Kids often get the notion in the summer that it's all "play" (partly because we call it "summer vacation", suggesting a break from learning). However, here's a little idea that takes only two minutes a day and gets great results…if one of the results you want is engagement and another is practicing creative expression.
Start with a notebook and a pen/pencil. Put a date at the top of a page and write (for no more than 2 minutes), something you did today or something you enjoyed today or something that made this day different from yesterday or tomorrow. If you join your kids in the journaling (you in yours and them in theirs), you'll be spending just 3 minutes in process (including getting and putting away your journals) providing a subtle message about the value of writing.
You'll have an opportunity to prompt a discussion about what to write or what was written. Kids'll be practicing their handwriting skills and their writing process AND their communication about what they've written. All in just TWO MINUTES (set a timer!) All of these skills are going to be useful in the fall when school starts again. AND, you'll have a "diary" of what happened the rest of this summer. Heck, it could become a family tradition for next year.
For more information and suggestions, check out Today is Fun (Thanks Valentina for the great suggestion!)