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'The Relatives Came' by Cynthia Rylant - A Summertime Picture Book Feature + 5 Fun Activities!

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant captures the magic of family, old-fashioned travel and summertime!

Here's a peek into this favorite picture book along with fun activities to accompany this classic story!

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for those special summers when our relatives came to visit!

They would pack up their stuff, grab the kids and travel in their camper all the way from Texas to the northeast.

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

They were city; we were country and the excitement and memories made once they arrived were unmatched!

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

Sometimes when our relatives arrived- after not seeing them for awhile- there were those shy or awkward moments for the kids--depending on the age and kid of course.

But, that soon faded and you found yourself talking long into the night, reminiscing and seeing how things have changed, and how they've stayed the same.

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

I don't know about you, but these days I've got family scattered all over the place.

Even the family members that aren't that far away, we don't get to see that much. But when we do, it's like the years melt away and you just talk and talk.

The Best Ever Summer Bucket List free printable with umbrella, sun, watermelon and other fun beach icons

This Summer Bucket List Printable is such a fun way to come up with plenty of ideas

for a fabulous summer!

It's books like The Relatives Came that remind you of the stuff that's important and jog your memory of good times you had as a kid!

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant makes a great read-aloud and lends itself to some fun activities. Kids who have already read it will enjoy the fun activities below!

The Relatives Came picture book by Cynthia Rylant favorite summer book for kids

Fun Ideas to Go Along with The Relatives Came!

1. Take a Road Trip!

The relatives in this story traveled pretty far, but close trips are just as fun! Pick a place, pack a lunch and hit the road!

old van driving on the road in the southwest USA summer vacation

2. Make a Photo-Book or Frame a Family Photo!

These days it's easier than ever to take photos and do fun things with them!

Photo album with black and white pictures

Getting together and taking family photos and fun selfies are affordable, easy and sweet ways to relive those fabulous family moments!

Children's picture book The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

There are many places to get these cherished memories printed. Target, CVS, and Walgreens (among many others!) have photo services.

Or if you prefer using an online service, Shutterfly & Snapfish are two trusted names for photo printing and projects.

3. Play Some Classic Car-Travel Games!

Auto bingo - old fashioned car game

Car Bingo is a classic car travel game that I loved as a kid!

Here is a site that has some other great games and amusements to make the road trip more fun!!

Looking for a Beach-themed Bingo? Here's one from the My Kidz Bookshelf Etsy shop!

Watermelon slices

4. Enjoy Some Watermelon!

Summertime and watermelon go hand-in-hand! Slice it, dice it, put it in a fruit salad or make a frozen dessert with it! Watermelon pairs perfectly with blueberries in these Patriotic Parfaits!

It's the perfect summertime treat! Below is part of one of the illustrations from The Relatives Came and the inspiration for this classic summertime treat!

illustration from The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant

5. Put Together a Family Tree!

Family Tree printable Etsy for kids

This is a simple, yet super fun way for kids to figure out who's who in the family!

You can make one with simple drawing materials, or go online for great printables. Here's a site with a lot of options!

6. Have an Ice Breaker Ready!

Sometimes it takes a bit for kids to warm up to each other especially if they haven't seen one another in a while. Help move things along with a game or ice breaker or fun activity!

7. Make a Suitcase DIY Craft!

Suitcase craft made with a matchbox, stickers, felt and buttons

This fun craft will keep fingers and minds busy and doesn't take up much room when it's done!

The above suitcase was made with a matchbox, craft paper, stickers, buttons, glue and felt! So fun!

Anything goes and it can be tailored to your interest! Here's one tutorial that uses an Altoids tin and is fun and easy!

Summer Bucket List Printable kids fun super colorful best ever list of things to do for a fun summer

Need more fun ideas to make your summer a memorable one? Check out our Best Ever Summer Bucket List Printable! It also makes a great keepsake after it's been filled in!

Be sure to Pin this post so you can return to it in the future!

Pinterest Pin The Relatives Came A Great Summertime Picture Book Feature + Fun Activities

Know someone who loves picture books and would enjoy this post? We'd love it if you'd share!

We hope you're having a terrific summer and staying cool! Have a favorite picture book that goes along with summer? Let us know in the comments below!



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Looking for some more fun idea to go along with summer? Our Ice Cream Club post is filled with great ideas for staying home or when you're on the road!

Ice Cream Club poster pinterest pin with ice cream cones

There are plenty of more fun summertime picture books! Here are 15 Best Summer Picture Books to Beat the Heat!

15 Best Summer Picture Books to Beat the Heat that Kids Love Pin

Picture books are so much fun to read over and over! Here is another one of our absolute faves!

the Mermaid by Jan Brett Pinterest pin book cover

Updated 07/07/2023 originally published 08/02/2019


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