Read on for 10 fun family activities your kids will love!
There are plenty of exciting, educational activities you and your kids can do at home for little to no cost.
Book clubs – start a book club. You can set aside time each day, perhaps 20 minutes, for everyone in the family to silently read a book of choice. Afterwards, everyone can share something that happened in the plot (if reading a fiction book) or an interesting fact (if reading a nonfiction book). Another option is to have everyone read the same book. This way, your family can have discussions about the book’s main ideas and details to build your child’s comprehension skills and analytical abilities. Books can be borrowed from local libraries free-of-charge or purchased from local bookstores.
Puzzles and brain teasers – keep everyone’s brain sharp by working on puzzles and brain teasers. Word searches and crossword puzzles are great as well. Set a specific time to work on these activities, perhaps one night per week. Family members can work as individuals or team up for friendly competition, all while flexing those brain muscles to see who can finish the crossword puzzle first or answer the most brain teasers.
Science experiments – combine problem solving, analytical thinking, and creativity while conducting science experiments with your kids. Throughout the experiments, your children can hypothesize outcomes, arrive at alternate solutions, and reflect on their findings—all skills that enhance their abilities as critical thinkers.
Watch documentaries – take advantage of rainy summer days to watch educational content with your kids. The documentary can be about a person, a historical period, or a topic of interest—the options are endless. Pull a name out of a hat to determine which family member’s chosen documentary will be watched each day. After watching, your family can have discussions about the documentary, such as new information they learned and additional questions they’d like to have answered.
Cook and bake – prepare meals together. Your family needs to eat every day, multiple times, so get your kids involved in the cooking and baking. This fun family activity will enhance your children’s abilities to read and to follow instructions. It also requires math skills when it comes to measuring ingredients and setting timers. Plus, cooking and baking with your kids provides the opportunity to share beloved family recipes. You can also spark a friendly cooking competition by forming teams who are tasked with creating a specific dish.
Garage sales – host a garage sale. Summer is a great time to sort through all the items in your home that you no longer need. Having a garage sale is a great way for your kids to strengthen their mathematical knowledge. You can put your kids in charge of a table of their old toys to sell. They can be responsible for counting money and providing customers with change, under your guidance as needed. Your kids can also have a sales goal to purchase new items. They will do the math to determine how many toys they need to sell to buy something new.
Each of these activities, done from the comfort of home, will provide your children with educational skill-building masked as family fun.
If you and your family are seeking adventure outside of your home, check out these fun, affordable activities.
Museums – take a trip to a museum. There are museums about nearly every subject, such as art, history, science, sports, fashion, and music. Your family can explore various displays and interactive exhibits that provide endless opportunities for learning. These trips to museums might inspire your children to do further research on topics of interest to them.
Historical towns and cities – tour a historical city. It’s possible that there is an iconic city that’s driving distance from your family’s home. You and your children can venture through town to view famous landmarks and to learn about the city’s past and present, its culture, its beloved eateries, and much more. Your children may even be able to connect elements of that city to events they have learned about in history class.
National parks – visit a national park. So much nature and history are found in national parks. A park ranger may even be able to take your family on a tour, providing details about the park’s wildlife. Your children will surely be amazed by the trees, plants, and creatures they encounter.
Zoos and aquariums – explore zoos and aquariums. Lions, tigers, bears, oh my! Your children will learn about the habitats, diets, and behaviors of the animals they observe. The sights and sounds of dozens of creatures are sure to keep your children’s attention. They may learn fun facts about their favorite animals or be introduced to animals they never realized existed.
All these destinations offer an abundance of educational value for everyone in your family. Encourage your children to take photos and write short journal entries about what they enjoyed most about that museum or national park, for example. Plus, you can have group discussions reflecting on what each person found most interesting during your family adventure.