Every year, I say to myself, “I’m going to be intentional this summer!”


But if I’m being honest, I rarely follow through with that idea. I don’t typically take the time to actually think through our summer and have a plan to be intentional. The key to intentionality is the plan! So as I sit down to plan this summer, I put together some thoughts about being intentional. I hope this helps you pick some areas to be intentional in this summer as well!

Disclaimer: There is a lot of info here, so don’t feel like you have to conquer it all. The goal is to choose at least one small way to be intentional in each of these ways this summer!

Intentional this Summer


Intentional Spiritual Growth

Summer is a great time to be focus on deeper spiritual growth with your kids…you can choose to do a bible study all together or walk through something with each child individually.


 Here are some options for the whole family:

  • Think About These Things: Family Bible Study – all ages
    • This is a study by my friend Jessica at Grace for Moms. It’s divided into the 8 things mentioned in Philippians 4:8. I think you could easily focus on one per week this summer. With a little creativity, you could incorporate that week’s thought throughout your whole week adding other applications & teachable moments.
  • Jesus Calling Devotionalall ages
    • We have used this one for years. I feel like every time we pick it up, the message is completely relevant & applicable to where each of us is in our journey. This is one the whole family can relate to!
  • Jesus Storybook Bible – all ages
    • This is by far my favorite kids bible, it is beautifully illustrated and beautifully written! Every story points to Jesus and helps kids understand how the Bible fits together. We still read through the Easter and Christmas story each year in this bible! They also have a set of CD’s (great for road trips) to follow along with the Bible.

Here are some options for girls: 

  • Seamless Bible Study by Angie Smith for middle/high school girls 
    • This one is a time commitment as it is a 7 week comprehensive look at how the Bible fits together with videos & study book, but if you have the time, I think it’s worth the investment!
    • Video sessions are downloadable from Lifeway.com or leader kit available with DVD containing all videos and a teen study book. Moms can use the adult book and girls can use the teen book. I am super excited to be leading a group of moms and daughters through this study this summer. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!
  • Girl Talk – Mother/Daughter Conversations about Biblical Womanhood – for middle/high school girls
    • I haven’t personally done this one yet, but it comes highly recommended!
  • One Year Devo for Moms & Daughtersfor younger girls
    • I went through this with my daughter when she was 8-10 and it sparked many great conversations.
  • 8 Great Dates for Moms & Daughtersfor younger girls
    • My daughter and I went through these “dates” during her 3rd-4th grade years. We didn’t do them all in exactly the way the book described, but the content & concept is a great one. I let her pick the places we went and things we did based on her preferences, but we did have the intentional conversations outlined in the book. I truly believe that the lessons presented about modesty & beauty have shaped the confident middle schooler that she is today!

Here are some options for boys: 

  • Becoming a Young Man of Godfor middle school boys
    • This one offers a few options on how to go through the study so you can choose what you think will work best in your family.
  • Wired – a 4 week Devotional Experience – for middle/high school boys
    • This experience walks through 4 areas: Connecting with God, Loving Your Life, Embracing Community, Serving Others. It is a unique way to take big topics & break them down in ways that relate to a middle or high schooler.
  • One Year Devo for Boys –  for younger boys
    • I’ve been doing this one with my son during his 1st-2nd grade years. It’s been cool to see God work as my son would open up about something going on at school after relating to one of the readings. This little book has produced many great life lesson conversations.
  • The Action Bible – for younger boys
    • This bible is in a comic book format which makes it very unique. My daughter and son have both enjoyed this during different seasons. It is fun to pick a character they are interested in and read through their story! There is also a devotional version to help you dig deeper.

Intentional Fun with Friends

Summer is also a time where kids’ can deepen their relationships with their friends. We like to schedule some intentional time for fun with our friends in the summer too!

