Summer is Not Cancelled: 6 Low Effort Family Activities

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Summer is Not Cancelled

This summer will include more family and home time. You may have exhausted ideas to keep the kids busy, so here are a few ideas for family fun that don’t take too much effort (or money).


You can pile into sleep bags with blankets and pillows to stare at the stars.  If you live in the city, consider taking the family on a late-night adventure.

Declare a Challenge Day

Who can do the most jumping jacks in 30 seconds?  How fast can you run to the mailbox and back?  You can make events for different ages and skills levels. The Office episode “Office Olympics” gives some great ideas for fun events and awards.

Have a Picnic – Indoor or Outdoor

Sometimes eating outside can make a regular meal special. A pizza picnic in the living room watching a movie was a staple when I was a kid.

Plant a Butterfly Garden

The black swallowtail, our state butterfly, loves parsley, dill, and fennel.  Plant in a small pot outside and watch for butterflies!

Map the Neighborhood

Walk the neighborhood and have the kids identify streets, neighbors’ houses, and landmarks. Help them make drawings based on their skill level. 

Do Something Good

Once a week (or once a day!), have everyone in the family come up with a way that they can help someone else.  Helping could be a thank you note, get well or birthday card or you could make a fun video to celebrate!  You could also leave snacks and water out for delivery drivers or donate to local food pantries.