A lot of people feel that the summertime is all about going on vacations, tanning and spending lazy days swimming. While these are great summer activities, there’s much more that can be done during summer. This is especially true for those of us with kids.
Below is a list of small summer activities that you can do with your children. People often feel that summer activities have to take up a large portion of the day, but this isn’t true. You can have a lot of fun and make great memories doing the little things together.
Plant Flowers: Yes, you could plant the flowers quicker if you just do it by yourself, but if you have children it’s much more rewarding to take the time to let them help. Even if you dig the hole, place the flower in it, and just let them pack in the dirt around it, they’ll love it. Kids enjoy getting their hands messy! When you’re done, the happiness and the satisfaction you’ll see on their faces will make the extra time letting them help worth it. They’ll probably love to help you water them throughout the summer, too.
Plant a Garden: It’s important that children learn where their foods come from. One of the best ways to help them learn this is to show them. Take your kids to the store in late winter/early spring and let them help you pick out some packets of vegetable or fruit seeds. When the weather is right, have them help you plant the seeds.
Remind your kids of the scriptures on farming and seeds such as Ecclesiastes 11:6, “Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.”
Your kids will enjoy watching the “fruits of their labor” grow…and eventually eat them! We have never had the opportunity to make a garden outdoors, but we have grown beef tomatoes, starting with a pot indoors. You can find these seeds at Walmart, the dollar stores, farmers’ markets, or your local grocery store. There’s nothing like a fresh, ripe tomato in the summer or your own home-grown watermelon!
Make Homemade Ice Cream: One of my favorite memories of childhood is going to get ice cream at the Dairy Queen with my family on Friday nights, or making home-made ice cream at home. We’d watch as our dad poured the rock salt and the ice into the bucket and could hardly wait until it was finished an hour or so later. Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry – freezing cold on my tongue and creamy, it was so delicious!
One of the best treats enjoyed by all children during the summer is ice cream. So, why not make it a fun family tradition to make your own ice cream? Buy special colored bowls and spoons. Invite a neighbor or friends over to enjoy it with you. Your children will enjoy and learn a lot as they help.
You can go here to learn how to make it. http://www.ehow.com/how_4798419_homemade-ice-cream-rock-salt.html You can also make it with Ziploc bags. Click here. http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/a/aa020404a.htm
Take a Walk: Summer days and nights are too good to let pass by while staying cooped up inside. Get out in the sunlight and in the fresh air. Take a walk around the neighborhood. If your children are small and don’t want to walk, let them ride their bikes or pull them in a wagon. Sometimes your child may not want to walk (from laziness, preferring to play a video game or be on the net, wanting to talk to a friend on the phone instead, etc.).
Our daughter Leah isn’t thrilled about going on walks in the heat, but we’ve been taking walks lately around our neighborhood. To make it more interesting, I point out a beautiful red cardinal, a yellow butterfly, or comment on the Japanese- or Spanish-style architecture of a house. I ask her questions about her friend Nichole or what she’d like to do that’s fun this summer.
And sometimes we don’t talk at all, which gives us both relaxing time to think about whatever we want (Leah is probably thinking, “When do we go home?” J But the exercise is good for us both and we’re getting Vitamin D, too. Walking is a simple activity, but it can be fun and it reaps great benefits for everyone!
These are just a few of the many simple summer activities you can do with your kids that are not only fun, but create great memories. Just remember that children are much easier to please than adults. Things like having homemade ice cream, riding a bike, going to the park and having water gun fights are just as much fun for them as expensive, big family vacations. Look for little things you can do together this summer with your children – and have fun!