Blogger | Teacher
Summer is the best time of year for students around the world because it provides a much-needed break for their tired and overworked brains. They get to sleep in longer, play more and can enjoy a few months of warmth and sunshine without the pressures of classes or homework weighing them down.
But two months of free time can get a bit boring or repetitive after a while, and for parents who work from home or are taking time off to spend the summer break with their little ones, it’s important to add fun activities to their routine. Summer is a great opportunity to challenge your little ones’ minds in new and creative ways. Here are some of our favorite family date ideas that you can enjoy with your children while they’re taking a break from school.
Find Cool Attractions and Exhibits at Your Local Museums
Learning doesn’t have to stop in the classroom, and great family date activities can also be an opportunity to encourage your kids to continue learning in new and interesting ways. One great way to do this is to find cool attractions and exhibits at your local museums that you and your little one will both enjoy! Many museums in your area most likely offer fun family-oriented exhibits that are interactive and interesting for both parents and their children.
For art museums, it’s important to remember that not all art has to be historical or classical (although these are cool, too). Museums have exhibits all the time on topics your kids will enjoy – just last year, an art museum in my area held an exhibit centered around the art from the popular anime “Kimetsu no Yaiba” (Or “Demon Slayer”), which is loved by both children and adults who enjoy watching anime.
Natural history or science museums might also have cool interactive exhibits where children and parents can participate in experiments or learn about new topics. These exhibits are usually accessible to all and affordable, as well as easy for the whole family to enjoy!
Go to the Zoo or Aquarium
For me, nothing screams “family date” in the summer like a trip to the zoo or the aquarium! Children everywhere love to have the opportunity to learn more about new and fascinating animals that they’ve never seen before in real life. Where else would you be able to see strong lions, giant crabs, or cuddly foxes? Not only is a trip to the zoo or aquarium an incredibly fun experience, but it’s also great for learning, too!
Many zoos and aquariums hold short shows and classes throughout the day where you and your little one can go and learn more about the animals, with the ability to see them up-close-and-personal in a safe environment. Plus, no one outgrows the fun of going to the zoo, so you are sure to enjoy the experience just as much as your children!
At-Home Movie Marathon
Sometimes you want to plan a fun family date to help add a little variety to the summer routine, but it can be hard to do without going over budget. If you’re considering affordable ways to spend time with your little one this summer without breaking the bank, an at-home movie marathon is the way to go! You can even go the extra mile and bring the “theater” into your home by stocking up on candy, popcorn, and other snacks from your local dollar store.
The best way to have a movie marathon is to set it up ahead of time: make sure you’ve got all the movies you want to watch throughout the day picked out and ready. The snacks should be easily accessible, and you definitely need plenty of pillows and blankets to wrap yourself up in until you feel nice and cozy. In my house, a movie marathon is a perfect opportunity for my family to binge-watch our favorite series – we rotate between Marvel, Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings – but all you really need is to fill your movie day with films you and your little one can both enjoy!
Take a Day Trip to Somewhere New
If you’re looking to get away during one of your family date days, then taking a day trip somewhere new is the perfect plan for you. There are two main ways you can do this: you can either plan your destination ahead of time or simply see where the universe takes you.
If you decide to plan the trip ahead of time, you can choose to pick a place nearby (easily reachable within a few hours) or find a place at random from a list or map. Even if you choose at random, you’re still planning ahead since you know where you’re going before you get into the car. For those who want to follow the waves and see what happens, take turns choosing directions on the road every time you come to a crossroads or juncture. You never know where the world will take you, but it’s sure to be an adventure!
Have a Crafting Day
One of my favorite family date ideas for when I want to stay indoors is to plan a fun crafting day. Personally, I always have at least ten unfinished crafts hidden away in a box at any given time. Not to mention, there are at least 12 other things I want to do, and entire Pinterest boards of ideas I haven’t even begun to consider. If you’re anything like me, planning a crafting day with your little one is the perfect opportunity to both make great memories together AND cross a few things off your “To Do” list.
Before you start your crafting day, stock up on all the supplies you need and have them in a place that’s easy for both you and your child to get to throughout the day in case you want to change tasks as you go. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy: cleaning up together afterward can be another fun bonding activity!
Plan Themed Days and Create a Summer Break Calendar
A fun family date doesn’t have to be a big event: you can plan small activities and themed days to enjoy together with your little one this summer. Create a calendar to help you both keep track of your schedule and write in new events whenever you think of them. For example, you can have a special dress-up day every Wednesday, “field trips” to new places on Fridays, and a “make-a-new-meal” event for Tuesday afternoons.
Don’t forget to include fun activities like reading hours and art afternoons in your summer calendar! This will allow both you and your child to maintain a routine even during the break while also trying to think of new ways to make your free time lively and exciting.
Do you know of more family date ideas for keeping little ones entertained during the summer break? Tell us in the comments!
About Draven Jackson
Draven is an avid writer and reader who enjoys sharing her opinions on movies, books, and music with the rest of the world. She will soon be working as a teacher in Japan and hopes to use her experience to connect with other teachers and students around the globe. Draven spends most of her time at home with her family, her dogs, and her ferret.
To see more, view all posts by Draven Jackson here.