Summer! How does your family spend its days when the sun is high in the sky? Is your idea of summer fun relaxing by the pool? Late bedtimes and sleeping in? Camping? Allowing the kids unfettered access to electronics?

There is no wrong answer here, friends. Everyone does summer differently.

Some parents schedule out every magical moment. Some anxiously await lazy weekdays with no schedule. Other parents who work outside the home cobble together a mix of day camps, child care, work-from-home days and pack the family fun in on weekends.

Whatever your situation, read on for countless ideas to make the most of your summer days.

Start the Day Right

If your child is old enough to use electronics, this printable Summer To-Do List from Scottsdale Moms might come in handy:

summer to-do list summer fun

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Not into summer structure? Read this to see why some psychologists believe boredom is important for kids. I thought this passage was interesting: “A recent series of studies found that 64 percent of young men and 15 percent of young women chose to self-administer a mild electric shot rather than sit quietly with their own thoughts for as little as six minutes! So resist your impulse to “task” your child when she is staring absently into the clouds. Important work is being done—you just can’t see it.”

Love structure? Here are some strategies from the Child Mind Institute backing that idea.

My own family spends much of the summer camping, hiking and fishing. But some of our friends would rather be dropped into a vat of acid. There is no one-sized fits all.

So, whatever you choose to do with your summer, own it. Know that your kids will turn out ok whether they are at daycare, bored out of their minds or booked with wall-to-wall activities.

Enjoy the Small Moments of Summer

If you do one thing: Enjoy the tiny, unplanned moments. Chasing fireflies in the backyard. Jumping in puddles after a warm summer rain. Throwing rocks into a stream. Playing a quick game of Uno while dinner is cooking.

The kids will remember those moments every bit as much as they will a weeklong trip to the beach. (And psssst…. so will you!)

Great Summer Fun Ideas from Other Moms

Read on for tons of ideas from across the City Mom Collective network that will help make this your best summer yet…

Summer Traditions + Fun

The Ultimate List of 100 Fun Summer Activities To Do With Your Kids

Making Summer Traditions :: Momfessions Podcast :: Episode 25

First Day of Summer Traditions

Backyard Adventures: Creating Summer Memories

Tips for Connecting with Teenage Kids This Summer

Backyard July 4 Celebration Ideas

5 Tips for Maintaining Sanity This Summer with Babies and Toddlers at Home

Beach Babies

Stress Free Beach Packing List (for kids!)


Going to the Beach with Kids: Mom Tips & Hacks

Lifeskills + Learning

We Ditched Media Last Summer, and My Kids Didn’t Die

Summer Reading: Board Book Edition

Easy Ways to Keep Your Kids Reading This Summer

Easy Ways to Keep Your Kids Doing Math This Summer

Top Ten New Books for Summer: Tots to Teenagers Edition

Summer Goals: What Life Skills to Teach by Age {Includes FREE Printable}

Summertime Reading and Kids :: Fun and Easy Ways to Make It Happen

School’s Out: Let the Learning Begin with a Summer Chore Chart

Gardening + Other Outdoor Adventures

Tips for Gardening With Kids

10 Must-Haves for Outdoor Fun at Home

5 Summer Activities to Beat the Heat (Without Wasting Water)

5 Camping Tips for Beginners

Not Your Typical S’more: Fun Variations of a Summer Favorite

How to Hike with Little Kids

Eating + Sleeping + Routine

Portable Lunch Ideas for Summer Adventures On-the-Go

Cool Treats to Beat the Heat

Summer Sleep Tips for Kids: Balancing Structure & Flexibility

Keeping a Summer Routine for Kids with ADHD

Surviving the Summer While Working From Home

Mamas…You are the experts on summer fun! What have we missed? Drop your best ideas in the comments!