Lazy summer days are a welcome relief after a hectic spring of online learning. However, with camp canceled for many kids around the DMV, these slow days are already starting to feel endless for some families. That’s why we’re offering a list of 31 family activities to do this month, one for each day in July, compiled by mom of three and writer Michon Zysman.
Do a few or do them all, and beat summer boredom as a family.
Family Activities to do in July
1: Make a meal for a friend in need and have your kids help deliver the finished product.
2: Schedule a playground date with friends. Don’t forget to bring lots of water, sunscreen and masks.
3: Visit a bowling alley or set up your own lane in your driveway.
4: Line your walk with sparklers.
5: Go for a family bike ride.
6: Bake cookies together and enjoy them with a cold glass of milk.
7: Let your kids pick the meal for the evening, even if it’s a silly or crazy meal. Muffins for dinner? Ice cream sundaes? They’ll be delighted to be in charge.
8: Pack a picnic and eat outside—or inside on a blanket in front of a fan.
9: Create a “make your own taco” bar for dinner. Provide plenty of cut veggies, toppings and foods with various textures (soft tacos, crispy tortilla chips), and let the kids create their own meal. Even the finickiest of eaters often like plain rice, tortillas with cheese or simple nachos.
10: Remember Shrinky Dinks? The dollar section of large retailers like Target and Michael’s often sell inexpensive starter kids, and bulk sheet packs can be ordered online. Pick a rainy day, set the kitchen table with Shrinky Dink plastic sheets, scissors, a hole punch and some colored pencils and invite the kids to sit, craft and shrink.
11: Plan a trip to the zoo. The National Zoo is still closed, but there are animals waiting to meet you at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
12: Help your kids create a book. Younger kids can dictate their story to you or an older sibling and then create illustrations to accompany their words.
13: Take a nap with your kids.
14: Make rice crispy treats. With only a few ingredients, the recipe is easy enough for school-aged kids to make from start to finish with minimal help from a grown-up helper (hot butter needs a supervisor!).
15: Turn off your alarm clock before bed and allow everyone to sleep in.
16: The next time it rains, run outside and let everyone splash in puddles.
17: Watch a virtual story time. We’re big fans of Ryan and Craig.
18: Plan a date with each of your children, alone. Go for a walk, get a treat or read a special book together. One-on-one time is invaluable.
19: Say “yes” for one whole day. Kids want to wear pajamas outside? Eat cereal for dinner? Skip a bath tonight? Give yourself a pass!
20: Visit earthsky.org and make plans for a night of star gazing.
21: Make homemade ice pops.
22: Pick a book set, series or story collection and make time to read a story, chapter or fable every night. It’s an enjoyable way to teach your children patience, anticipation and character and plot development.
23: Take your kids to a farmer’s market and find a fruit or vegetable that you or your child have never tried. Be adventurous!
24: Plan a day trip. Visit a friend, a neighboring town or a museum or landmark.
25: Teach your child a craft of their choosing, such as beading, knitting, origami, scrapbooking or collage-making.
26: Throw a dance party. Have your kids help make a playlist and dance like no one is watching.
27: Play cat’s cradle. Check out YouTube for various tutorials.
28: Make lemonade from scratch.
29: Sit on your porch and watch the rain. If you have children who are nervous about storms, teach them about thunder and why it makes noise.
30: Whip up a batch of homemade play dough. Mix 1 ½ cups of flour, ½ cup of salt, 1 teaspoon of cooking oil and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar together in a bowl. Have a grown-up helper pour 1 cup of boiling water (colored with a few drops of food coloring, if desired) into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir well. Let the play dough cool for a few minutes, then roll it out on a flat surface.
31: Buy fresh flowers or cut some from your garden to share with a friend who could use some cheering up.
We want to know what’s on your summer agenda. Send an email to our editor, PJ Feinstein, at [email protected] and tell us what you’re looking forward to doing this month.