Summer is the perfect time for family fun. The kids are out of school, the weather is gorgeous and the days seem to last forever. According to Doug Hewitt, author of “The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting,” summer activities give families the chance to bond without the day-to-day bustle of busy schedules. Planned or spontaneous, set aside a few hours or a few days and have some summer fun with your family.
Plan a picnic at your local or state park for a relaxing day of family time. Look for a park with a swimming lake to take a dip in or a ball field for a pickup game of baseball. Call your friends and extended family for an impromptu reunion, grill some burgers and join the kids on the playground. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Pack up the kids for a weekend of camping. Whether you own a tent and equipment or rent a cabin in the woods, the awe of being surrounded by nature will provide endless opportunities for everyone. Take a hike in the woods, see how many birds and animals you can identify and have a contest to see who can find the most wildflowers. Remember to pack insect repellent and marshmallows.
Check your local paper for parades, carnivals and the dates of the county and state fairs. Everybody loves a parade and it’s a great chance to explain to your children about the event the parade is commemorating. Carnivals provide rides and games for every age group and fairs will give your kids an insight into farming, so they will better understand where their food comes from.
Yard, garage and rummage sales always hold a treasure for everyone. Plan a morning or entire day to check out several, then hold a contest to see who can find the best deal, the most unusual item or the thing they’ve wanted the most. Look for churches and civil groups that are having a fund raising flea market to really up the ante.
Explore your own domain. Many people take for granted the things around them and forget that the world is relatively new through the eyes of children. Identify the plants and trees in your yard, plant a garden or flower bed together or plan a landscaping project with your kids. Check for summer meteor showers and stay up late, laying on a blanket in the back yard watching for shooting stars. Don’t forget to make a wish.