Other Good Things
It’s officially Summer! The days are long and warm, and many schedules are disrupted, for better or for worse, for these few months. Some look forward to adventures this season brings, others wonder how to fill the long days and weeks.
We thought we’d put together a few of our favorite ideas, and we’d love to hear yours! Whether it’s something brand new you’re trying this year, or an annual tradition, what are you excited about for Summer?
- Plan a day of nothing. Schedule a day, put it on the calendar, when nothing else needs to happen, and see where the day leads you. This is not a day to catch up on laundry, for a quick run to the store, to clear out your inbox. This is a day to simply be present with your child and see what unfolds. If you can’t schedule a whole day, can you do an hour? An afternoon?
- Explore a nearby town. Whether it’s a rural farming town with an interesting antique store, or a huge metropolitan area, go somewhere you’ve never been with your child. Perhaps a drive through takes all of five minutes. Perhaps it’s full of undiscovered treasures and the site of your next staycation. Get to know your own backyard.
- Make popsicles. At least once per summer, it’s too hot to eat anything at all, even a sandwich. Make some popsicles for these too-hot days. Your child can help cut up favorite fruits, such as kiwi or strawberries. Select a few and put in a small paper cup, with a popsicle stick or small spoon sticking up. Fill the cup with water or juice, and freeze.
- Find your county or state fair. Many communities still have fairs, and attending might be a family tradition. If it’s not, consider taking a trip to see award-winning jams and quilts, wool auctions, the biggest tomatoes or watermelons, and meeting Future Farmers and 4-H members who have raised lambs, calves, and pigs since they were babies. It’s a different way to get in touch with your community. Your neighbor might bake the best pie in the whole state!
- Involve your child in an activity you enjoy doing outside, or remember enjoying as a child. This might be running or biking, lawn games or bubble-blowing, swimming in a lake, napping in a hammock. These are the beginnings of family traditions.
- Find a nearby state or national park and go for an explore. Put on your walking shoes or perhaps even take a tent and find nature preserved for future generations.
- Hunt for fireflies. Take advantage of these warmer, lighter evenings and stay up just a bit past bedtime looking for lightning bugs. Whether it’s lizards, cicadas, dragonflies, are there creatures that emerge in Summer where you live?
- Escape the heat with a trip to the library. These public buildings are often air conditioned, and a nice way to spend a quiet afternoon, looking for something new to read.
- Be gentle with yourself. Every day doesn’t need to top the last. The greatest gift you can give your child is time, even if that is five minutes of sitting and listening at the end of a long day. So whether your big special Summer event is weeks of camp, the vacation of a lifetime, or a laugh shared at the end of the day, enjoy it; your child loves you.
Written by:Charlotte Snyder