Creative Child

Meaningful Summer Traditions

by Rebecca Eanes


Family Fun Nights

I believe family fun nights are also happiness anchors for our children. In an often busy and disconnected world, the times we intentionally set aside to be present with our kids are healing balms for the heart. These are times our children feel cherished, seen, heard, and wholly loved. Family fun night shows that we care enough to put aside our phones and distractions and focus on play.

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We have a family fun night rotation including game night, movie night, and dinner out night. I plan to add a family cooking night into the mix as well. During game night, we pop popcorn or have some type of finger food and play our favorite board or card games. We are currently loving Boss Monster, Castle Panic, and Hogwarts Battle. Movie nights are often just movies at home rather than at the theater which can be quite expensive, and my kids’ favorite is when we move the television to the back deck and watch it outside. A drive-in theater is on my bucket list this summer as well! For our “dinner out” nights, we add special “dates” into the rotation. For example, every other month, we do “Wings Wednesday” which involves eating at our local wings restaurant and taking a trip to the comic book store.


A few times a year, usually around a holiday, we have “Minute to Win It” games. This summer, we’ll play this on Independence Day with a few decorations and holiday-themed foods. For game ideas, visit here.

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Summer Read Alouds

Each summer, we read a book or series of books together. Research shows that reading aloud has many benefits, even reading aloud to big kids! Educator Tim Trelease says that reading aloud to your child, no matter what her age, is the magic bullet for creating a lifelong reader. This summer, we are reading the Harry Potter series. Last summer, we read The Hobbit. Other family favorites are The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe, and The Wizard of Oz. I have a growing list in queue, including The Penderwicks, The Trials of Apollo, The Time Hunters, The Mystery of Ghost Island, and Artemis Fowl. Click here for some read-aloud ideas.

Reading aloud is a tradition that I hope they carry on with their own children one day. In fact, I hope they carry on each of these traditions as well as create a few that are unique for their own families. By being intentional about spending quality time together as a family this summer, I hope I’m showing my kids how to live intentionally, stay connected, and love well throughout their lives. Happy summer!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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