What to Play?: 25 Undone Family Summer Fun Ideas

What to Play? by Carrie St. John

Family Assignment—Have Fun!

We are in the home stretch. I can’t believe school vacation is coming to an end. Our summer went too fast!

We say those words every year so in the spring we made a list of summer ideas. Many we did not get to. Friends popped over. Sleepovers were planned last minute. Some days we just needed to be lazy. Visitors arrived. What to do in the little time we have left? Fun without forcing it. I think we will aim for one thing a day but if we decide to read for hours in the shade or host a sleepover—a different play happens and that is okay too. 

Below is our list of undone fun. Hopefully we can squeeze a few in before that first bell rings on September 2. We hope you can have some fun too. Skip the list of back to school to-dos and play with the family instead. Those calculators and pencils and binders and lunch boxes dramatically go on sale after the first day of school so you will be saving money, simply by postponing your shopping and taking the time to have fun with the kids.

List of 25 Undone Ideas of Family Summer Fun

  1. canoe or float down the river
  2. water balloon fight
  3. climb a tree
  4. pick peaches and run through the orchard
  5. play hide and seek outdoors at night
  6. Frisbee
  7. find shapes in the clouds
  8. swim more
  9. crochet
  10. run through a sprinkler
  11. teach hopscotch to the little neighbor girl
  12. swing
  13. puddle jumping in the rain
  14. pillow fight
  15. spin until dizzy and falling over
  16. ride bikes to no where
  17. sing out loud while we road trip to grandma’s
  18. jump rope
  19. watch for fireflies
  20. play mini golf
  21. laugh with extended family
  22. leap frog with the tiny cousins
  23. picnic
  24. play marbles
  25. end each day exhausted from play


Carrie St. JohnCarrie St. John

Carrie was born, raised and attended university in Michigan. As a child she rode bikes and explored her rural neighborhood freely with siblings and neighbor kids. Mom and Dad never worried. The kids always made it home after hours wading in the creek and climbing trees in the woods. After college she moved to Kyoto, Japan to study traditional Japanese woodblock printing. In 1995, she began a career at a small Chicago firm designing maps and information graphics. Life brought a move to Northampton in 2001. Carrie completed her MFA at UMass in 2004. Her little love, Sophia, was born in 2005. The two live in downtown Northampton where they constantly make things, look forward to morning walks to school and plan each spring for additions to their plot at the community garden. Carrie continues to do freelance work for clients here and in Chicago.

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