Have you tried Family Writing Time? Summer is the perfect time to start new routines, so if you haven’t started yet, give it a try!
While your kids are engaged in a project all their own, you can knock out some of your own business to-dos. Just remember to end your time by letting everyone share what they worked on. It’s a special way to wrap up this time.
If you’re in need of inspiration, here are 10 themes that are perfect for summer. You’ll find several ideas for activities under each theme, for a full summer worth of projects.
Summer means fresh food abounds! Let your child explore the best offerings this season by:
- Cutting out a menu for a BBQ from ads in the newspaper
- Creating a paper BBQ set. They can draw and cut out a grill, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns, and a spatula. After serving, they can even add strips of colored ketchup, mustard, and more.
- Designing a custom order for the next family BBQ. Never wonder who wants what toppings again! 😀
- Listing all the fruits and vegetables locally grown this season.
- Researching how long different plants take to grow.
- Looking through cookbooks to find a fun summer salad to try. Have them write down the ingredients needed.
- Creating a shape poem for a Popsicle, watermelon, or another favorite summer food. (They draw a large outline of the food and write the words for the poem around the edges.)
- Writing riddles for summer produce. (I’m slightly prickly and wear a green hat, what am I? A pineapple!)
Under the Sea
It’s the perfect season to learn about the underwater world! Your child can:
- Create an under water set for cookie sheet play.
- Animate an under water game on Scratch.
- Paint sea creatures on rocks and use them to tell a story once they dry.
- Draw a picture of what a scuba diver might see.
- List adjectives about the sea.
- Use a toilet paper tube to create a sea animal (this octopus looks fun!)
- Locate all the oceans on a map and learn more about each.
You don’t need a pool to have swimming fun this summer! During Family Writing Time, encourage your child to:
- Find a swimsuit and swim toys in the newspaper ads. Figure out how much it would cost to buy them all.
- Write a swimming poem.
- Draw a picture of the family swimming.
- Make a checklist of things you need to pack for a swimming adventure.
- Create a map of what an Ultimate Family Water Fun Park would look like.
- Think of words that rhyme with pool, swim, noodle, and wet.
Do your kids enjoy blowing bubbles as much as mine do? While Family Writing Time isn’t the best time to bring out the actual bubbles, it’s perfect for:
- Drawing a picture of someone blowing bubbles.
- Writing a list of all the words that describe bubbles.
- Looking through the newspaper ads for bubble machines.
- Researching bubble recipes online.
- Creating a Bubble Book.
- Doing creative writing based on this prompt…”One day, I looked through a bubble and saw…”
We’ve only ever been brave enough to camp in the yard with our crew, but the idea of sleeping in a tent thrills all the kids! For Family Writing Time, have your child:
- Write a camping story
- Draw a picture of the perfect camp setup.
- Look at a map and make a list of places they’d like to camp.
- Research prices for a variety of campsites.
- Create a travel brochure for a campsite they’d like to visit.
- Plan a camping menu, complete with a corresponding shopping list.
- Use play-dough to create a camping scene.
The thrill of a water fight inspires these Family Writing Time activities. Have your child:
- Draw a map of your yard and indicate where to hide water balloons.
- Write a story about a water fight from a water balloon’s point of view.
- Research prices on a variety of water fight essentials.
- Create a list of water fight game ideas.
- Brainstorm ways to turn the backyard into a water park.
I know the Fourth of July already passed, but don’t worry! Your child can still have firework fun (safely) during Family Writing Time.
- Make a list of all the words that fireworks sound like (practicing onomatopoeia.)
- Draw fireworks using light-colored crayons on black paper.
- Design a fireworks font.
- Write a poem about fireworks.
- Look at pictures of firework displays online.
- Write a personal narrative about a favorite fireworks memory.
When my husband was stationed in San Diego, we lived in Imperial Beach, just a few blocks from the ocean. We enjoyed walking to the beach, and took in a sand castle contest once. It was incredible what people created out of sand!
Sand castles have been a summer favorite theme ever since. During Family Writing Time, your children can try:
- Drawing the ultimate sand castle.
- Listening to Robert Munsch’s The Sandcastle Contest here.
- Writing a sand castle story all their own.
- Brainstorming containers you have that’d work for sand castles.
- Making a list of items to decorate a sand castle.
- Look at pictures from the Imperial Beach contest (or others.)
Do your kids enjoy hiking? It’s a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors! During Family Writing Time, hiking fans can:
- Research hiking trails in your area.
- Plan a hiking trip with a map.
- Write an opinion essay about which trail is best for beginning hikers, and why.
- Draw a picture showing essential hiking gear.
- Write newspaper-style reviews on different trails.
- Build a play-dough mountain and hiker.
Summer is a great season for taking a nature walk. Let your child prepare by:
- Looking through plant guides for your area.
- Researching foods that can be foraged safely. (And learning how to use it!)
- Reading nonfiction books about nature topics. Like this one (aff. link)
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt for a sibling or friend.
- Draw a map of your neighborhood to help you in your exploring.
Need More Ideas?
If you’re looking for more ideas for Family Writing Time, or need a little more help getting started (or troubleshooting), be sure to check out my new book, The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time.
Which Project Will Your Kids Like the Best?
I’d love to hear which summer themed topics will catch your child’s interests. Tell me below!
Need fresh ideas for freelancing with kids?
Subscribe to get a downloadable copy of my idea book: 30 Quick Ideas for Freelancing with Kids.