If your children are different genders or several years apart, it’s challenging to find summer activities or vacation destinations that interest each child. There were several summers our family consisted of babies and toddlers in addition to pre-teens and teenagers. Through our family experience, here are some activities we’ve learned span the age and gender gap among children.
- Visiting children’s museums that have spaces for babies and toddlers in addition to activities for older children.
- Finding safe outdoor activities that allow the whole family to participate. Walking trails, riding bikes, visiting a park, or finding summer park programs for kids allows the wonder of nature to entertain kids. These activities allow parents to interact with all of their children and nature.
- Camping outdoors at your house is a fun and practical way to share family time. You have the conveniences of home (bathrooms, water, and beds if children don’t sleep well outside ) but not the struggle of packing items for kids of various ages. You can have a simple camping experience that’s user-friendly for everyone.
- Visiting amusement or water parks that have rides for both teens and younger siblings creates a fun day the whole family can enjoy.
- Playing outdoor games in your yard is an inexpensive way to spend time together. Pulling out old croquet sets, playing corn hole or making your own obstacle course are examples of activities children of all ages can be a part of.
- Planning a trip to a beach. Even if the water is too cold to swim in, a beach it a win-win for families with tweens, teens, and younger kids.
- Holding outdoor movie nights is fun for kids. Hanging a sheet up on a clothes-line and borrowing some technology to play a DVD on the sheet gives you an instant out-door movie theater. Even using a laptop or tablet in the dark of night on a blanket makes a fun outdoor adventure.
- Having a graffiti day will engage kids of any age. Using washable markers made for glass, let your kids write, draw, or color on your windows. Have a cookout and let the kids decorate the windows together. Kids can clean up the following day and learn responsibility in the process.
- Having your own outdoor dance party makes a fun night for adults and kids. Plug speakers into a portable music system, get some party leis and tropical-themed paper plates and turn a cook out into a family dance-a-thon complete with a mamba line or limbo game. Your tweens will love to watch mom and dad during this event!
- Visiting local businesses or attractions you don’t normally frequent makes a simple family adventure. We’ve found hidden treasures in our community by visiting local restaurants, stores, parks and other businesses we had never experienced. These excursions don’t take much time so they are friendly getaways for families with smaller children who are tired or get cranky.
You can make variations of these ideas to meet your family’s needs. Then have some fun!
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