It used to be (at least when I was a kid), summer was a time to get inventive. Both parents worked, and I wasn’t treated to crafts, sports, or Shakespeare camp. Most summers I was shipped off to my grandparents’ house.
One set lived in rural Pennsylvania where I learned to climb trees, avoid bat attacks, and how to flirt with a freckled, similarly aged, pubescent boy who lived up the road. The other set of grandparents lived in bucolic northern Texas where I got to fish, avoid rattlesnakes, and eat the best chicken-fried steak ever known to man.
Needless to say, the times “they-have-a changed” as most certainly they do with every generation. Not only have I not eaten any kind of steak since I was 12, my 12-year-old has no idea what it’s like to run barefoot on unpaved roads, leave for 12 hours without a cell phone, or experience a day of adventure in the local cemetery.
Our parents and grandparents have their own stories, too. There is no need for judgment; no one is equipped (or entitled) to say what’s better or worse. It’s about tailoring the best possible options towards today’s norms, right? Alas, we’ve compiled a short list of contemporary fun summer-things for your kids (with your attendance) so that their time-off this summer is worry-free and lasts as fond and footloose memories.
Camp: Whether you pack up the minivan for a night away, or the kids invite friends to sleep in your backyard in tents, the change of sleep venue can be incredibly exciting. In the most thrilling of all worlds, you, your offspring, and couple of his/her cronies, can have an extremely memorable experience. You can have fun singing by the campfire, making s’mores, and listening to creatures outside the tent, even if it’s just some squirrels.
Create: If you’re lucky enough to grow fruit, make juice. Invent smoothies. Build frames for large photographs, work together to digitally improve each others’ photos, or explore your own artistic ability with watercolors, acrylics, and pastels. Write a clean-versioned rap song. Burn your favorite song lists onto CDs or create “albums” on your electronic devices. Record funny acting scenes or your own comedy routines. Grandparents will laugh…
Get Active: Play Frisbee. Plant trees, flowers, and/or vegetables. Find a pool and play Marco Polo. Make a sandcastle or if you’re not near a beach, make a mudcastle. Adopt a pet and train him/her. Climb to the tallest nearby peak to watch a sunset with a box of cookies. Create an outdoor scavenger hunt. Ride a bike. Play tag. Getting your body moving, especially with silly on your mind, will assure creating some fun summer moments for you and the kids.