It is June! I am not exactly sure where this year has gone. June is the month my baby turns one. It seems like I was just experiencing labor pains, and now suddenly he is turning one. Sigh! What they say is true (whoever ‘they’ are): “The days are long, but the years are short.”
In France, where I grew up, it was common for people to take a month-long vacation. Usually this happened in August when it seemed like the entire country shut down. Not quite, but almost! I actually went in a cathedral once in the town where I grew up (Bordeaux, if you are interested), and there was a sign at the confession booth saying, “Closed for the month, come back for confessions in September.” True story.
Now that I am an adult living in a work-hungry country, I really think they are on to something. Well, not the confession part. What I would not do for an entire month off.
Summer means long days for the kids off of school. But for most adults it means mostly normal work schedules. Beyond a week, maybe two, of true vacation, we have to figure out how to fit in the summer fun around busy schedules.
I cannot tell you how many times I have said I wanted to do something during the summer months, only to find that fall is on me and I failed to do it. Usually it was just poor planning, rather than lack of time. Not anymore!
A couple of years ago I started making bucket lists for different seasons so that I would remember to take advantage of small moments. This is not the big stuff. I am assuming that if you planned a trip to Disney you would not forget to go. (If you do, pass the tickets on to me next time, okay?)
This list is to remind me to do the simple things that childhood memories are made of. I want my children’s childhood to be replete with such memories. It does not just happen. I need to plan.
The list is a combination of planning and spontaneity. Planned because I do actually have a list. Spontaneous because these are not on the calendar weeks ahead of time. Usually, when we have a day, afternoon, or evening free, we drum up something fun to do. We have a whole list of ideas, so we don’t constantly do the same old thing.
20 Ideas for Summer Fun (To get you started!)
- Make smores
- Take the kids on a surprise ice cream outing in their pajamas.
- Go to a splash park.
- Find and visit a new-to-you park in your area.
- Visit a local attraction.
- Make ice cream floats.
- Catch lightening bugs in a jar.
- Go on a family bike ride.
- Camp out in the back yard.
- Go on a picnic.
- Have some water fun: sprinkler, water games, etc.
- Go to the zoo.
- Start a read-aloud.
- Go on a nature walk.
- Feed the ducks.
- Go to a baseball game.
- Make homemade popsicles.
- Make homemade ice cream sundaes. Be generous with the toppings!
- Go to your local farmer’s market.
- Grill out with friends. (Go ahead and name them, or you might not do it)
Whatever you do, do not end the summer with, “Oh, we were going to do that and forgot!” Plan, and then let the fun happen spontaneously. If you have older kids, include them in the brainstorm. You may be surprised at the fun things they come up with!
Say ‘yes’ more than you say ‘no’ and you will be sure to have a summer rich with family memories.
What fun ideas do you plan to do with your family this summer? Share them in the comments!