A Beginning or End of Summer Party

Every year, we rent a bounce house and get some easy food to kick off the summer right. We don’t do big birthday parties for the kids, so we don’t mind spending a little bit of money here once a year to invite everyone over. Our kids get more excited about this party than they do the end of the school year!

An end of the summer party would be just as special! Throw all of the water toys out, and indulge in all of your summer favorites like popsicles and watermelon.

This can be as simple or elaborate as you want! And how much it costs is all up to you!

summer with the kids

Bring In A Little Bit Of Structure

While we love the lazy days, without any structure, summer quickly becomes a fight to stay alive. For all of us!

I will be having my kids do their summer checklist (above). Check out my post here about how we do this and free printables! If this is too advanced, just start with a few items!

We’ll try to do most of it in the morning before we have any other plans.

Last summer, it was just a little bit of needed structure to keep them busy and working towards a goal. My gosh, it saved my sanity. I also believe that it helped reduce the “summer slide” because we spent just a few minutes on something learning related every day.

Also, the items on the checklist don’t have to be advanced! Exercise can be running around at the park and learning time can be playdoh if that’s what works for the day!

Additionally, I love the days of the week schedules out there that give ideas for something fun every day. Check out this one HERE. 

summer with the kids

Catch Up With Friends

Finally, this is the easiest time of year to have playdates and to get together with people that you don’t get to see all of the time. So set up playdates early!

Scheduling it ahead of time will ensure that you are helping yourself and your kiddos build a community you love to be a part of. 

Something to Think About

What are your tried and true ways to get the most out of summer with the kids? Let me know below!

Other Awesome Summer Posts:

100 Cheap & Easy Summer Activities the Kids Will Love

How To Encourage Reading To Beat The Summer Slide

11 Healthy Summer Tips You Need To Know

summer with kids