While some parts of the country are already back to school, there are still a couple precious weeks in summer that need enjoying! We put together a few ideas which work for every size of family.
Volunteer at a Nonprofit
A great lesson that kids can learn (and that adults can always be reminded of) is the importance of giving to those who are less fortunate. Nonprofits offer many different ways that families can donate their time and energy. This could mean delivering or serving meals for a local soup kitchen, or running fundraisers for building projects at Habitat for Humanity. The experience will bond you more closely as a family and lead to useful and helpful discussions.
Run a Lemonade Stand
Lemonade stands have always been popular, but they’ve recently gotten attention both in the for-profit space (Jack’s Lemonade Stands appearing on Shark Tank) and nonprofit (Alex’s Lemonade Stands which donate their profits to fighting childhood cancer). You don’t have to choose either of these more well-known versions of lemonade stands. You can simply buy the ingredients for lemonade, put up a stand of your own, and have fun serving people a delicious beverage on a hot day. As a family you can decide what you’d like to do with the proceeds.
Make Jam or Pickles
While there’s nothing quite as easy to make as lemonade, something that’s also not hard to do is to make some homemade jam and pickles. You could also give these as gifts to friends and family or just enjoy all the fruits of your labor at home. Everyone can have a task in the process and everyone can enjoy what’s been made afterwards.
Now everyone associates decluttering with Springtime, but there’s nothing to stop you from doing so in the summer. You could have a garage sale, but you could also just donate items you aren’t using or don’t want anymore. To incentivize kids (and maybe fellow adults!) to get onboard, set some kind of milestones as rewards, e.g. a trip to the ice cream shop for each box or bag filled with things to donate or get rid of.
National Parks and other campgrounds are great destinations, but can often be crowded during the summertime. If you’re looking for a quieter experience that involves no travel time, you can always camp in your backyard. Getting out of your “normal” environment can be fun for everyone, even if it’s not at a faraway location.
Visit the Library
With the disappearance of many bookstores in the US, there are really few places where adults and kids can wander around stacks of books, choose ones they are interested in, and sit down to look over their choices. Libraries often have great programs, including lectures and talks, and they often offer wi-fi and air conditioning. Some libraries also have fun summer reading programs which allow kids to win prizes.
All of the choices we’ve mentioned above are either free, low cost, or offer the chance to make some money. That’s one more lesson to share with the family this summer, or rather, two lessons: the best things in life are free, and, the best things in life aren’t things.
This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club newsletter.