Welcome back, everyone! Kicking off the return blog post, we’re talking about summer activities. Last year, summer was spent getting moved into our new house! Many kids finished up school last week, and mine finish up this Friday. As a single Dad, summers get crazy, so I am always looking ahead to what we can do, and how I can do more than let summer vacation be a summer of doing random, everyday things.
There are many lists of things you can do with your kids during the summer. These lists are just exaggerated lists of everyday activities. I won’t lie – mine is going to be the same. However, what I want to do is share the a few things I absolutely love to do with the kids in the summer.
Go For A Walk
We don’t do this enough at home and that is about to change. It’s more than just exercise; it’s bonding. Sure, we can get out bikes, but you can’t walk and talk on a bike. You can’t point things out as you walk and discuss them. At ages under 12, my kids are at the height of curiosity and a good walk can help satisfy that.
Schedule A Park Get-Together
My older two kids (12 and almost 11) are “too old” to play at the park these days, or so it seems. But, when I mention getting together with friends, that changes. Nothing beats sunshine, laughter and the park. While our “park gear” is scattered between the house, backyard, and garage, we have go-to items we take. A football, Frisbee, baseball, and gloves if someone’s feeling up to it, and a blanket. Get some snacks together and some juice boxes, and you’re set. For me, the park is great because I can choose what I want to do and not worry about it degrading the day for the kids. Do I want to sit under a shady try and just enjoy watching them play, or do I want to join in with the football or chase them around? Most of the time, it’s both.
I came across this awesome website recently, and I hope to have a lot of fun with this beginning this summer. As I mentioned previously, my kids are at the height of curiosity right now, especially Joshua, my 3rd grader. Not only does a science experiment bring something fun to do together, but it also allows some teaching and learning to happen. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a child discover something new, or see their face light up when they “get it”.
Unfortunately, migraines run in my family and the summer heat just exponentially increases them. However, if there is one thing I’m willing to tough out despite my head feeling like it’s going to explode with every step, it’s a trip to the zoo. Growing up, we didn’t go to the zoo often, so it was this mythical thing, and I think that’s where it started for me. The Detroit Zoo is fantastic and if you do some planning, you can hit multiple items on this list in one day; zoo, going for a walk and going to the park. If you think it’s too hot to walk around in the park, you can’t show me one adult who doesn’t get the twinkle of a child in their eyes when they see a polar bear swim over them in the polar exhibit. Right?
This past Sunday evening, we did a bowling night at church, and while my arm still feels like spaghetti after 3 back-to-back-to-back games, bowling is an old school way to have some fun. With kids, bowling can be a fun way to offer crazy amounts of encouragement and praise. Only got 1 pin down? YOU HIT ONE! It’s also a way to have some fun poking at each other if your child understands that kind of humor. Throw a gutter ball? I’ll tell my oldest the objective is to hit the pins. A little parent-child banter is fun and builds on that relationship you already have.
Indoor Putt-Putt Golf
While I can remember doing this as a child with my Sister, I don’t recall doing it with the kids. We’re going to change that this year. I don’t mean going putt-putt golfing somewhere, I’m talking about setting up a course in your house! Having carpeted floors can be very helpful in doing some longer, multi-room games, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with a hardwood floor. Setup a plastic cup and have fun. It will get that competition going.
Get Involved at Church
While this is something we strive to do all year, the summer is a great time to re-set with church volunteering. There is no school, meaning one big aspect of life is temporarily removed. In a house with 4 kids and a single adult, no school means afternoons are no longer packed with trying to fit in a snack, dinner, homework and showers, all while I finish working. This doesn’t have to be limited to volunteering at church. Get involved in your neighborhood. Why is this great? Because it shows kids that kindness and involvement are a priority, not a compromise.
Hit a Beach
Living in Michigan, there are plenty of beach options. It’s not the greatest thing I enjoy, but the kids love it. This year, we’ll be doing this more, which is a challenge for me. With a combination of not knowing how to swim and headaches caused by the heat, I normally stay clear of the beach. But again, the kids love it, therefore how do I say no?
Cardboard Box Fort
Sadly, we’ve never done this or done this to the scale it deserves. What kid wouldn’t love to build a fort? More importantly, what Dad wouldn’t love to build a fort? Right?! Whether it’s in the living room, bedroom or basement, get creative and let the kids be inspired. This year, I’m thinking we’re going to do something outside. There are quite a few other kids on the street, and I think everyone could have a great time!
State Specific Fun?
What is in your area that you can do? There are many places to have fun with the kids on a budget, or some proper planning. This summer, we’re going to take a trip to the Silver Lake Sand Dunes with the kids for some fun.
What summer activities are you planning this year?