OK, everyone! Summer vacation, outdoor family activities, camping, picnics and afternoons in the park are all right around the corner. In just a few weeks, we will hear cries of “school’s out!” When I was younger, I spent years working in day camps, and I couldn’t wait to try out my new activities.

When I became a mom, I realized that some of them had to stay in the category of “activities a coordinator does for my children” and others I could adapt myself.

You need to ask yourself how these family activities can fall into the category “activities while we’re waiting for summer holidays” and what they will include. Don’t worry: I explain the ins and outs here. Family activities that fall into this category are affordable, fast, fun to do at home and feasible in most households. Summer holiday activities, on the other hand, require planning, a budget and the desire to get as far away from routine as possible. Get it?

Regardless, all of these are activities that are fun to do when you want. Ha ha! Here are a few of them:

family activities camping in the living room

1. Camping… in the living room

I don’t really like camping in real life (but I have other qualities)! So the idea of camping in the living room is a nice alternative to stay comfortable and do something fun on a weeknight or the weekend. Does the (invent a name) campground have a campfire made of empty toilet paper rolls and orange and yellow tissue paper? Will someone dare to sleep in the play tent? Will you eat oven-baked marshmallows? Of course! The only limit is your imagination (and the space in your living room!).

2. Picnic in the yard or on the balcony

I love picnics in the house year-round. Even in winter. I know what I’m talking about because I moved this winter and, between the delivery of the new table and assembling the chairs, there were dinners eaten in the living room on a blanket to make it more fun.

We tend to think that picnics are for parks. We couldn’t be more wrong! The balcony, the yard or anywhere that’s flat will fit the bill— and it’s a great excuse for doing fewer dishes! Sandwiches, anyone?

3. Organize a dinner with friends from the street

I recently moved to a street that has street life. Wow! It makes a big difference when it comes to managing friends. I tried something to get my oldest outside in the nice weather and see his friends, not to mention to give me 20 minutes of peace.

Basically, a few parents get their children’s table out, everyone puts their kids’ dinner on the table and the kids eat together while the parents take turns watching them.

4. A sponge battle on hot days

We underestimate the fun you can have with sponges, a couple of buckets and a bit of cool water. This is a great activity that cools kids down without going to the pool. It’s safe, fun and easier to clean up after than water balloons.

5. Hold a garage sale and put the money in a jar marked “Ice cream.”

Need I say more?