As a blended family, you have likely already identified activities that everyone loves doing. Going to the beach or the pool, outdoor activities like softball or lawn darts, going for drives, to the movies, theme parks, camping, visiting relatives; any or all of these might be something your family is looking forward to doing this summer. Whenever you find something that everyone likes to do together, try to fit it into your schedule!

Family game days

A day at home does not have to be boring or spent in front of the television or the computer! If yourblended family ground rules prohibit overuse of electronic equipment, offer alternative activities. You might like to set up a scavenger hunt for the step siblings in your stepfamily. These hunts might be limited to the house and yard, or you may feel comfortable sending off teams or pairs of step siblings to find and carry home the items on their scavenger lists. Items on the list might include things like a tennis ball, a pink shoe, an empty tin can, a maple leaf, etc., things that can fit into a plastic garbage bag. If you like, make the game more challenging and include things like a seed for an oak tree, or a tube of dentifrice. Appropriate rewards for finding the most items might be presented, such as a pass on nightly chores.

Board game or computer game marathons are always a good way to spend a day or two locked in competitive fun. You may want to check online for ideas of free family computer games that are appropriate for your step family. It really does not matter whether you and your step family enjoy monopoly, checkers or a fast-action computer game together. What matters is that you enjoy doing something together. Having fun together builds bonds and memories.

Share laughter

A movie or television show that makes everyone laugh is a free ticket to blended family fun. Sharing a laugh is among the best bonding activities a blended family can have, so take advantage of every opportunity to share a laugh with your step family members. Building a blended family based on shared laughter and enjoyment of each other makes for bonds that endure.

Step family group projects

Summertime is a great time for a group project within your blended family.  Building or erecting a swing set or tree house, taken from planning sessions at the kitchen table to the home building supplies store to the backyard, are the kinds of projects that can keep step parents and their kids involved, communicating, and accomplishing something together. Choose projects that encourage teaching moments, such as measuring, cutting, hammering, and problem solving needed to construct a swing set. When step kids learn something useful from a step parent, and have fun at the same time, bonds are created while life lessons are learned.

The most important project for step family summers is to enjoy being together. Whatever you do as a blended family, make it satisfying for everyone, make it family-focused, and make it fun. Although step kids may not spend their entire summer vacation with you, make time for a project; something that takes planning, execution, and has a definite accomplishment factor so you can celebrate it together. A blended family that plays together stays together. To further know more about blended family relationships, visit The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.