Here’s some ideas for summer friend fun:

  • If your kids like to bowl, check this website to see if there is a Kids Bowl Free program in your area. It’s a great program.
  • Check the churches in your area for Vacation Bible Schools. I always try to schedule one that they can do with some of their friends.
  • Check your YMCA, local colleges or churches for fun summer camps that your kids’ can attend with friends.
  • Most libraries have a Summer Reading program. This is a fun place to meet friends for a playdate.
  • Use our FREE printable Summer Idea Lists to plan a fun day with friends. We have one for Younger Kids and one for Older Kids.  If you are a member of our FREE TPM Community, you also have access to 2 extra printables to create a Summer Bucket List or a Summer Coupon Book for your children. Join our FREE TPM Community here.

Intentional Family Fun

Don’t forget to throw in some good family fun! The obvious is a summer vacation or staycation, but here’s some other ideas…


  • Explore a state park. Take a picnic lunch and go on a hike.
  • Use a Summer Activity Jar like this one from Grace for Moms to pull out fun activities to do each day.
  • Let the kids help you pick recipes and help you cook!
    • Summer is a good time to get into meal planning and teach your kids to cook! I find that I’m more patient in the kitchen in the summer so it’s a good time to let the kids help. I’ve tried many different meal planning options… and they each have their own strengths. My favorite & the one I currently use is called Plan to Eat. You can install a bookmarklet on your devices & desktop to save recipes from any website (which is where I get most of my recipes) to your account. Within Plan to Eat, you can drag the recipes to a weekly calendar which will automatically populate a shopping list. Now I instantly have my shopping list & favorite recipes at my fingertips in the store. I LOVE it!
  • Use our FREE printable Summer Idea Lists to plan a fun family day. We have one for Younger Kids and one for Older Kids.  If you are a member of our FREE TPM Community, you also have access to 2 extra printables to create a Summer Bucket List or a Summer Coupon Book for your children. Join our FREE TPM Community here.

Intentional Serving

Look for ways in your community to serve together this summer. Serving others together is a powerful reminder to our kids that they have a greater purpose and that they can make a difference!
Here’s some ideas to get started:

  • Serve together in your church’s summer kids’ programs.
  • Serve a meal at your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.
  • Contact the activities director at a local assisted living home & coordinate a time that your family can help with activities like bingo and crafts.
  • Host a yard sale & send all the money to a charitable organization.
  • Coordinate your kids’ friends to do a car wash fundraiser for a charity or a need in the community. Plan it at a central location like Chick-fil-A or gas station. (be sure to get permission first)
  • If you kids’ are animal lovers, call the local animal shelter & see if there are ways you can partner with them this summer.

Intentional Rest

It’s important to build in rhythms of intentional rest for you & your children during the summer! Here’s some ways to incorporate rest in your crazy summer schedule…

  • If you go on a summer vacation, do NOT schedule every minute of your day. Build in mornings or afternoons during your vacation to just play games, ride bikes, read a book or take a nap.
  • Schedule intentional rest time for everyone at the same time. Once my littles outgrew naps, we started scheduling intentional down time in our home. Even now, our kids honor “rest” time and it refuels and recharges our family! Use that time to lay out a blanket on the grass in your backyard, do your bible study, read a book, have a picnic, watch the clouds, take a nap, listen to music, take a walk… what ever refuels you!
  • When possible, take the summer off from your normal activities such as weekly music lessons, ball practice, dance/gymnastics, etc…. Kids need for us as parents to invoke some intentional breaks in their routine, so they can rest!
  • Have each member of the family make a Summer “Must Reads” List.

The key to an intentional summer is having a plan, but not a rigid non-flexible plan! Be sure to build in times of fun, freedom & rest… and hopefully you will look back on the summer with very fond memories!

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Use our FREE printable Summer Idea Lists to help you plan an intentional summer. We have one for Younger Kids and one for Older Kids. You also have access to 2 extra printables to create a Summer Bucket List or a Summer Coupon Book for your children. 


What are your plans for the summer? Do you have some tips to add that your family likes to do in the summer?

Comment below!



Founder of The Praying Mom

This website was birthed out of Christy's passion to see women become intentional in their lives. She is passionate about helping moms discover their purpose in their homes, churches, communities & world!