Memory Making Activities to Do With Your Child in Summer
Just a Few Memorable Activities to Enjoy Summer With Your Children
Summer is the best time of year for outdoor activities. It is a wonderful time to bond with your children and nature. The days are longer, so there is, even more, time to create memorable experiences with your children. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
* Take Your Children to the Beach. If you live near the coast, it is an enjoyable experience to take kids to the shore and experience all that environment has to offer. Just remember to bring sunscreen because a bad sunburn can take away from all the fun of the day. It goes without saying that swimming in the ocean makes for wonderful memories. Jumping over waves with little ones is great fun. If they are very little, going out to waist high waves and holding them, or letting their feet dangle in the waves is a sweet and exciting experience for them. As they get older, they will enjoy having a parent go out deeper into the water with them to jump over or into the big waves. Also, body surfing the waves is fun too. For older kids, bringing skim boards and wave boards, or full surfboards is an exciting challenge for all family members. Even walking on the beach to take a break from the surf can be fun. There is also a lot to discover at the beach. Taking a walk and collecting seashells, sea glass, and pretty rocks are fun, especially for young children. Bringing them home and making crafts or jewelry can add special memories of their time at the beach. Finding a crab or starfish that have washed up on shore and died makes for a very educational experience as parent and child discuss body parts of the creature that was found. And of course, building sand castles can bring lasting memories as well. And the ocean at dusk or at night makes for very memorable walks and talks.
* Take Barefoot Walks on Cool Grass in your yard, or in parks. There's something about the texture of cool summer grass on bare feet that relaxes you. Kids will probably want to run on the grass, and a game of summer tag on a wide park lawn can be fun and invigorating.
* Go to a State Park for a Picnic, or Spend the Day Park Hopping. If you have the luxury of having a whole Summer day to spend with your children, take them to a state park. Bring a lunch and outdoor equipment such as fishing nets, pails to scoop up creek water, a ball, etc.If the kids are older, have them bring a book to read and stretch out on a nice big blanket together under the shade of a tree to read. If the kids are little and enjoy playgrounds, go park hopping to a few different playgrounds over the course of the day. They will enjoy the variety of equipment available, and it is a great way to make sure they get plenty of exercise.
* Go on a Hike. Bring bug spray, water bottles, and a snack. Go online before you leave the house to find a nice hike in your area that will not be too much for your children. There are parks with various hiking trails mapped out so you can decide if your family can handle a 1-mile hike or a 5-mile hike. This will depend on the ages of your children.
* Take Your Children Camping. Camping can be a wonderful bonding experience for families. Whether you camp in a tent, camper, or cabin doesn't actually matter. What is important is the family being together and working together while enjoying all that nature has to offer. Children can work as part of a team to keep the campsite enjoyable. They can find kindling in the woods around the campsite, help build the campfire, and help wash dishes and pots and pans when the cooking is done. Sitting around the campfire as a family and talking about the day or things that are on their minds is a great way for family members to unwind. Toasting marshmallows and making "Somemores" also store up memories for the future.
* Watch for Falling Stars. August is the very best time of year to watch for shooting stars. Usually, by watching the news or reading the newspapers, you can find the dates that shooting stars are most numerous. Take a blanket out in a darkened area of your yard, or if you don't have that, find a golf course or baseball field where you have a great view of the sky. Then lay down on a blanket together and watch the skies. Everyone will enjoy pointing out the stars they see, and many wonderful conversations can be had while waiting for the next star to shoot by.
* Go Berry Picking. This is a wonderful summertime activity which children will enjoy. Eating and picking berries in the Summer, and then maybe helping Mom or Dad make jams and jellies with the produce will create delicious memories for years to come. You can usually find numerous berry picking fields by looking on the internet or in the newspaper.
* Have an Annual Neighborhood Cookout. Invite adults and kids and make it a potluck so that everyone brings a dish. It can be around a certain date such as Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, or a date which works best for you. For kids, you can have a wading pool available if you don't have a pool, bottles of bubbles, a badminton or volleyball net, a croquet game set up, etc. With most of society so busy its hard to catch up with friends and neighbors these days. This makes for a wonderful opportunity for everyone in the neighborhood to catch up and enjoy each others company.
* Set up a Lemonade Stand. Many a grown-up has fond memories of setting up a lemonade stand in the Summer. If you live in a neighborhood with any traffic at all, help your kids set up a lemonade stand to try their hand at being entrepreneurs. It's a great way to spend a Summer's day, and you may be surprised at all the people who stop to support your kid's dreams of making money because they remember their own experiences as a child.
* Host a Fourth of July Parade for the Neighborhood Kids. This doesn't actually have to be on the Fourth of July, but can be a day near to it. Have your kids make up fliers letting the neighborhood know the date and time for the parade so adults who are home can watch. In the flyer invite all the neighborhood kids to dress up in red, white and blue. They can also decorate their bikes. Have a contest for most patriotic, best bike decorating, funniest costume, best facial makeup, etc. Have toy flutes, drums, kazoos, etc. available for kids to use if they are walking and not bike riding. After the parade, have cold drinks and something simple like pretzels or popcorn for snacks.
* Pick Wildflower Bouquets. Teach your children how to pick the flowers without pulling up the roots so that the plants can produce again and again. Keep the bouquets in vases on the dinner table. Teach them the names of the different flowers and tell them that the flowers are free gifts from nature.
* Set up a Tent in the Backyard. If your kids are very young, sleep out there with them. If they are old enough to stay out alone, encourage them to do that, or let them have a sleepover and invite a friend. Give them sleeping bags, pillows, a flashlight and their favorite stuffed animals if they may be a bit afraid. Older kids can bring books to read. There's something special about sleeping out in nature that stirs the soul.
* Take Your Children Fishing. Going fishing with a parent is a memorable experience. Just sitting and waiting for a fish to bite provides time for many thoughtful conversations. Bring lunch with you because there's nothing like eating lunch in the great outdoors.
* Jump in Puddles After the Rain. Nothing feels as good on a hot day as cool rain in puddles after a summer rain shower. Most parents don't engage in this activity, but kids will get a big kick out of it if parents join in the fun with them. If you are fortunate enough to find a mud puddle, spend a little time wriggling your toes in the mud with your child for a real sensory experience.
Summer Family Activity Poll
Which of These Activities Do You Enjoy Most with Your Family
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© 2013 Karen Hellier