Make This Summer Unforgettable With These 38 Grandkid-Friendly Ideas

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They say we’re supposed to age gracefully, but I say, let’s age playfully instead. I know we’re less than a month into spring, but a lot of us in the Midwest are seeing some signs of summer.

And even though it’ll probably drop in temperature far before the real summer hits, it has me thinking about sunshine and outdoor excitement.

So here are 38 ideas to give you somewhat of a “summer bucket list” with the grandkids. Even if you only do a few of them, it’ll be great and help to create memories everyone will always cherish.

I know a lot of these are repeats, so I tried to throw in some fun angles and ideas you can use to make sure it’s special and specific to you and your grandchild’s unique bond. <3

  1. Visit a local amusement park: Try a ride you’ve never been on before and enjoy the thrill together.
  2. Make homemade ice cream: Experiment with unique flavors, such as lavender or basil, for a surprising twist.
  3. Create a family cookbook: Collect treasured family recipes and encourage each family member to contribute their favorite dish.
  4. Camp in the backyard: Share your favorite childhood camping stories while roasting marshmallows over the fire.
  5. Paint rocks and hide them in the neighborhood: Leave uplifting messages on the rocks for others to discover.
  6. Explore a nearby nature trail: Turn it into a photo safari, capturing the beauty of nature and each other’s company.
  7. Plant a butterfly garden: Learn about the life cycle of butterflies and watch their metamorphosis together.
  8. Build a treehouse or fort: Personalize it with handprints, names, or special decorations.
  9. Host a family movie night outdoors: Choose a classic film that you loved as a child and introduce it to your grandchildren.
  10. Make tie-dye shirts: Design matching shirts for a family reunion or special event.
  11. Create a lemonade stand: Donate the proceeds to a local charity, teaching your grandchildren about giving back.
  12. Go fishing at a nearby lake or pond: Share your best fishing tips and see who can catch the biggest fish.
  13. Cook a meal with ingredients from a farmer’s market: Teach your grandchildren about the importance of supporting local farmers.
  14. Attend a local outdoor concert: Dance together and introduce your grandchildren to different musical genres.
  15. Take a pottery or painting class together: Create a keepsake that will remind you both of the fun day you had.
  16. Create a scrapbook of summer memories: Include photos, ticket stubs, and other memorabilia from your adventures.
  17. Go berry picking at a local farm: Use the berries to make homemade jam or preserves to share with the family.
  18. Organize a family game night: Introduce your grandchildren to your favorite childhood games.
  19. Watch a sunset together: Share your thoughts on the beauty of nature and the importance of appreciating life’s simple pleasures.
  20. Fly kites at the park: Teach your grandchildren the art of kite-flying and enjoy the excitement of watching them soar.
  21. Take a day trip to the beach: Build sandcastles, search for seashells, and share stories of your own beach adventures.
  22. Have a water balloon fight: Turn it into a friendly competition between family members or neighbors.
  23. Make homemade bird feeders: Watch the birds together and learn about the different species that visit your backyard.
  24. Visit a local museum or historic site: Share your knowledge and interest in history, sparking your grandchildren’s curiosity.
  25. Create a backyard obstacle course: Make it a friendly competition with prizes for the best times or most creative solutions.
  26. Go on a picnic in the park: Pack a basket with your grandchildren’s favorite treats and a blanket for a day of relaxation and fun.
  27. Watch a local sports game: Cheer on the home team and teach your grandchildren about sportsmanship.
  28. Play mini-golf or visit a driving range: Share tips on improving your golf swing while bonding over friendly competition.
  29. Try a new outdoor sport together: Pick something that’s new to both of you, like paddleboarding or archery.
  30. Attend a summer festival or fair: Indulge in classic fair food and reminisce about your favorite childhood memories at the fair.
  31. Make s’mores around a campfire: Share ghost stories and sing campfire songs, creating a cozy atmosphere.
  32. Volunteer for a community project: Show your grandchildren the importance of community involvement and helping others.
  33. Learn a new hobby or skill together: Pick something that interests both of you, such as photography or knitting, and enjoy learning together.
  34. Go on a scenic bike ride: Choose a picturesque route and stop for a picnic or ice cream along the way.
  35. Visit a nearby zoo or aquarium: Share your favorite animal facts and learn about new species together.
  36. Create a summer reading challenge: Encourage your grandchildren to read books from different genres and discuss them together.
  37. Host a themed costume party: Choose a theme like pirates or superheroes and go all out with decorations, food, and games.
  38. Stargaze on a clear summer night: Share the stories behind your favorite constellations and make a wish on a shooting star.

Above all, it’s about getting valuable time with our grandkids. Even if that’s not physical and you need to use texting or snail mailing… there are always ways.

They may not be perfect, but appreciate each and every second with them. Time goes by so fast.

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