Making the Most of Your Summer with the Kids…
By Jo Frost
Means not trying to get through it. Sometimes it means…
Just riding the summer wave metaphorically because what unfolds naturally can be some of our best moments and treasured memories. Spontaneity at its best!
Indeed, there is the added expense for most parents over this time period to provide an extra meal at lunchtime as they are now without school dinners. Oh! And don’t forget the organization that will be needed in order to know who is going to be looking after the kids in between the times you will be working. But, and a big BUT, beyond it all lies the time to bond, explore, make new friends, or simply lay on the grass and fussy felt out of the clouds in the sky. The freedom of childhood summer holidays live forever in our hearts.
Time is the most valuable ingredient we as parents need. Yes, it’s probably the one thing you don’t think you have much of but, even a little of it consistently sprinkled into your summer so that you have just enough things to do without over-scheduling. It’s important to leave time for you and your kids to putter around the house. This will help them find out that being bored can lead to productive ideas, and doing something new together can connect you all on a very profound level.
So…one must make TIME every day to have fun no matter how small it may seem. Even if it’s just hanging out for a moment in the garden with the kids as they paint with their fingers and toes on an old bed sheet. Or, maybe you pop over to the park unexpectedly and play goalie for your ‘tween son. Remember, it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you all feel about it afterwards. I remember my friends thinking it was so cool in the summer when my parents would pitch up over to the park to Rounders; of course with drinks and snacks in hand for me, my brother, and our friends.
Find time to TEACH your kids something new. Maybe a sport such as tennis, or dabble your hand learning a new board-game like backgammon. Perhaps it’s simply something you feel skilled and very confident at, like fixing a flat tire on your bike. If your child show interest in wanting to try something new over the summer holidays, nurture their curiosity and creativity as this will help support that exploration.
We all know this but it’s easy to let it slip: LIMIT TECHNOLOGY. Our parents weren’t far wrong when they use to say, “Get out and play and come in when the street lights come on!” Meaning enjoy being outside! Let the summer breeze touch your face. Of course, our kids need a moment to catch up with themselves. However, being outside truly gives us a moment to de-stress, connect with nature, help reduce anxiety built up from school, homework, exam pressures, and academics on every level. Give Twitter, Facebook and constant text messaging a summer break. If you take some great photos, you can put together your own photo album when you are back at school in September and give it a title like “The Summer of 2015.” It will certainly give you something to talk about and you will have your photos to look back on as well as your cherished memories.
With a house full of kids you want everybody to feel connected and INVOLVED. It can be tough trying
to please kids of different ages. As much as you want to give them their own individual experiences with their friends, this truly is the one time that you get to connect together as a family. If you are not used to doing that, it may feel really awkward at first. I think it’s very important for us as parents to teach our children to enjoy selflessly, time with others and their interests. After all, we all don’t like the same things, it’s what makes us different; being open to sharing ideas is being open to enjoying new adventures. Get your kids to write down their ideas and come together to see how many of them you can make happen over the summer period.
Here’s a few to get you started:
- Trail bike rides
- A trip to the seaside
- Visit to a public museum
- Be a tourist for a day
- Camping out sleep-overs
- Water fights
- Pick a sport for the day
- Cook something new
- Picnics by the river
- Glamour pampering for the day
- Building forts
- Making your own birdhouse
- Designing outfits
- Choreographing a new dance move
- Pebble/stone painting
- Rock climbing
- Attending a free seminar with your friends
- Attending free festivals
- Mask making
- Downloading this summer’s tunes
- Chalk drawing
- Cruise across the Thames/your local river or lake
- Aquarium visit
- Riding ponies at a petting zoo