Fun, Goal-Oriented, Summer Activity Suggestions for Matches

Posted by eporter on June 28, 2024

Fun, Goal-Oriented, Summer Activity Suggestions for Matches

The types of activities that mentors and mentees do together during match meetings can have a significant impact on the mentoring relationship. In fact, research has shown that match activities that are goal-directed, collaborative, and relevant to the match’s needs can help mentees feel closer to their mentor, reduce obstacles to the mentoring relationship, and improve mentee outcomes.1,2,3

Whether a match meets in person or online, is site-based or community-based, summertime provides ample opportunities for matches to plan activities that are both fun and impactful. Below, we have provided tips and activity suggestions to help matches make the most of the summer months.

Tips for activity planning

  1. Make sure the mentee is involved. Mentees may feel valued and trust their mentor more when they play an active part in planning match activities. Mentors should ask their mentee if they have ideas for activities to do together and consider their mentees’ opinions during the planning process.
  2. Consider the match’s goals. Many matches establish goals for themselves early in the mentoring relationship, and match activities are a great opportunity to support these goals. We suggest brainstorming and choosing activities that support the mentee’s individual goals, such as goals to learn a new language or make more friends, and/or the match’s goals, such as establishing more trust in the relationship.
  3. Explore the mentee’s interests. Asking a mentee about their interests not only helps mentors show their mentees that they care about their values and interests, but it can also make the process of planning activities easier. Mentors should ask their mentee what they interested in, what they like to do, and what activities or hobbies they are interested in trying. Shared interests provide opportunities for connection and conversation for matches while differing interests give matches opportunities to teach one another new information or skills.

Outdoor match activities

Sunny, warm weather may provide more opportunities for some matches to go outdoors for activities. Matches that are able to go outside may find that outdoor activities provide a “change of scenery” from typical indoor activities. Below are some activities that matches can do outside together:

  1. Take a walk. Taking a walk together through a local neighborhood or park may provide opportunities for mentees to explore their communities, admire and discuss nature, or tell stories about familiar places they pass.
  2. Have a picnic. Mentors and mentees can bring their favorite snacks to share with each other or make lunch together to take on a picnic.
  3. Learn a new game or sport. If both a mentee and mentor are unfamiliar with an outdoor game or sport, learning together can provide opportunities to share and work towards goals together, which can strengthen the mentoring relationship. In addition, activities such as hopscotch, jump rope, hula hooping, and frisbee provide opportunities for exercise with low risk and low competition.
  4. Sketch or paint the scenery. Local wildlife and plants may make interesting subjects for art projects. Matches can sit outdoors together to draw or paint from life. Watercolor paints, sketchbooks, sculpting clay, and sidewalk chalk are fun media to use when crafting.

Indoor match activities

Even if a match is not able to go outside during meetings, summer provides a fun context for activities. Below are some activities that matches can do indoors together:

  1. Watch a summer movie. Many movies for young people contain inspiring messages and summer settings. After watching a movie together, matches can discuss their thoughts and opinions on the movie and its themes. We suggest these summer movies: Luca, The Sandlot, Moana, and The Parent Trap.
  2. Tell fun stories about summer. Summer sometimes holds happy memories for both young people and adults. Matches can take turns telling fun stories about previous summers or sharing what they like most about the summer months.
  3. Make a summer bucket list. Mentees can write out accomplishments, experiences, and/or achievements that they would like to have during the summer. When summer ends, matches can look over the bucket list again to see how the summer went and make a new bucket list for fall.

Still looking for more suggestions for goal-oriented, fun activities that matches can do together? Building Assets Together: A Guide for Youth Mentors provides dozens of suggested activities that matches can do together at any time of year in various locations. In addition, the Guide provides practical strategies mentors can use to meet their mentoring relationship goals. Learn more about the Guide by clicking here.


  1. Karcher, M., & Hansen, K. (2014). Mentoring activities and interactions. Handbook of Youth Mentoring(2nd ed., pp. 63-82). SAGE Publications, Inc.
  2. Karcher, M. J., Herrera, C., & Hansen, K. (2010), “I dunno, what do you wanna do?”: Testing a framework to guide mentor training and activity selection. New Directions for Youth Development2010(126), 51-69.
  3. Parra, G. R., DuBois, D. L., Neville, H. A., Pugh-Lilly, A. O. & Povinelli, N. (2002), Mentoring relationships for youth: Investigation of a process-oriented model. Journal of Community Psychology30(4), 367-388.