While our weather here feels like it’s been summer for a while, I realize the actual season just began last week! Our family is at the point where it feels like we’re actually in summer rather than “just-finished-school” mode.
Summer looks different when your kids are working and driving themselves wherever they want to go. I’m not required to be as hands-on with them as in previous years, but we’re definitely on a different schedule and I have to be a lot more flexible with my time.
How well I remember the days with littles and trying to get something “profitable” done around the house, yet wanting to spend time with our children, too.
None of us can do it all, but I know that as moms we want to make sure we’re fitting in some special family time during these summer months. This list of ten things might help us focus on creating those moments – and they can apply whether we have toddlers or teens!
1. Make a memory.
Not every day, maybe not even every week, but try to think of ways to make a memory with your kids. This could be small, like a trip to a new-to-you ice cream shop or a different playground. Blow bubbles in the park or stock up on glowsticks at a dollar store and play hide-and-seek in the dark.
2. Establish a tradition.
This could actually tie into number one if you wanted it to! Make homemade ice cream every weekend or have build your-own-pizza night on Fridays. Take an after-dinner walk or bike ride in the neighborhood on Tuesdays or organize family game nights on Saturday.
3. Let go of something.
Perhaps Wednesday is laundry day, but your kids are asking for you to play with them. It’s okay to step outside of the routine once in awhile. Give yourself a break. Let go of the regularly scheduled programming and try something different. Maybe lighten up the bedtime routine for the summer or decide to make only simple suppers on weeknights.
4. Be outside.
South Carolina summers are HOT and HUMID. I’m not naturally an outdoorsy girl anyway and pretty much avoid staying outside during the day. But I know my mood is better when I can spend time outside.
Early mornings or late evenings aren’t so bad for a walk or bike ride with the family. If you like to garden, get out and plant flowers or vegetables with your kids.
5. Do something for someone else.
Make a card or art project to send to a grandparent. Bake cookies for a Sunday School teacher. See if a neighbor needs help with their yard or housework.
6. Eat seasonal and local foods.
We eat lots of watermelon at our house in June and July! And I’ve already mentioned ice cream at least twice in this post, but it’s a summer favorite here.
7. Play in water.
We’ve had many kiddie pools over the years! Let your children run through the sprinkler, paint the house (or playset or shed or driveway) with water, or wash the car or their bikes. If you’re near the lake or the beach, that makes it easy!
8. Give extra hugs and kisses.
if your kids are normally in school all day, you now have them at home a LOT more than usual. My teenagers may not appreciate me giving random hugs and kisses, but I can still maneuver around for a side hug or back rub.
9. Work together.
This is probably not going to sound fun to the family, but tackling a project together can be profitable in more ways than one. Clean out the garage, build something, or organize the playroom. You can offer a reward at the end, or just let the satisfaction of a job well done be enough.
10. Pass along truth.
Choose a verse or brief Scripture passage to memorize and study this summer. Read a new Bible storybook with younger kids or find a new devotional one for older kids. We enjoyed books like Wisdom and the Millers (and other books in this series) and Those Kids in Proverbsville. These had stories that were like parables and taught character-building lessons.
While some summer days drag by, the first day of school will be here before we know it. Let’s plan a few things today that will help us when we look back to count this as a successful summer.