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Top 10 Ways to Kick-Off Summer

The novelty and excitement of summer vacation can easily turn sour when kids get bored. Here are some ideas to keep them busy and keep those curious minds active all summer long!


1. Join or Create a Summer Book Club

Although many local libraries sponsor book clubs during the summer months, it may be fun to create your own. Book club meetings don’t have to be boring.

Consider having children dress up as their favorite character, spread out some book related foods and snacks (think Butterbeers and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans), or have kids act out some of their favorite scenes.

You may also want to create a book-specific activity. For example, if the group is reading Freckle Juice, have the kids concoct their own version. And for those reluctant or struggling readers, check to see if the book is available in audio format.

2. Host a Block Party in Your Own Backyard

Invite some neighborhood kids and families to your backyard and enjoy a day of fun, block-party style activities: face painting, home make snow cones, hula hoop contests, water balloon fights, karaoke contests, cotton candy making—the possibilities are endless!

3. Take a Staycation

Many families these days are on tight budgets and can’t afford the family dream vacation to Disney. What most people don’t realize is that many local communities offer a plethora of local excursions such as playgrounds, amusement and water parks, historic sites, museums and outdoor live music. Check your local Chamber of Commerce for more information.

4. Enlist Your Child’s Help with a DIY Project

Keep the summer hum-drums away by getting your child to help out with fun projects around the house, such as creating a vegetable garden , planting flowers, building flower beds, and doing a room makeover. Kids can have a ball helping to pick out paint colors, accessories and window treatments, especially if the make-over room is theirs!

5. Make your Child Chef for a Day

While you may end up with a messy kitchen, it will certainly stop complaints that kids aren’t interested in what’s for dinner. Keep it educational by helping the child to plan the meal, create a shopping list and stick to a budget. Then let them create their masterpiece (with supervision)!

6. Tie Dye Day

Pick a sunny afternoon to tie dye anything your child’s heart desires---from t-shirts and socks to sheets and towels.

Make it a psychedelic day of fun with our tie-dye ideas for the kids - cupcakes included!

7. Organize a Neighborhood Car Wash

Everyone needs a car wash, so why not round up the local kids and have some fun with soap and sponges? Consider charging $5.00 per car and donating the proceeds to a local charity.

8. Explore!

Take the kids to local spots such as parks, streams, or hiking or bike trails to check out indigenous flora and fauna. Kids can take digital photos of their finds and use the pictures to create a summer journal for future reference.

9. Create Your Own Ice Cream Day

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Wouldn’t it be twice as fun to make your own? (No fancy gadgets necessary!)

Just grab a one-pound empty coffee container, fill it with half and half, sugar, and flavoring (such as strawberries or vanilla). Duct tape the lid on and place the coffee can inside a three- pound coffee can. 

Surround the smaller can with crushed ice and rock salt. Duct tape the lid on the larger can. 

Find a nice shady spot and a partner. Roll the can back and forth to one another for 20 minutes and voilà! Homemade ice cream!

10.  Don’t Catch a Movie, Catch a Sunset!

With all the excitement, play dates, and activities summer brings, take some time to slow down together and watch the gorgeous summer sunset. It’s a great opportunity to unplug from electronic devices spend some quality quiet time with those you love most.

Find more party planning inspirations for Summer Parties

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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Exotic Cocktail Recipe Video Link to video gallery. Upgrade your spring sips with this cocktail tutorial. »

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