Family playing with pillows

Summer Fun!

About the Author
Melissa Weekes is a Product Development Specialist. Prior to joining Great Kids® in 2018, she worked as a home visitor with Public Health Services where she used the Growing Great Kids® Curriculum. Melissa lives in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her husband and enjoys any opportunity to be creative! 

Isn’t it delightful to see a child’s exuberant excitement? Their energy erupts in uncontainable hops, jumps, and wiggles like soda bubbles fizzing to the top of a glass. A child’s laughs and smiles are contagious and automatically spread joy to those around them. Having moments of fun with kids has a way of refreshing our souls and reminding us of what’s important in life.

Thankfully, for most little ones, it doesn’t take much to ring the bell on their excitement meter. As a child, I remember that once every summer, my mom would pack up sandwiches and take my sister and me on the train to meet my dad for his lunch break. This low-cost, maximum thrill adventure combined the fun of a train ride with the joy and pride of seeing where my dad worked.

Fun, as a child, was doing things WITH my family.

Rarely, when we think about having fun, are we by ourselves. Fun is multiplied when we enjoy it with others. Connection and relationships are integral to who we are as human beings.1  For the children in our lives, fun is spending time with US, and the best gift we can give them are moments of our time.2  In fact, the joy we share with children and loved ones becomes part of our family’s comradery and identity. We often talk about it for months and years afterward.

However, with the cost of living rising, families are feeling the crunch. Activities that were affordable before are now becoming out of reach for many.

When I searched the web for “family fun,” a whole host of thrilling and expensive activities popped up in my area⸺ laser tag, air trampoline parks, splash adventures, escape rooms,⸺ you name it. The reality is, most people can’t afford to spend their summers emptying their bank accounts at these commercial fun factories.

So, let’s give ourselves permission to take the pressure off. Whether that means we stop comparing our summer plans to those of our neighbors and friends or we adjust our expectations to fit our budget. In last month’s blog, Rachel shared that children don’t need expensive toys, only adults that show up for them in playful moments. This principle applies to our summer plans too.

Thankfully, kids are wired for ANY kind of fun! Right now, for the children in my life, fun looks like:

  • playing never-ending games of Old Maid and Go Fish,
  • Learning to ride a bike in a safeabandoned parking lot,
  • Going high enough on the oak tree swing to touch the leaves, and
  • Building numerous obstacle courses with anything and everything around.

As adults, we can be the ones to initiate fun interactions in everyday opportunities. What are the children in our lives interested in? How can we expand on their interests? Remember, every child and family is unique, so what’s fun to one child or family will look different to another.

Family fun isn’t about expensive trips or outings. Family fun is about spending time together. When we show up with some simple fun for a child in our life, it brings them joy and refreshes our hearts too. Happy Family Fun Month!


1. Perry, B. D., & Winfrey, O. (2021). What happened to you? Conversations on trauma, resilience, and healing. Flatiron Books.

2. Siegel, D. J., & Bryson, T. P. (2021). The power of showing up: How parental presence shapes who our kids become and how their brains get wired. Ballantine Books.

Recent Posts

Building Strong Protectors

If you scroll through a plethora of tucked-away photo albums beneath the staircase of my parents’ home, you’ll eventually come across the pictures capturing my fourth birthday. Among these photos, you’ll find documentation of the moment Tabby was gifted to me. Tabby was a baby doll designed to look like a newborn.

read more

Learning to Love through Play

Bouncing on an exercise ball, typing away in my cozy home office, and breaking to rub my growing belly was how I spent last July. 2021 was a busy year for the product development team at Great Kids. We were excited to announce the launch of our play-based preschool curriculum just this month, and I was honored to be a part of the group that worked to pull this product together.

read more

Giving Yourself (and Others) Grace

“Can I play the drums again?” they asked. Without giving it a moment of thought, a “no” came out of my mouth. It wasn’t the most convincing ‘no’ ⸺ more of a feeble reaction to the extra effort this activity would require when my patience was already thin. To this child, that no from their warm-hearted aunt sounded negotiable, and the lure of the shiny drum kit won over.

read more

Messy Fun Makes Healthy Brains

As I settle in to write this evening, the blue sky is fading to dark, and the evidence of a busy day lies scattered amongst my home. Stacked dishes fill the kitchen sink, toys decorate the living room floor, and dirty laundry overflows from every hamper.

read more

Growing Resilience

 Why am I talking about trees, you might wonder? Well, yesterday’s incident got me thinking about how unexpected storms can also come up in life, and if we, our families, and our communities are healthy and resilient, we’re in a better place to withstand these pressures and thrive.

read more

Share a Meal…Spread the Love

March is finally here! If you’re like me, you’re eager for this month to arrive. I’m happy to welcome longer days, warmer weather, and a brand-new season. One of the ways my family celebrates the budding trees and blooming flowers is by firing up the grill. You can often find us stacking shish kabobs with colorful peppers, slices of sweet onion, and juicy chunks of pineapple.

read more

Growing Great Kids®

Why Choose Great Kids?

Never any recurring licensing fees

Proven Success

Over 37,000 people have been trained to use the Great Kids curricula

Protective Factors – GGK Constructs

Research informed constructs embedded in the Protective Factors Framework

Alignment with Head Start

The Growing Great Kids Home Based Curricula Series exceeds all Head Start Curriculum requirements

Evidenced Based Research

As evidenced by seven independent evaluations, the GGK Curriculum produces outstanding results

Specialized Training Programs 

On-site and virtual training options available

Healthy Families America

The Growing Great Kids curriculum aligns with and builds upon the HFA model approach