101 Things to Do This Summer: A Digital Checklist
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101 Things to Do This Summer: A Digital Checklist

Lean into ways that will bring family together in a meaningful way, online and off.

Lean into ways that will bring family together in a meaningful way, online and off.

The beauty of longer, more leisurely summer days often brings out a fearsome beast: a bored kid. For parents, nothing is more stress-inducing than hearing the bearish roar of “There’s nothing to do around here!” This summer, we’ve got you covered with this rescue plan of 101 activities, digital and IRL, for your family to do together. From practical things like setting up a summer screen time plan and spring cleaning your devices to fun family activities that can build better IRL connections, this is a to-do list you can feel good about.

First, adjust your screen time rules for the summer months:

  1. Have a conversation with kids about a new season, new rules now that online and in-person school’s out for summer.

  2. Stay consistent by adjusting your parental controls on your devices to reflect summer “hours.”

  3. Don’t forget bedtime, which can push later and later in the summer months. The benefits of keeping bedtime consistent and screen-free year-round are long-lasting.

  4. Reward kids once in a while for a job well done when it comes to healthy screen time limits.

  5. This is also a good time to physically clean your devices using a microfiber cloth.

  6. Digitally clean up old files, clear your cookies and cache, and move important photos and videos to the cloud to prep your devices for a summer of capturing memories.

Now time for some real and virtual fun! Curate online experiences that inspire creativity and learning while also enjoying IRL experiences that make summer a family affair.

  1. Start the morning with a crossword puzzle you can all do together.

  2. Host a family talent night. Each family member takes a night to show everyone else their talent, like how to cook, make, play, or do something.

  3. Get in the stargazing routine and look for satellites, shooting stars, and constellations.

  4. Create a family Lego challenge (inspiration: build a school, build a playground, build your dream house).

  5. Camp in the backyard.

  6. Make s’mores.

  7. Host an outdoor movie night.

  8. Go to a farmers’ market together so everyone can pick out their favorite fruits and veggies.

  9. Break up in teams of two for a day of bonding one-on-one.

  10. Teach kids the value of the dollar with a twist on the lemonade stand (strawberry lemonade? popsicle stand? What small business will they want to try?)

  11. Create a twist on lunch by hosting a tea party, mid-week (get kids to prep it while you work!).

  12. Get the whole family in on the act of filming a summer family movie that you or the kids can piece together come August.

  13. Skype or FaceTime distant family members for a weekly dinner together.

  14. Cook a meal together using a new recipe (recipe apps are the good kind of screen time).

  15. Dine al fresco for breakfast, lunch, or dinner or all of the above!

Arts and crafts:

  1. Tie dye white t-shirts together.

  2. Challenge kids to decorate each other’s bedroom door or your bedroom door.

  3. Build a fairy garden or terrarium.

  4. Plant a butterfly or flower garden.

  5. Craft a family tree.

  6. Color a map of the world.

  7. Paint rocks.

  8. Break out the sidewalk chalk for kids of any age!

  9. DIY a bird feeder.

  10. Put together a family yearbook (and what a year!).

  11. Make homemade playdough and challenge each other to a sculpting contest.

  12. Take a free drawing class with acclaimed author and illustrator Mo Willems.

  13. Head to a local park with notepads and pencils and find something in nature to sketch. Bring a picnic.

  14. Paint a digital masterpiece.

  15. Create a family comic strip together.

  16. Cull through the school year’s art projects and frame the ones you want to remember.

  17. Get crafty in the Kids Craft Room.

  18. Learn how to sew.

  19. Perfect those photography skills.

Get moving!

  1. Go for a nightly walk with flashlights in tow.

  2. Fly a kite.

  3. Take a break from the heat and go bowling.

  4. Go geocaching.

  5. Wash the car(s) together.

  6. Have kids choose a new house chore they’d like to do.

  7. Organize a photo scavenger hunt while walking around the neighborhood (spot an animal-shaped cloud, a bee pollinating, a shadow, a rainbow of flowers, etc.).

  8. Take a family bike ride to a local ice cream shop.

  9. During a family hike, stop every 15 minutes, photograph the surroundings, compare snapshots at the end.

  10. Practice yoga.

  11. Have a water balloon “fight.”

  12. Boost that cardio.

  13. Plan a swim day at a local pool, lake, or beach.

  14. Run through the sprinklers.

  15. Fine tune those soccer skills with a family match.

  16. Challenge kids to create an obstacle course.

Reading and writing activities:

  1. Libraries are reopening. Read something new to avoid the summer slide.

  2. Have everyone start a journal, blog, or vlog that they can record to start or end their day.

  3. Organize an audio book club; listen on car rides and discuss together.

  4. Start a family book or article club, or join an online book club like Mac Barnett’s Instagram Book Club Show.

  5. Reconnect with a long-distance cousin or family friend or introduce your kid to a digital pen pal.

  6. Write a book with an app like Book Creator. Brainstorm ideas as a family.

  7. Have everyone read a poem aloud before dinner and then talk about it.

Let the music play!

  1. Create a summer playlist with Spotify Kids.

  2. Host a family karaoke night with apps such as Karaoke, Smule, or iSing. Have kids practice their lyrics while you work!

  3. Learn how to play a musical instrument with Yousician.

  4. Take an online singing lesson with The School of Rock.

  5. Dance! Host an impromptu dance party after dinner.

Acquire a new skill:

  1. Learn how to code.

  2. Discover a new language with Duolingo.

  3. Learn how to touch-type with Keyboarding Without Tears.

  4. Inspire your little magician to perform their tricks for the family.

  5. Learn how to juggle.

Who said learning isn’t fun?

  1. Keep those math skills fresh during the summer with Dreambox.

  2. Get those brains working with the Wow in the World podcast on your next road trip.

  3. Feed your inner scientist with Science from Home.

  4. Turn your kitchen into a lab with fun science experiments from Lab 360.

  5. Hear history come alive with The Stuff You Missed in History podcast.

Field trip!

  1. Visit a local water park.

  2. Museums are reopening. Coordinate a family art appreciation day.

  3. Find local volunteer opportunities to do as a family.

  4. Visit a local farm or petting zoo.

  5. Give each family member a weekend day to choose a cool destination to check out, whether a nearby town or a specific location related to their interests.

  6. Venture to space with NASA at Home.

  7. Explore a regional or national park.

  8. Explore the Egyptian Pyramids; journey through the Amazon Rainforest; or swim the Great Barrier Reef.

  9. Discover more national wonders such as Hawaii’s volcanoes and Alaska’s Kenai Fjords.

And if that’s not enough:

  1. Go horseback riding.

  2. Pick up kayaking.

  3. Write and act out a play.

  4. Build a fort.

  5. Find a local summer camp or a virtual one.

  6. Take a cooking class together.

  7. Watch a Broadway performance in your living room.

  8. Enjoy a performance by the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati.

  9. Work on one of the free DIY tech projects at The Geek Squad Academy.

  10. Solve a mystery.

  11. Organize a park or beach cleanup and help Mother Earth.

  12. Play an endless supply of MadLibs.

  13. Ask a new dinner question every night: like sharing what you love most about each other.

  14. Don’t forget to give hugs.

Learn how Circle can help you enjoy more family togetherness with features like Time Limits and Pause.

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