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Exciting Family Activities For The Summer That Don’t Involve Screens

A special exploration of digital-free entertainment for the whole family!
By Katrina Cheshire

Let’s face it: as parents, summer can get old quick! Especially if your kids go to school during the year, you might be going a little bit crazy when they’re suddenly at home all the time. If you’re in this state of mind, or even if you just need a bit of inspiration with kids who are BORED at every moment, then we’ve got you covered with some exciting family activities for the summer that don’t involve screens

Your kids are on screens enough during the school year as it is. Let’s make summer a time when they put away the video games, movies, and ipads and live in the real world again! Children need to breathe the fresh air, explore the great outdoors, and get their hands dirty. No matter where you live, there are fun activities you can all enjoy as a family!

Outdoor Activities

  • Anything involving water

If you have a pool, or know someone with a pool, of course this is an amazing summer activity! But you don’t have to have a pool to have fun with water! Slip n’ slides are amazing, and so is a good old water balloon fight! And of course, if you can make a trip to the beach, definitely do so, and don’t forget your sunscreen! 

  • Rivers/Lakes

If you live near a river or a lake, really take advantage of it this summer! Invest in some tubes for rafting down the river, and stop to swim at any swimming holes. Or, if you have a chance to go water skiing or even just swimming at a lake, pack up the family and head on over! These are the memories that your kids will remember forever.

  • Hiking

It’s probably a good idea to go in the morning hours, before it gets too hot, but hiking can be an awesome summer activity! No rain to contend with, no mud, and plenty of fresh air and beautiful views. Pack lots of yummy snacks, plenty of water, and make sure to bring a camera to document the adventure!

  • Scavenger Hunt

THIS is a fun one! Make a list of fun, easy-to-spot objects, and head off to your nearest town to try to find them all! Divide into teams and explore the area, taking pictures of what you find as proof. (Examples of what you could look for: something blue, something vintage, the word summer, a taco place, a bookstore, flowers, birds, an animal of any kind, etc. Be creative and come up with a fun list!) End the day by eating at your family’s favorite restaurant! 

  • Family thrift store adventure

Put all your names in a basket and draw! Then head to the thrift store as a family. On a budget, each person has to pick out an outfit for the family member whose name they’ve drawn! Then, wearing your new and crazy outfits (maybe after you’ve washed them!), walk around town. This is a super unique and fun way to spend time as a family, really consider what each other’s tastes and interests are, and get over any social fears your kids may have!

Indoor Activities

Sometimes it’s just way too hot to be outdoors during the summer. Or, if you live on the West Coast, it may be too SMOKY to be outdoors for much of the summer. In that case, you’re going to need some fun activities to do indoors, with air conditioning, that will keep your kiddos engaged and off of screens all day long! 

  • Indoor Picnic

Outdoor picnics are amazing, but an indoor picnic can be even MORE fun, and a whole lot more memorable! The key is to go ALL in. Spread a blanket on the living room floor and have fun with the food! You could have traditional picnic food, like sandwiches and chips (but maybe no watermelon!) Or, try something different, like animal crackers, fresh fruit, and smoothies. Either way, your kids will never forget it!

  • Reading competition

This activity can be going on at all hours of the day! Print out some reading charts for your different age groups (there’s a great one for little kids here, and another great one for older kids here!) Offer your kids prizes to keep them motivated and engaged in the stories they read. Discuss the books over dinner each night, and ask them about the parts they did and didn’t like in the story! And if you’re in need of great book suggestions for all ages, check out this blog post we did a few summers ago! 

  • Bible charades

If you want your kids to really dig into their Bibles, Bible charades is the activity to go with! We’re talking SERIOUS Bible charades. For little ones, the classic children’s Bible stories such as Noah and the Ark, David and Goliath, and Daniel in the lion’s den, are great options. But if you have older kids, challenge them to make their charades really difficult! Search the Bible for the lesser-known stories, ones that might be hard for even the parents to guess! No talking allowed, although the use of costumes and props could make things super fun! 

  • Bedroom makeover

If your kids complain that they’re bored this summer, just remind them that there are plenty of chores to do around the house! However, if you want to assign them a job that they might actually be interested in, encourage them to makeover and organize their bedrooms! Challenge them to declutter and find things to give away to others, or clothing and toys they can pass down to younger siblings. Maybe they can move furniture around, or organize things in a whole new way so that their bedroom feels like a different place! They’ll be interested, because it’s their own room, and they’ll hopefully learn a bit about cleaning and organization along the way!

  • Baking competition

THIS activity has family fun written all over it! There are so many routes you could take with this. Everyone could bake their own individual recipe for the family to enjoy. OR, you could all take the same recipe and make your own version of it! Personal pizzas, tiny cakes, a bunch of small batches of cookies, you name it! And, if it’s just too hot to turn on the oven, try the same idea with something that doesn’t require cooking. Make no-bake cookies, smoothies, carve watermelons, make individual fruit salads – whatever floats your boat!


Hopefully you’ve found at least one family activity above that you can enjoy this summer! Remember, summers with your kids will one day come to an end – soak up all of the fun time with them that you can! And keep them off of those screens! 



The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.


Katrina Cheshire is a home school and Bible college graduate and the author of Seller of DreamsShe is passionate about good stories and the power they can have in shaping a life.

With seven siblings her life is full of adventure and excitement! She loves to design and sew clothing. She enjoys writing endless stories and read even more of them. You can find her making music with her brothers and sisters or dancing for the glory of God.

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