What can we do to ensure a fun and safe summer?
Summer fun and safety for you and those around you
Here in the northern hemisphere, we're heading into summer, which means kids are getting out of school and warmer weather is coming. I thought it would be a good time to talk about how to make the most of the summer and stay safe whether you're going away on vacation or just staying home.
Activities to enjoy when the weather is warm and kids are home
* Leave some downtime
When I was a kid, summers were generally unplanned time. I would spend maybe a week at camp, another week going to a nearby church’s Vacation Bible School, but summertime was mostly free time. We would take off after morning chores with the other neighbor kids to explore, ride our bikes, play games, and make up elaborate scenarios.
This seems unthinkable to me now. Is the world really more dangerous now than it was back then, or are we just more aware of it now? Share your thoughts on this with me in the comments below, on the TPW facebook group, or email me. In any case, I'd encourage you to leave some free time for yourself and your family. Do what works for you and your family.
* Find alternatives to extensive screen time
Public libraries often have summer programs for kids. Check out your local library to see what they offer. (And check out their offerings for adults while you're there!)
* Switch things up!
Have meals outside if the weather permits. Take it to a park or just your back yard. At work, take your lunch outside instead of eating it at your desk.
* Get outside
Backyard camping can be fun for the kids. Let them ride their bikes, and set up water play in the yard even if you don’t have a pool. Get a cheap play pool from the store, or just let them run through the sprinkler.
* Explore local attractions. What do people from other places come to your town to do?
I’ve lived in the Dallas area for a couple of decades and haven’t visited the 6th Floor Museum or the Dallas Aquarium. Even our small community here in Greenville, Texas, has some potentially interesting places to explore. We have the Audie Murphy/American Cotton Museum, a winery barrel room tour, Splash Kingdom, a seasonal farmer’s market. A nearby community also has a children’s museum that I'll be taking my grandkids to.
If you don't want to spend the time or money on a big vacation this summer, take a staycation and explore what's close to home. Google “tourism in [your town]” and see what comes up.
* Find ideas for fun things to do
Google “Fun things to do in the summer” and you’ll find all kinds of articles filled with suggestions. Look for links to some of those articles below. Below are some suggestions I found:
* Volunteer at a nature center
* Have a luau in the back yard
* Have a picnic at a nearby state park
* Have a water balloon toss (or a water gun fight)
* Visit a museum you’ve never been to.
* Visit a county fair
* Go to a free music festival
* Play mini golf
* Make sure everybody knows how to swim. Swim lessons are a great activity for kids and adults. They can have fun in the water while learning a skill that could save a life!
* Learn CPR and basic first aid, and teach it to your kids where appropriate. (This could be an interesting summer activity: take a first aid/CPR course - yourself or as a family)