Summertime is here and in full swing! For most of us that means summer camps, BBQs, family trips and more. For the rest of us it means trying to figure out how to fill our children’s days with something other than electronics and screen time. We all remember our hot summer days as kids...we’d splash in the sprinkler, play on the slip n slide, ride bikes to and from our friends’ houses, etc. We didn’t remember how hot it was or feeling bored because it was a different time back then. There wasn’t technology at our fingertips. Our parents likely weren’t as hands on as we are for our kids today. Our imaginations ran wild and we had so much fun.
In honor of the summer solstice, we want to bring back some of those classic summertime activities with a new spin! Here are some of our favorite activities from our childhood that we hope you can enjoy doing with your kids today!
Ah, the classic lemonade stand. I still remember pouring Country Time Lemonade powder into a big pitcher and stirring for what felt like forever until all of the powder dissolved. My sisters and I would then set up our table at the end of the driveway waiting for people driving by to stop and get our AMAZING lemonade for $0.10. I loved watching the jar fill up with coins (and sometimes dollar bills). My sisters and I would talk about all of the fun things we were going to buy with all of our hard earned cash. When it was all said and done, my parents used this as an opportunity to teach us about hard work and finances. We’d have a jar for saving and a jar for spending and they left it up to us to choose whether or not we wanted to save it for the future or spend it now. We learned about sharing the money earned and splitting it between us to show what it meant to be part of a team. There are so many things that can be taken away from setting up a lemonade stand. Why not get out there with your kiddos and teach them the first lessons of starting and finishing an entire project. Throw in some lessons about manners while you’re at it!
We all remember the feeling of having that sticky red popsicle dripping down our fingers because we couldn’t finish it fast enough. Isn’t that what being a kid is all about? Getting messy and sticky and not caring? There are some really fun new popsicle holders you can buy these days to make it even more fun for you and your kiddos to get sticky in the kitchen together! In a world of instant gratification, making popsicles actually teaches your kids patience as they’ll inevitably run to and from the freezer all afternoon checking to see if they’re frozen yet. It’s also an easy opportunity for a quick science lesson!
I remember packing up on the last day of school only to get home and see a list that felt like a mile long of my summer reading assignments. Some schools still do them but it feels like it’s something that’s fading away. No matter how old your kids are, you can create a summer reading list for them. Go to your local library, grandma and grandpa’s house, friends’ houses or your own bookshelves and have them pick out one book to read and focus on per week. At the end of the week, talk to them about the book and what they learned from it. Have them incorporate their reading time into quiet time. It shifts the focus of quiet time from feeling like they’re forced into isolation and boredom to just another (quieter) adventure in their day. It doesn’t hurt that it also gives you a break!
Summer Kindness Project
Growing up, we always went to a shelter as a family and served Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless. I remember how much I enjoyed sitting down and talking to people from all walks of life, hearing their stories and knowing I was making a difference. Kids are so incredibly impressionable but they’re growing more and more egocentric. Instead of reserving a giving back project for the holiday season, ask them how they’d like to help the community this summer. You’ll be surprised at what they’ll come up with and they’ll be much more excited about following through on their idea than yours!
Let’s Go Camping!
There’s honestly nothing better than the great outdoors. I felt like every single day was a new adventure. My own backyard could be anything from a secret garden to an ocean to a forest. Going camping as a family or even as one on one bonding time with my dad is one of my fondest memories. I was lucky to grow up in Southern California where camping is easy but I know not everyone does. This summer, try turning your own backyard into a campsite. Grab your Nook LilyPad Playmats or Crib Mattresses and set up camp. You can make s’mores on the BBQ and teach your kids all about the stars in the sky! I promise this is a memory you and your kids will love to look back on for years to come.
I’m about to embark on my very own family holiday with all three girls (ages 6 months to 13 years old) and while I’m anxious about the long flight and jet lag we’ll experience, I’m so looking forward to making more memories. So whether it’s taking a family vacation or staying close to home, reach into your memory bank and bring back some of your favorite childhood activities and share them with your own kids!