I love Surprising my kids during the Summer.
When my daughter and I were chatting about an upcoming road trip this summer, I told her that I had a few surprises planned for us.
“You always have surprises, Mom.”
It’s not what she said that threw me off, but it’s how she said it. She brushed her hair off her shoulder and added a little eye-roll, as if to say – surprises are SO last summer, Mom.
When did my daughter get old enough to eye-roll at surprises?
My response went something like this…
I smiled (and probably eye-rolled back – I swear, she didn’t learn that from me…) and said simply: “Oh gosh. Don’t worry. I don’t have to do surprises!”
She quickly responded with a “NO. I love it!”
I couldn’t help but think, Phew. My little girl is still in there!
More importantly, it reminded me that the time to plan these summer surprises is NOW because some day? Some day, those eye-rolls are going to mean business.
Here’s our list of 20 Easy & FUN ways to Surprise Your Kids this Summer. It’s not time for our kids to give up on summer time surprises just yet, don’t you think?
Before we jump into my favorite ways to surprise kids this summer, let’s dive into the basics. Remember, surprises for your kids don’t have to mean breaking the bank, if you know a few little tips and tricks:
Keep it Simple
Kids don’t have to have complicated or expensive things to get excited. Have you ever seen a kid get more excited about a box than the shiny new toy inside? Exactly. Don’t sweat it if you can’t afford something on this list. You can get creative or swap it instead…
Sometimes we don’t have twinkly lights available to jazz up our couch fort (see #1) because my husband has hid them away on a shelf that I can’t reach. Instead? Grab some flashlights or battery operated candles to make something that you normally do a little more special. Whatever inspires you on this list, remember that you can tweak it by finding substitutes that you have around your house. Remember, it doesn’t have to be exactly like what see you on this list to make your kids feel special.
One of my favorite things to do is to swap toys with my sister-in-law. Most of the time, the toys end up living at my house for longer than I intend (hey, I’m trying), but it’s nice this little trick keeps your costs low and teaches your kids to be mindful about purchases. Why buy it when you can trade it? Maybe you’ve got a family member nearby too or a neighbor with kids the same age – whoever it is, this little trick can be beneficial to both you and the other family.
Now that you know my basic tips for making things special for you kids without breaking the bank, let’s dive into the list!
20 FUN Ways to Surprise Your Kids this Summer
- Camp in your backyard or in your living room.
- Make s’mores in ice cream cones.
- Go to a local amusement park – be sure to look for deals as it gets closer to Summer. Sometimes kids will come home with discounts or free kid tickets in their Friday folders.
- Start a water balloon fight.
- Make a mud pie “bakery” in the backyard.
- Start a Whipped Cream Pie War – grab some whipped cream, pin tins, and go to war!
- Create a mud river (in your backyard).
- Put your kids in swim suits & turn on the sprinklers.
- Travel all day & use as many transportation vehicles as you can without using your car! (bikes, train, bus, boat, or?).
- Bike to all the parks you can in one day.
- Throw a backyard picnic with your kid’s favorite foods.
- Put out a lemonade stand & let kids keep the earnings.
- String lights up to play beach ball volleyball at night – with or without the sand.
- Spend all day in the sand (at the beach or in your backyard). Be sure to have the sand toys.
- Go on a “local” road trip – let kids tell you right, left, or straight. See where you end up in your community!
- Eat ice cream for dinner.
- Build a fort in your living room.
- Pop popcorn & set up a movie date. Better yet, make a backyard movie theater.
- Take a random day off from work in the middle of the week. Let the kids be in charge of the day.
- Bubble day! Get bubble wands, bubble guns, & a machine.
- Make a large scale, Yahtzee set!
There are so many easy ways to create summertime fun for our kids and to surprise them.
Here’s to keeping it simple, fun, and eye-roll free (for now).