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I took off work the Friday before Memorial Day so that we could do some fun things as a family to kick off the summer vacation. On Sunday, my daughter asked me how many more days that I would be off work. I told her and she looked at her brother and said “Ok, two more days of fun and then no more!”
It was hilarious. But then the mom guilt set in. When I work, she doesn’t get to have fun. Now I could go through all the reasons that I work my day job and how I actually think it is good for her to see me as a professional in my field (which is predominately male dominated). But really all I could think about was that she felt like there would be no more fun once I went back to work.
So I set out to come up with a list of summer activities to do with kids as a working mom. We are busy and tired after a hard day of work but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to enjoy these sweet summertime memories that are ready to be made.
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Summer Activities To Do With Kids As A Working Mom
My parameters were pretty simple for this list of summer ideas. The ideas have to be fairly short in time requirements so that you could do them on a lunch break or after work. They will have minimal set up up requirements to save time (and sanity).
These things don’t have to be extravagant, just time spent together. Soaking up the evening sun and the insects chirping and the kids playing outside. Instead of unwinding in front of the TV, these summer activities to do with kids as a working mom will allow you to relax while watching your kids making the most of their summer.
Some of these activities are at an establishment but lots of them can be done at your house. I know sometimes the last thing you want to do after working all day is to go somewhere so that was kept in mind while making this list!
Things to Do In Summer After Work with Kids
- Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
- Go for Ice cream before dinner (we did this in the backyard with an ice cream sandwich and it was a hit)
- Blow Bubbles
- Grab takeout and hit the park. Enjoy a picnic & then play.
- Set up the sprinkler and let the kids play (and cross watering the lawn off your to do list)
- Fly a Kite
- Make an ice cream sundae bar
- “Camp out” with sleeping bags on the floor and watch a movie with popcorn
- Plant a flower and let the kids water it as needed throughout the summer
- Grill hotdogs and hamburgers for an easy summer bbq
- Toss a beach ball in the yard
- Play in a water table
- Eat dinner outside picnic style
- Have a water fight with squirt toys
- Take a family bike ride
- Visit a splash pad or pool after work (crowds are usually lower so you have more space to yourself)
- Paint the sidewalk with a DIY sidewalk chalk paint recipe
- Eat watermelon outside
- Toy Switcharoo – let the kids choose a toy that is normally an inside toy to play with outside (blocks/dolls/trucks)
- Catch and release fireflies
- Go to the library and pick out some new books for summer (or have some delivered to your house)
- Go on a Summer Scavenger hunt (look for sprinklers, certain colors of flowers, bike riders etc)
- Find an Indoor play place to enjoy when it is too hot for outside
- Make Tie Dye tshirts
- Go Bowling or Skating
- DIY Mani / Pedi in a fun summer print like these watermelon nails.
- Bring Carnival fun home by DIY Face Painting
- Color a summer inspired coloring page
- Paint a birdhouse and then watch for birds.
- Pretend to camp out and read books in their pop up tent (or make a fort)
15 Minute Play
I recently heard about a concept of actively playing with your kids for 15 minutes a day. No phones, no interruptions, just pure focus on your kid and their choice of activity for 15 minutes. According to the writer, that is all that they really need in terms of parental play time.
Joanna Fortune is the author and a therapist that wrote the book 15 Minute Parenting that explores this topic. I have the book on the way now to read. As a working mom, I always worry that I’m not playing with my kids enough. On one hand, I think it is great that my kids are good at independent play.
But naturally we wonder if we are doing enough. So I’m interested to read about this 15 minute play concept and to test it out with my kids and our schedule.
I hope these easy play ideas help you with the summertime blues that can pop up as a working parent during those warm summer months. And if you liked Summer Activities to Do With Kids As A Working Mom, check out some of our other easy set up play and craft ideas on the site!