Easy ways to grow closer with your fam this summer

School’s out, which means you probably have more free time on your calendar. That, combined with the end of stay-at-home orders, makes this summer the perfect opportunity to reconnect with all the people you’ve been missing—including your family. Yes, you live with them, but how often do you actually spend quality time together? It’s easy to make fun plans with your fam that can fit into you and your ‘rent’s or sib’s summer schedules. Here are just a few suggestions.

Start a one-book book club

This is your chance to read that one book that’s been resting on your shelf forever—or pick out a brand-new title from an author you and your fam love. The best part about a one-book book club is that you can set your own reading pace, with no pressure to get through a certain amount of books/pages before you meet up to chat. Enlist your entire family or make it a thing with just mom or your little bro. Your book club meetings can be as simple as talking about what you enjoyed or had questions about. If you want to have deeper convos, there are plenty of resources on the web that provide thought-provoking questions.

Install a two-player game app

Maybe your fam is far away this summer. Installing a two-player game app on each of your tech devices will help you bridge the distance and minimize idle free time. Consider a spelling game like Words With Friends, or a classic skill-based game like Crossy Road. Some, but not all two-player games allow you to play your turn at any time. Then, wait for the other person to make a move. Whether you play for a week or a month, you’ll be surprised how fast the game becomes a regular habit for the two of you.

Create a family group chat for memes

Specific to your fam, ofc. This is another tech-based idea for the family on the go. It’s less structured than the other activities we suggested, but just as much fun. With an editing app on your phone and a familiarity with popular current memes, you can create your v. own memes that only make sense to your fam. If your siblings are down for a little friendly competition, you can have your parents vote on the best meme each week. Just make sure to keep your memes family-friendly and kind.

Explore your hometown

Even if you’ve lived there your whole life, there are probably new businesses and locales near your hometown that you haven’t explored. Instead of going it alone, enlist your family to join in on the exploration. Create a list and let each person write down one place they’d like to go before the summer is over. Then, make it a challenge to cross them all off. Everyone will have at least one outing that they’re personally interested in, and you can get to know your community better at the same time.

Sign up for a cooking class

Virtual or IRL. You don’t have to be the best chefs in the world to take a cooking class—many of them are specifically tailored towards beginners. Learn to craft a fancy French dish or perfect your pineapple upside-down cake. If you’re taking the IRL class, you don’t have to worry about doing the dishes afterwards. Did we mention you get to eat whatever you make? This is one bonding activity that’s as delicious as it is fun.

Film a few TikToks together

You’ve likely seen TikToks on your FYP that incorporate family members, whether it’s for a comedic skit or a synchronized dance vid. Get your fam’s permission to be in front of the camera and see what you can come up with together. What’s great about this activity is that there are near-endless limits to what you can create—so if your fam isn’t the dancing and lip-syncing type, you can pivot to something else. Don’t forget to tag your sibs when you upload the final cut.

How do you like to hang out with your fam during summer? Share with us on Twitter by tagging @girlslifemag!

Title Image: Pexels/Rheza Aulia


by Bailey Bujnosek | 7/13/2021