Summer for parents across the country can be both exhilarating and stressful. You look forward to spending more time with your kids but also want to make sure the time spent is fun for you too. It can be overwhelming to come up with creative ideas that will make the most of those three short months. Here are some ideas for summer activities that both parents and kids will enjoy doing together. Soon enough, September will roll around again leaving you with memories of a summer that will stay with your family for years to come.
1. Plant a garden together
Nothing gets parents and kids closer together than working on a project together. A project that will continue to grow and flourish, like an outdoor vegetable or flower garden, is a great start to building parent/child collaboration. Even kids as young as 3 or 4 can help out with garden activities like weeding and watering. Summer is a great time to start a garden with fruits and vegetables. Prepare the soil yourself and then decide what crops the two of you want to grow.
Watermelons, sunflowers, squash, and pumpkins are always a good idea. Plant seedlings or seeds as soon as school lets out and continue to water, weed, and fertilize throughout the season. Gardening is fun and creative, and encourages kids to enjoy fresh, healthy foods. You can even cook the food you grow for family meals. Gardening encourages a love of nature in children and teaches them to appreciate all the elements that work together to grow healthy food.
2. String up a hammock.
There’s no better way to relax and enjoy summer than swinging in a backyard hammock. Both kids and adults can spend lazy summer days napping, reading, and relaxing from the comfort of a hammock.
3. Go camping.
There are campsites and parks all over America that are great for exploring with kids. Camping is a great way to encourage a love of nature and a thirst for outdoor exploration. Beaches, mountains, deserts, and forests are all great locations for camping excursions, especially during the summer. Camping is relaxing and challenging. Camping has even been seen as a natural cure for insomnia. Eating, sleeping and relaxing in nature encourages self sufficiency and independence, and it can bring families closer together.
Taking time away from television, videogames, and the Internet can be challenging for some families but it’s also a great way to get back to the basics. Hiking, storytelling, swimming and other activities take the place of technological distractions when a family goes camping.
4. Make music.
Get kids together with guitars, drums, shakers, or whatever musical instrument they desire for an impromptu concert. Set up a stage in the backyard and invite friends and neighbors to watch the show. The event will surely be an event to remember.
5. Build a fort or clubhouse.
Take time to use materials at hand and your children’s creativity to build the fort of their dreams. A backyard clubhouse or treehouse will provide hours of fun, as well as fertile ground for creativity.