20 Years Later, JT Family’s Summer Ideas Are Still Good!

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The challenge for parents to keep their children occupied during the long summer days is one for the ages.

In July 1999, the JT’s “JT Family” section featured a creative list full of “great ideas for Jewish summer fun,” perfect for “those long summer evenings when children never seem to tire.”


Kids are fascinated with the idea that their parents were once little, too! For the parents who are still in or live near their home town, JT suggested “tak[ing] your child for an evening ride to the places you grew up” and sharing stories of one’s childhood.

As always, water activity ideas were given to help stay cool and busy. Pool time becomes the time for Biblical reenactments as kids create their own Noah’s Ark out of “an empty milk container, a carved bar of soap, [or] a large leaf,” or pretend to be filmmakers coming up with “how they would show God making the sea divide.”

For comic book fans, JT suggested covering up the dialogue in a (hopefully older) comic book and challenging the kids to “make up their own Jewish stories” by adding in their own dialogue.

Summer break means family car trips. To lessen the number of times the inevitable “Are we there yet?” question is asked, have the kids try to spell out Jewish words from letters on passing billboards, license plates, etc.!

Want your kids to go outside? Send them out with a challenge to act out a Torah story using only things found in nature, or set up a treasure hunt with Jewish-themed clues!

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