3 Fun Summer Activities (and Routines) for Kids

A more spacious schedule and warm weather make summer a great time to introduce mindful routines into your days.

Mindfulness is paying kind and curious attention to what is happening right now. As you transition into summer mode, consider the following ways you can bring mindfulness into your family activities.

1. Check the daily weather… check on your internal weather conditions, too!

You may be looking at the forecast on summer mornings as you plan for your day’s activities, so why not include a check on your internal weather conditions, too? This is a great way to support children in developing an awareness of their emotions and their internal states.

Ask your kids what the weather report on their emotions would look like. Sunny, cloudy, rainy, or breezy? Calm skies, or a tornado warning?

A powerful part of this weather check-in is helping children understand that they can notice how they are feeling in the moment without overly identifying with their emotions. Whether it’s rain, sun, or clouds, weather simply passes through. We can’t change the weather outside, and, in this very moment, we can’t magically transform how we are feeling into something else either.

What we can do, however, is choose how we respond to current conditions. If it’s raining, we can grab an umbrella or change our plans. If our internal weather is stormy, we can do something that we know might make us feel better, or ask for help. Sometimes, the simple act of sharing how we feel, in the moment, is all the support we need.

2. Make your outdoor time mindful with your five senses

Outdoor time in the summer offers so many opportunities to pay attention to all that is happening in the present moment (which is being mindful!)

Whether you’re on vacation, at the park, or in your own backyard, you can take a minute to pause and notice what is around you. Try focusing on one particular sense – what can you see, or smell, or feel, or hear, or taste?

You may notice the coolness of the breeze across your skin, notice the smell of sunscreen, hear a dog barking near or far away, or see bubbly waves wash in and out across the sand. If you’re in a familiar location, what are all the ways this place feels different in the summer compared to the rest of the year?

Educators, Explore Mindfulness in our 101 Course

Next Course:

In 101: Mindfulness Foundations, learn practices that can resource you during the school day and daily life, with trauma-sensitive approaches for navigating emotons, working with thoughts and biases, and cultivating compassion and joy. Educators earn credits.

Bring Mindfulness to Your Classroom

Next Course:

In 201: Mindfulness in the Classroom, learn trauma-sensitive strategies to nurture social and emotional well-being in your classroom. Access the Mindful Schools K-12 Curriculum and Teaching Kit. Educators earn credits.

3. Create a mindful bedtime ritual

Summer bedtimes can be challenging when it’s still so light out! Try introducing a mindful bedtime routine to help your kids wind down at the end of a busy summer day. Your mindful bedtime might include:

  • Reflecting on the day. 
    • What are three things you are thankful for today?
    • What do you most want to remember about today?
    • What was hard about today?
    • Who did you help today? Who helped you today?
  • A short body-scan practice. As your child lies down in their bed, invite them to notice what sensations, if any, they notice in their body, slowly guiding them to pay attention to their feet (toes, soles, ankles), legs (calves, knees, thighs), lower back, upper back, stomach, arms, hands, neck, and face. You could end with a moment of gratitude for all the things their body did during the day.


Mindful Games for your Classroom

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 at 4pm ET

Join us for this dynamic 90-minute training to experience mindfulness through play to evoke curiosity, spark creativity, foster engagement, and support learning.

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