The arrival of summer can mean many different things for different families. Some may set off on a grand adventure while others may desire to enjoy slow mornings and time by the pool. No matter your plans for the Summer, incorporate these 5 Summer Activities to help build faith at home.
1. Memorize a scripture verse as a family
It is an easy win to surround your home with scripture during the summer. Start off with realistic expectations and give your kids responsibility. Choose one simple verse and then add more as your kids begin to memorize each verse. The goal is not to just make them remember a verse but for them to understand and hide that verse in their hearts. My hope is that the verses my kids memorize in the summer will be the truth they call upon for the rest of their lives. When trouble hits, as adults, they can look back and remember the summer we memorized Psalm 107:1 together. We can give thanks to the lord in all things at all time because his love endures forever.
Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.
Try this: Find a dry erase board and put it in a central gathering area as a constant reminder. Also, using small rewards for memorizing the passage can help kids feel accomplished but make sure and balance the reward with the purpose. If your kids are only memorizing the passage for the reward then we are missing the point. Keep the purpose up front.
2. Adopt a weekly prayer focus
This one is simple. Pick a focus for the week and make it a priority to pray for that focus. Encourage your kids to think of people to pray for like friends; grandparents; siblings; homeless people; widows/widowers; or missionaries.
Try this: Write the prayer focus on an index card and place it on the dining room table as a reminder to pray before each meal. Or if you are on the go a lot place it in your car to pray while you travel.
3. Participate in VBS or Camps (But not just the kids!)
I know many of us can’t wait to send our kids off to VBS and Camp so that we could get a little break and they can have some fun. However, don’t miss the opportunity to invest in your child spiritually when they return home. Life happens after the event and we have an opportunity to leverage what our kids are learning. Discipleship happens through ongoing conversations that will last longer than one week at VBS.
Try this: Go to your VBS director and ask for a copy of the curriculum or visit with your student pastor and ask about what students are going to learn at camp. Investigate and learn along with them so that you can leverage VBS, Camps, Retreat for maximum discipleship.
4. Download a Summer reading plan
This activity may sound like homework, but it’s fairly easy to commit to a Summer reading plan as a family. Pick a book of the Bible and take your time or go onto YouVersion and select one of reading plans that you can share on multiple devices. The kid’s YouVersion has great animation that helps keep toddlers and preschoolers engaged. Manage your expectations and choose something that is realistic for your family.
Try this: Set an alarm for family devotion/reading time and keep all the required materials in one location so it is easy to sit down and spend 5-10 minutes in God’s Word.
5. Explore Creation
The God of the universe, who created all things, knows you and loves you. One of the greatest ways to show God’s beauty, power and majesty is to take your kids outside. Go for a walk, watch a sunset, visit some national or state parks. When we are in nature we can see the mighty hand of God and help our kids understand how big our God really is.
Try this: Start simple and small. While visiting the Grand Canyon may sound like a grand idea, start by visiting a local forest preserve or state park for a short hike and family picnic. Give your kids something to search by asking “How many different kinds of bugs or trees or flowers or animals can we spot?”
Bonus Activities Just for Fun
Do you remember what your dream Summer day was as a kid? Try to pick a favorite memory and bring it back to do with your children! Here are a few of our favorite things we did as kids:
- Make Ice Cream
- Backyard (or living room) Camping
- Build a DIY Bird Feeder
- Make a Video or Family Movie and edit it together
- Build a fire and make some S’mores
No matter what activities you choose, remember that spending time and being intentional with your kids this summer is time that is never wasted!