Ideas for a Memorable SummerAs you gear up to create the best summer your family has ever had, don’t fall into the slump of, “So, what do you want to do?” Those words will have your kids’ noses buried in their iPads and video games faster than you can blink. Instead, take charge of your summer and make active and fun plans you and your children can get excited about. You can share some of your favorite summer memories by having the Talk of a Lifetime. By learning more about your loved ones, you’ll undoubtedly come up with some new and fun ways to recreate your most meaningful and memorable summer activities with your kids. Below is a checklist of ideas to get you started:
- Photo Ops: Go old school and purchase a disposable camera for each member of your family and then head out to a picturesque spot, like a local botanical garden, park, or beach. Let your family members explore and snap photos of the interesting and beautiful things they find. Your kids will experience the adventure of discovery and the exciting anticipation of waiting for their pictures to be developed. After you pick up the photos, sit down as a family and give each person an opportunity to show off their shutterbug efforts, then let everybody help put the photos into a family album or scrapbook. Ask them what their favorite picture was and why. These are great opportunities to record these precious experiences in the scrapbooks along with the photos, and talk about what matters most to you and your loved ones. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn during these types of activities.
- Roll of the Dice: Family road trips before the invention of GPS were always an adventure. Take some time to share some of your most memorable road trips with your family. You can recreate some of that adventure with your kids with this fun activity. Pile into the family vehicle for a fun trip into the unknown. Take one die (or let one of your creative kids make paper origami dice—trust us, almost every kid knows how). A larger die, like the kind that hangs from a rearview mirror, will make the process easier, but small dice can be used, as well. On each side of the die, tape a direction: Left, Right, Legal U-Turn, Straight. Some directions can be used twice to cover each side of the die. Let a family member roll the die to get you started on your journey; whatever direction it lands on, that’s where you’re headed. Each time you come to a stop sign, stoplight, or dead end, let a family member roll the die to determine which way to go next. The journey ends when you reach an interesting location you’d like to explore—or the driver can make an executive decision after a while and conclude the adventure at a fun spot like an ice cream parlor to share your experiences and relive old memories as well.
- Home Camping: This is a tried-and-true summer family activity that is always fun. Plan a family campout in your backyard. Talk about some of your favorite camping experiences from your childhood. Make s’mores, share songs that you learned as a kid, tell spooky stories that you may have heard when you were a scout, teach your kids games you played in your old neighborhood, and just bond. These are great opportunities to pass down family stories and traditions.
- Night Games: Remember how much fun it was to play night games with the kids in your neighborhood when you were a child? The majority of kids today can conquer the latest Internet games but have no idea what you’re talking about when you mention “Kick the Can” or flashlight tag. Share those rich and wonderful experiences with your children. Organize a family night-game session and introduce your kids to the fun children used to have before the Internet and television took over their worlds. You can also invite some neighbor families to join in the fun.
- Remember Those Who Have Died: During your summer bonding, make time to “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” with your family members. Visit the cemetery as a family and decorate the graves of your departed loved ones. Pull out old family photos and tell your kids stories about deceased relatives they may not remember or didn’t know well. Start a family history project and help your kids sketch out a family tree. Take the opportunity to teach your children the importance of honoring the memories of your loved ones and exploring where they came from.