Summer vacation. It’s such a complex time of year. The weather is gorgeous, the days are longer, and the kids are home from school.
Photo Credit Randy Heath
These are all elements of fun, at least until mid-June. Then children, who were happy to entertain themselves for hours on end in those first couple of weeks off of school are now whining, “I’m bored!” and “There’s nothing to do!”
In today’s world of constantly being connected online, on our phones and to our gadgets, it’s even harder to connect with our kids. Widening that gap even further, as kids are getting older they are turning to electronic devices to keep their attention. Here’s a few sure-fire ways to keep families busy, happy, challenged, and connected this summer. I dare you to try them all!
Take The Training Wheels Off
Take this both literally and figuratively. If you’ve got a child old enough to ride a two wheel bike, take those training wheels off and spend quality time teaching them how to balance. And use this phrase to challenge yourself and your children. What is something you’re a bit hesitant to try? Rock climbing? Running a 5K? Reading War and Peace? Go for it this summer! Find a local rock climbing facility, start running around your neighborhood, visit your area local library. The challenge will lead to smiles and laughter (along with maybe a few thrills and spills) and will create memories to last a lifetime.
Take a Vacation
There are so many summer vacation ideas out there that if you’re able to, try to squeeze one in. From a luxurious 7 day cruise to a 3 hour canoe trip through nature, from a tour of Europe to pitching a tent in the backyard. Whatever type of vacation you choose it will be memorable to your children simply because you’re all together. In today’s world of being a little too “wired” too often, we don’t spend the time with our children that we should. Vacations are perfect excuses to unplug and to be unreachable to everyone, and to focus on those who matter most. So start saving your pennies and start planning.
Buy A Fire Pit
Instead of spending those beautiful summer evenings inside staring at the television, computer, or smartphone connect with one another outdoors. Buy a fire pit and sit outside after dinner. It’s a wonderful way to wind down at the end of the day. Don’t forget to roast marshmallows, catch lightening bugs, and just “be.” Teaching your children how to relax in our crazy, always-on-the-go world will be a lesson they won’t forget.
Be A Kid
What do you miss most about being a kid? The freedom? The pure joy? The laughter? Sometimes I think today’s technology too far removes us from the classic fun of the “good-old-days.” So why not set down that iPad, get off the computer, put away the video games a couple of nights a week and play like a kid? Head out to the backyard for a game of catch. Have a water balloon fight. Have a hula hoop contest. Play hopscotch and four-square (not the online version). Blow bubbles. Go down the twisty slide. These are all easy, require very little supplies & money, and are sure to get everyone, even the kids, feeling like a kid again.
Find Free & Cheap Local Activities
Free & cheap activities can be fun! Most big chain bookstores offer story times once or twice a week. Libraries often also provide story times, as well as craft activities, and special performances. Local park systems sometimes host free nature classes, crafts, and presentations. Some zoo’s offer free days for county residents. It’s also always nice to get the family out of the house for dinner every now and then. Before you go, simply type “Kids Eat Free” into your favorite search engine, to browse lists of area restaurants that offer meal discounts for families. Local festivals pop up left and right during the summer. These are a few great ways to spend some time together without spending much (if any!) money.
There’s so much to do in the summer and it’s the perfect opportunity to re-connect with our kids. These 5 Summer Vacation Suggestions are fun, memorable ideas that will replace yells of “I’m bored!” with lots of laughter, smiles, and memories.
What about you? What do you do to battle “I’m bored!” and to connect with your kids during the summer?