You’ve had summer plans, but in between the well-planned days are easy-going, less-scheduled, relaxing days. Maybe you’ve enjoyed sleeping a little later than normal on occasion this summer or perhaps everyone stayed in their pajamas until noon and changed straight into bathing suits. While our family definitely enjoys a more relaxed time during the summer than during the school year, it can be easy to let the days slide by without spending quality time together. Let’s take a look at four ways to intentionally gather as a family in the midst of a carefree summer.
Take time to play a board game.
Board games are typically a winter activity for our family, but I’ve found that rainy summer afternoons are also the perfect time to connect through a game. Another fun way to use a board game is to play it on the front porch or back patio, someplace other than your typical game-playing location. We usually play games on our dining room table, so moving a board game to the trampoline makes it a little more adventurous. Grab the flashlights and huddle around!
Build a campfire.
Even if you’re not camping or don’t consider your family as the “camping type,” gathering around a fire brings joy, laughter, and communication. Break out the s’mores ingredients or simply roast marshmallows. Tell a few stories from past family fun times, like that time you sat in the very front seat of the roller coaster or the day you went to the zoo and saw the polar bear dive into the water from a high rock. (That actually happened to us!) If you don’t have a fire pit or fireplace, head to a state park and “camp” for an evening.
Make a special treat and gather for dessert only.
Sometimes a mid-afternoon snack of cookies and lemonade is perfect for building family bonding time. Or having all hands on deck to bake a cake or create a sweet no-bake treat can be a great activity to bring the family together. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just a little creative time together brings unity and enjoyment to everyone.
Enjoy daily devotions together.
Whether you read a Scripture together and discuss it or take prayer requests and pray before your meal, enjoying a simple devotional time as a family is a great way to spend time together. Even if you don’t read the same devotional, our family has discovered that reading in the same room brings a special togetherness.
One of our family’s very favorite ways to enjoy devotions is to use this fabulous set of Jesus Calling devotionals! This series includes a devotional for every age in the family. We’ve been reading these devotionals for 3 or 4 years and I love that my older children have grown from reading the children’s edition to enjoying the teen edition. Studying God’s Word and reading together as a family builds sweet unity as nothing else can!