21 Summer Traditions You Should Start This Year With Your Grandkids

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In the summertime, when the weather is high, nothing is better than spending all your time outside with your favorite people – your grandkids! While you cannot go wrong with doing anything with your crew, you may be looking for a new tradition or two to look forward to every year. To give you a little summertime inspiration, I have compiled a list of 21 memorable traditions that you can start as soon as TODAY:

1. Plant a special grandma/grandchild garden

Garden tools in the dirt

There’s nothing quite like spending a day with your hands in the soil, planting a garden together. Planting flowers, herbs, or veggies will not only teach them about nature’s life cycles but will also let them experience the joy of nurturing something from seed to bloom or harvest. The best part is you get to watch your garden and your grandkids grow together over the summer!

2. Bake special family recipes together

Pull out those cherished family recipes, dust them off, and let the kitchen fill with love and sweet smells. Doing this is a delightful way to share your family history, traditions, and perhaps even a secret ingredient or two.

3. Make homemade bird feeders

Bird watching can be a joy for kids and grownups alike! Build bird feeders together, hang them up, and enjoy identifying the different birds that visit, as it is an enriching way to connect with nature and spark interest in our feathered friends.

4. Outdoor movie nights

Set up a white sheet in your backyard and project your favorite childhood films. (Does anyone else still LOVE the movie National Velvet?) Enjoying a throwback movie night creates enchanting memories under the stars with your favorite little ones, combining the magic of cinema and the great outdoors. (Don’t forget the popcorn!)

5. Summer reading club

Child looking through a book

Create a summer reading club with a selection of age-appropriate books that encourages a love for reading and offers a chance to discuss the stories, characters, and values they learn.

6. Family talent show

Encourage your grandkids to show off their unique talents, whether it’s singing, dancing, magic tricks, or telling jokes. Family talent shows are a great way to build their confidence and let them know that they’re special, no matter what their talent is.

7. Stargazing and storytelling

Spend a clear summer evening looking at the stars, identifying constellations, and telling stories about the ancient myths associated with them. It’s a simple yet magical way to connect to the cosmos!

8. Homemade ice cream

Making homemade ice cream is a treat. This activity is doubly sweet because they learn how it’s made and then get to enjoy the fruits of their labor! (For us, homemade ice cream day is always on the 4th of July.)

9. Rock painting

Painted rocks

Rock painting is an easy, inexpensive, and creative craft. Painted rocks make great decorations for your garden or gifts for friends, plus it’s a wonderful outlet for your grandkids to express their creativity.

10. Picnic(s) in the park

Pack a basket with sandwiches, fresh fruits, and lemonade, then spend a lovely afternoon picnicking at the local park. Don’t forget to bring a frisbee or a ball for some fun physical activity after eating.

11. End-of-summer time capsule

Creating (or adding to) a time capsule is the perfect way to capture these precious summertime moments, as you can include photos, letters, or small objects. Decide together when you’ll open it – it could be next summer or when they graduate high school.

12. Backyard camping

Set up a tent in the backyard, add in some sleeping bags, flashlights, and marshmallows to roast over a campfire (or grill, if that’s more your style), and voila – you have the perfect campsite!

13. Visit a farmer’s market

At the farmer's market

A trip to a local farmer’s market can be a fun and educational day out, as you can teach your grandkids about different fruits, veggies, and the importance of supporting local farmers.

14. U-pick farms

…While you’re scoping our local markets, you should check to see if they are either on or near a U-pick farm! (Fresh strawberries, anyone?)

15. Bug hunt

Turn your backyard into a mini wildlife safari via a summertime bug hunt. Kids love hunting for bugs, and it’s a great way to educate them about the small creatures that are vital to our ecosystem.

16. Visit a local historical site

Plan a visit to a local historical site, whether it be a museum, a historical home, or a battlefield. This is a good way to give them a fun history lesson and a greater appreciation for their heritage.

17. Outside clean-up day

Cleaning up the beach

Take a trip to the beach, lake, or park, and make it a mission to leave it cleaner than when you arrived. Clean-up days are a beautiful way to instill a sense of responsibility and care for our environment.

18. Make a lemonade stand

There’s something wonderfully traditional about setting up a lemonade stand, as it helps them learn a bit about entrepreneurship, handling money, and it’s just plain fun!

19. Host your own Olympics

Why not host your very own mini-Olympics? You can create a variety of fun and friendly competitions, from races to ball games (I have MUCH more on there right here). Not only will this encourage healthy competition and physical activity, but it’s also great fun for all involved.

20. Attend community events

From fairs to parades, summer is filled with community events. Attend one (or five) with your grandkids, as it’s an opportunity to engage with your community while enjoying a fun day out!

21. Paint a mural

Painting a mural

Find a blank wall at your home (or even a large piece of canvas) and let your grandkids paint a mural on it for a fun, creative project that will serve as a lasting memory of your summer together.


I hope I gave you some ideas for summer traditions that you can begin with your grandkids! Summer is such a fun time to be a kid, and is only made better by having you as their Devoted Grandma 🙂 Enjoy!

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