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Now that summer is officially here and maybe the kids have gotten chores out of the way for the day, go around the table each night and have everyone suggest something for the “fun” list – things they can choose from when it’s “device disconnection” time.

Keep going around until everyone is out of ideas. Then, narrow down the list.

Go for a day hike.

Be a tourist in your own town: Go see local historical sites, view points.

Make your own crafts, soaps, or other homemade products and sell them at your local farmer’s market.

Start a lawn-mowing business.

Draw on the sidewalk with chalk; then “clean” it up with squirt guns.

Play in the water/sprinklers like you did when you were a kid.

Bake a summer treat for a neighbor, friend, or family member

Make dinner for the family.

Have a picnic lunch with a friend.

Have a garage sale and make a few bucks cleaning out your stuff.

Go on a long bike ride together.

Learn to play an instrument.

Create and bury a time capsule to that you will open when you’re 25.

Buy a metal detector and go treasure hunting!

Write some ghost stories to tell later around a campfire.

Plant a garden.

Start a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Read a book.

Rearrange/redecorate your room.

Make a tie-dyed shirt.

Build a model airplane or car.

Do a random act of kindness for a stranger.

Write a play and act it out with homemade puppets.

Create/build an invention

Put all the ideas in a box or a big jar and at bedtime draw out one or two for the next day so that everyone has something to look forward to after chores are done.

The fact is that summers should be relaxing and fun, but “relaxing and fun” doesn’t have to mean staying on the couch playing video games, watching movies.

It’s part of our job as parents to set limits, but when you get creative and include your kids in the discussion, the limits won’t feel so limiting and everyone wins.

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