5 Ways To Get The MOST Out Of Summer With The Kids

How to Take Advantage of Summer

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

summer with the kids

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

summer with kids pin

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.

Besides, summer should equal FUN for children, so here are 5 ways to truly enjoy your summer with the kids!

Get The MOST Out of Summer With The Kids

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


1. Start A Memorable Last Day Of School Tradition

summer fun with the kids

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

Last year, my neighbor shared her yearly ritual…

The morning after the last day, 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 sweet and memorable tradition! They get to pick out their own treat, and 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.

For more traditions like this check out: The Best Family Traditions Guide

*And for a fun teacher gift, see this thank you printable for teachers!

summer with the kids


2. Create An Exciting Summer Bucket List

We started this four 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 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
  • Do a beach scavenger hunt
  • 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
  • Laugh with the funny this or that summer version game

*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!

*See the full summer bucket list article for other amazing ideas!

Related Post: 100 Summer Fun Kid Activities to Banish Boredom


3. Throw A Beginning or End of Summer Party

summer with the kids

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 money once a year to invite everyone over.

Our kids get more excited about this party than they do the end of the school year!

Additionally, 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 before back to school.

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


4. 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 have my kids do their summer checklists (above). Check out my post here about how we do this and free printable! If this is too advanced, just start with a few items!

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

In past summers, it has been a bit of needed structure to keep them busy and working towards a goal. My gosh, it saved my sanity. It also reduced the “summer slide” because we spent a few minutes on something learning-related every day.

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

summer with the kids

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

Related: Printable Reading Log For Summer

5. Catch Up With Friends

summer with the kids

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 make friends and build community. 

Looking for more unforgettable memories?

Read my ebook of the BEST family traditions250+ traditions (holidays, seasons, and everything in-between) to build an unbreakable family bond.

Something to Consider with Summer

From the time our kids are born we have 18 summers until they leave the house. That’s it. And about five of them are when our kids are very small or busy teenagers.

So, take the time to plan a few things you’ll all love doing over this period of freedom and adventure. You’ll enjoy the sweet memories for years to come.

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:

5 Epic Ways to Get the Most Out of Summer With the Kids


  1. Vicky Herman says:

    Awesome ideas! We try to check out new parks!

    1. I love this Vicky! We checked out a new park yesterday, just because you said this! And it was so much fun! It’s now on the bucket list!

Comments are closed.