Summer creates many opportunities to get outside, be active, and try something new as a family. Often one of the biggest barriers to this is – yes, you guessed it – the heat! Other times, it may be that your family is very busy with various commitments or your child is too glued to the TV/phone/computer/video gaming system that they don’t want to do anything else.
Yes, these can all make it challenging at times, but at the end of the day, there are many family-friendly activities available in the warmer months to be taken advantage of before the season passes. The benefits of being outside and active with your kids are wide-ranging and include promoting an improved mood, better sleep, relationship building, and modeling a healthy lifestyle for your child.
Here are a few ideas to help you and your family have a fun-filled summer –
Ask Your Child for Ideas
Have your child brainstorm various activities they’d like to do or try over the summer – within reason. For example, if your child loves animals, then trips to the zoo, to volunteer at an animal shelter, or going horseback riding might be fun activities to pursue. If your child loves being creative, then they might enjoy taking an art class or making a fun art project at home. If your child is into sports, then playing catch, going to the batting cages, or trying a new sport together could be fun.
Research on Your Own
Perhaps there are events or activities around town you’ve always meant to take the family to but never seem to make it, such as summer festivals, farmers markets, or a local semi- or professional baseball game. Maybe you’ve heard about friends going on a family canoeing or float trip and you always thought that would be fun. Do some searching to see if there are local events in your community or around the city you or your family would be interested in and then make a plan to attend.
Be Creative with Your Plans
Not every activity needs to involve spending money or a large family trip/outing. Having a water balloon battle outside, going for a walk/bike ride in the park, turning your driveway into a chalk-drawn masterpiece, or sharing a favorite activity from your own childhood with your child (e.g., fishing, flying a kite, building pillow forts, catching fireflies, roller-blading/roller-skating, and so on) are all ways to share time, activity, and enjoy the season.