12 Fun At-Home Activities for Surviving Summer (with Sanity)


12 at-home activities for surviving summer

SHOUT OUT to all you amazing Mommas!!!

The time is here, friends.

That’s right. The day has come when school is over for three months, toddlers are running amuck, and we will no longer have time to care about the newest Unicorn drink at Starbucks because we will be busy driving our Hot Mess Expresses all over town to the [insert anywhere in the world that will entertain children] and back 1,478 times a week . . .

And if you’re anything like me, you’re kinda, not-so-secretly freaking out about it.

Our babies are our whole entire world. They are, promise. But, there’s something about spending 24/7/(365/3) staring into one another’s eyes that would make even sweet baby Jesus a little unnerved. Who’s gonna holler AMEN for me this mornin’?!?

So, I have decided (on behalf of all of us) that we will not take this invasion of toddler tyranny sitting down. We refuse to be unprepared. We will get up off the couch, shed our mermaid blankets, toss our coffee mugs in the sink, and take back our homes.  One. Momma. At. A. Time.

In my monthly love letter to you awesome Mommas, I’m sharing activities you can do with your child this summer . . . you know, after you’ve visited the zoo and children’s museum umpty-leven times and need a hot minute before enduring the 115-degree heat again . . .

Here are 12 at-home activities for surviving summer with sanity — all of which you can do for FREE in your own home . . . SCORE!

1. Put Together a Family Time Capsule 

We are loving this idea at our house! Fill a shoe box with a few toys, photos, and other memorabilia of whatever is going on currently with your family. We have decided to write little notes about what is going on with our family as we are making each capsule. Then, we hide it in our basement closet and will return to it years down the road, peek inside and relive the memories. This is such a great sentimental craft but it is also an awesome way to eat through four hours of a day without even realizing it! Cabin fever, be gone!

2. Go on a Scavenger Hunt 

Turns out you can set up a scavenger hunt in under 10 minutes. Simply select 5-10 items to hide, jot down quick clues and set out on the adventure to find them! Tip: utilize your Elf-on-the-Shelf knowledge to help make your hunt even more fun!

3. Put on a Family Talent Show 

Get the family together in the den, turn off the t.v. and let each family member have their own 15 minutes of fame!

4. Build a Fort and Watch Movies From Inside 

This is an all-time favorite for me. My brother and I used to build forts as kids and I still remember those times as some of my most favorite memories of childhood. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that will stick in your kids’ minds forever!

5. Host a Cookie / Cake Decorating Party 

The kiddos don’t have to wait til Christmas to get creative in the dessert decoration game . . . turns out they love smothering confections with icing and sprinkles all. year. long.

12 at-home activities for surviving summer - cookie baking/decorating!6. Enjoy Recreational Bath Time 

If you can’t get in an actual pool, let the kids splash around in their tub. Since bath time is focused on cleanliness, let this time be all about the fun! Consider pouring in just a bit of bubble bath to take the fun factor up even more notches! Plus, don’t forget to capture all the shampoo mohawk hair moments on the camera to laugh at for years to come!

7. Have a Storytelling Session 

Encourage your kiddos to explore their imagination! Consider giving them a character, a scene and a plot. Then, let them fill in the rest of the story.

8. Make a Homemade Pizza 

If you have time to plan ahead, make sure to stock your fridge with pizza ingredients for a super fun treat with your kids. Allow them to pick their toppings, assemble them and watch as you pop it in the oven! Fun fact: my kids are much more likely to eat all of their meal if they took part in the prep. Just like with adults, there is something “cool” about feeling like you cooked a great meal!

9. Have a Dance Party 

There is nothing that relieves stress faster and more effectively for me than turning up some music and just bustin’ a move . . . or 10. ? Get the kids involved. Let them pick the music and consider even throwing together a quick routine!

10. Put on a Fashion Show 

Encourage the kids to dig in their dress-up baskets and strut their stuff! Make it fun by giving out prizes for “best smile,” “best outfit,” “best walk,” etc.

11. Host a Family Room Campout 

Gather sleeping bags, pillows and lots of blankets to form a campsite in your den. Snuggle up and tell stories until time to go to sleep.

12. Have a Puzzle / Game Championship 

Put out a bunch of puzzles and games for the children to select from. For extra fun, keep score as you compete as a family!

For fun ideas for surviving summer in and around Birmingham, check out my fellow contributor’s post HERE!

Who else is feeling like Summer is gonna be SO FUN?!? Praying for your sanity today and every day, friend! 😉

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Erin is a proud Bama girl, writer, speaker, lawyer, friend, lunchbox packer, boo-boo kisser, sweatpants wearing Momma to her two precious girls: Bellalise (5) – a sweet, gentle-natured soul, and Annalise (4, going on 14) – the life of every party. She met her husband Marshall during law school and drug that Cajun boy back to the Heart of Dixie, a place he now proudly calls home as well. They live in Birmingham where their dining room is currently being used for laundry overflow. Outside of writing, Erin’s hobbies include scrapbooking, tennis, online shopping (don’t tell Marshall), crafting, cooking with her girls and a clean fridge – an outright miracle worth celebrating these days. She is the author of the must-have read for Moms: Cheers to the Diaper Years: 10 Truths for Thriving While Barely Surviving, and the soon to be Girls-Night sensation: The Remarkable Housewives of the Bible series! When she isn’t attending toddler tea parties or wiping up spaghetti stains, you can find Erin writing on her blog: ErinBrownHollis.com and on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter @erinbrownhollis. She welcomes all moms to find a community of love and acceptance on her site where she shares recipes, crafts and encouragement weekly.