Looking for some fun activities to do with your kids this summer? I’ve enjoyed 22 summers with kids (and counting!), so I certainly have a few ideas to share! Stay tuned during the next few weeks as we provide all kinds of suggestions for making your summer with your kids meaningful. (Subscribe here so you won’t miss out!) Today’s idea: Find Ways to Serve!
Opportunities to love and help others are all around us, no matter where we live, the ages of our kids, or our physical limitations. We all have something to offer someone else! Even babies can serve. Allow me to share a special memory…
Even Babies Can Serve
When our oldest son was a baby, a man we went to church with was killed tragically in a farming accident. Two days after this awful event, Matt, baby Asa, and I went to visit the man’s widow and their kids.
As we stood in their kitchen, surrounded by others in our church family, I remember feeling that it was so important that I keep Asa quiet and in my arms so as not to disturb anyone! I wrestled with him as long as possible, shushing him and trying to distract him with anything I possibly could while people were coming in and out and hugging the family members.
Finally, I gave up and decided to let Asa get down and crawl around as he had so much been wanting to do. I cringed as he scurried immediately toward the crowd and then directly over to where the widow was sitting. Before I could catch up to him and pull him back, he had made it to her chair. And then it happened.
The widow found a smile. She reached down and picked up my curious baby. She cooed at him and hugged him close and told him what a sweet boy he was.
If we weren’t already all crying, we certainly all were then.
Asa, before the age of one, was already a minister. He brought joy in the midst of grief, just by being him.
I share this to let you know a very important truth about serving others with our kids:
The enemy wants us to use our kids as an excuse NOT to serve. God wants us to serve right alongside our kids!
Obviously, if our kids are older, we can serve with them in ways that we can’t do when our kids are tiny. But oh the ways we can serve, no matter the ages of our kids!
Pray and Listen!
I’m going to share some service ideas with you today, but what is much more important than reading my ideas is that you and your family pray together to become open to what God has for you to do. Open your hearts. Let God open your eyes to see the needs around you. He will show you how to serve. (He’ll also tell you when to say, “no.”) Listen and see!
My husband, kids, and I have been serving side by side for almost 25 years. As I look back, I see how our service has changed and evolved! When the kids were little, our service included having people in our home for meals, taking small gifts of food to people, making and sending cards, and the like.
Now that we have adult-sized kids, our service can include work like helping elderly people move heavy furniture, taking loads of people’s discarded items to the dump, and painting people’s houses.
No act of service is big or small. All areas of service are full of purpose and good! So don’t put limitations on what you and your family have to offer. Don’t feel like you have nothing to offer. Don’t compare yourself with anyone else. Most certainly, don’t feel like you are “too busy” to look beyond your own lives to serve.
Pray, open your eyes, and listen. God will help you see needs and show you what to do!
Here is a small list of ideas for ways you might serve with your kids:
Ways to Serve with Your Kids
- Feed people who have a need! Make and deliver a meal, some muffins or quick bread, cookies, or a pie. See our huge list of recipes below for fun ideas!
- Visit someone who is lonely or hurting.
- Help someone fix something around their home that they are unable to fix on their own.
- Babysit for someone will little children so they can have a refreshing break.
- Give someone a ride to the store or to run errands if they are unable to drive themselves.
- Clean out toys and clothes to give to someone who needs them more than you.
- Have a garage sale and give the earnings to a special cause.
- Make and send cards to people.
- Call people on their birthdays and sing to them.
- Plant flowers for someone.
- Surprise someone who is out of town with a Sidewalk Chalk message welcoming them home.
- Mow someone’s lawn.
- Take someone out for ice cream.
- Invite someone over for a meal, for dessert, or for a game of cards.
- Visit someone in the hospital or nursing home.
- Buy and deliver a coloring book and new crayons for a sick child.
- Pray for people!
- Clean someone’s house.
- Ask a tired new mom how you can help her.
- Purchase and deliver groceries to help stretch a family’s budget.
What would you add to this list?
The possibilities are endless, especially when you pray together and listen to God’s call for you and your family!
Here is a big list of recipe links that might give you some nice ideas if you are considering making food for someone…
Recipes to Consider Making for Others
- Banana Muffins
- Banana Cheesecake Muffins
- Blueberry Cheesecake Muffins
- Blueberry Streusel Muffins
- Breakfast Cake Muffins
- Chocolate Cheesecake Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins
- Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins
- Chocolate Swirl Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
- Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins
- Flourless Brownie Muffins
- Flourless Pumpkin Muffins
- Honey Cinnamon Muffins
- Lemon Muffins
- More Muffin Recipes!
- The BEST Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Super Moist Flourless Peanut Butter Brownies – Only 5 ingredients!
- Super Moist Flourless Brownies
- Easy Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups
- Sweet and Simple Butter Cookies
- More Cookie Recipes!
- 20-Minute Taco Soup
- Baked Three Cheese Chicken Pasta
- BLT Wraps
- Cheesy Salsa Enchiladas
- Chicken Salad
- Chicken Soup with a Kick
- Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
- Lasagna Casserole
- Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti
- Skillet Taco Pasta
- Sloppy Joes
- Simple Taco Rice Dinner
- Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
- Simple Crock Pot Shredded Ranch Chicken (for salad or tacos)
- Simple Crock Pot Pizza Casserole
- More Main Dish Ideas!
I’d love to hear ways you and your family serve together!
Here’s to a great summer of fun with our kids! Here are other ideas we’ve shared so far:
- Make Donuts!
- Have a Reading Party!
- Make Smoothies, Milkshakes, and Popsicles
- Go Apple, Berry, or Peach Picking
- Create Blessings for Father’s Day
Stay tuned for more fun Summer Kid Activity ideas!