Fun, Safe, and Affordable Summer Activities for the Family

July 12, 2021 5 min read

family activities ideas and tips summer 2021

Has your city started to re-open after lockdowns? Or are you still staying cautious and avoiding crowds? Either way, summer 2021 is going to be a unique season: kids have gotten restless, grownups need a stress-free break, but everyone is still advised to be protective of their health.

So what activities are good and doable this year? Worry not, there's still so much fun to be had. From crafting to playing to relaxing, here are safe and budget-friendly family activities to fill your summer 2021.

PS. We made sure to avoid computers and phones for this list, so your family gets to enjoy life outside their screens. (Perfect for those who are sick of video meetings!)


Super-Easy Family Crafts for the Summer

1. Make pinwheels.

No matter how high-tech our lives get, good old-fashioned pinwheels are always a joy, especially if you have a small child in the family. Teach your little one to make these like your Nana used to teach you. Then go ahead and plant those colorful whirligigs on your lawn, backyard, or patio!


2. Create your family tree art.

Gather 'round on your living room floor, get those art supplies out, and together, make your 2021 family tree. Have the kids decorate their 'branch' with creative materials like crayons, watercolor, color paper, cloth scraps, cotton, and more. Don't forget to hang the finished masterpiece in your bedroom or den.

If you'd rather have your family art professionally designed, Gear Den has customized family tree art pieces that make long-lasting family keepsakes and instantly impress guests!

Wall art pictured above: Personalized Family Names On Tree Premium Canvas V2


3. Decorate with paper flowers.

Crafting paper flowers is a cheap and eco-friendly way to encourage your kids' creativity. And with the right direction, paper blooms can actually be pretty enough to spruce up your home! Google some tutorials on this papercraft and try out your favorites varieties.


4. Make pet accessories.

If fur-babies are a part of your family, summer's the perfect time to jazz them up! Easy pet accessories to make include:

  • adorable bowties, bandannas, and kerchiefs
  • no-sew tug toys from braided fabric scraps
  • flower fabric brooch to attach to their collar
  • scratching post with sisal rope wrapped around a pole
  • cute canopy for their dog bed or cat bed.

Accessory pictured above: Personalized Pet Bandana - Brand New

Find more pet-themed home items here!


5. Make postcards from old travel photos.

Bring back the art of postcard-writing! Use some cardstock to print out some of your favorite travel photos, then write a note on the back. Your note can be a simple description of the trip, so you can then compile your postcards into a scrapbook or a memory wall. Or you can write an actual short letter to someone dear, then mail it to them.

PS. If you love scenic art, check Gear Den's window view art prints that would look so great hanging on your wall!

Wall art pictured above: Personalized Names "Colorful Sunset Beach" Premium Canvas


6. Upcycle old containers into pretty planters.

Clean out those empty buckets, cans, and bottles, and go wild decorating them as plant containers. You can use paint, decoupage, stencils, rope... the possibilities are endless! Smaller containers can also transform into other household items like pencil holders and desk caddies.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "It's So Good To Be Home" Premium Rustic Canvas


7. Paint old dinnerware.

Got some plates and mugs you don't use anymore? Give them new life in an afternoon of crafting. Use non-toxic markers and enamel paints, then let the paints cure (dry) completely. We found some step-by-step instructions here. Note: check the label of art materials to make sure they're non-toxic and dishwasher-safe.


Entertaining Activities at Home

8. Get into interactive storytelling.

Make books extra entertaining to your little ones! More than just reading aloud to them, enact the scenes with props like plushie characters, puppets, toy kitchen sets, and the like. If you have time and energy, set up a little stage using a table and a blanket backdrop. Don't forget to engage your young audience with questions and shout-outs along the way!

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" Premium Canvas


9. Do a special movie night.

A family movie night is a foolproof way to spend time together on a laidback evening, especially when the kids have no homework to do. To make it even more enjoyable, get the fun started the afternoon before: enlist your young ones to prep a makeshift 'cinema,' complete with curtains, popcorn, and tickets.

PS. Check out this fun home theater sign to transform your living room or den:

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Theater & Lounge" Premium Canvas


Relaxing Activities for the Family

10. Plant an indoor garden.

Gardening is incredibly relaxing. Even an indoor garden can be a peaceful preoccupation: you get to sit down for a few minutes, just focused on the plant pot in front of you, exercising your care and gentleness. Low-maintenance herbs like basil and rosemary are a good start. To make it more interesting for your kids, try unusual plants like cacti or flowering houseplants like African violets.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Life Is Better With Dogs" Premium Canvas


11. Start a unique nature collection.

Here's a nice idea to get your children to appreciate nature more. Take them on a leisurely walk through the outdoors, picking up interesting natural objects along the way. Maybe a few stones with nice shapes, or a set of leaves in complementary colors. If you're near a beach, you might even spot some pretty sea glass. Take your summer 'harvest' and display them in clear jars or boxes.

Wall art pictured above: Personalized "Love Grows Best" Premium Canvas


12. Go stargazing.

Clear summer evenings are perfect for stargazing. With your little ones, get out on your backyard or front porch, lay down a blanket, and just admire the beautiful night sky. It's a lovely way to remind your children -- and yourself -- that there's beauty in just staying still.

Bring some snacks if you prefer. You can also take it one step further by checking the meteor calendar for any upcoming meteor showers, or bringing your own star map for some scientific interest.


Which one of these summer family ideas is your favorite? Share with us in the comments!

We also have more boredom-busting, sanity-saving tips for your quarantine days, here.

And if you liked the home items featured in this post, you'll love browsing through the customer-starred Gear Den shop -- check it out!

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