School is out and summer vacation is upon us. So, now that it is here, what do you do with the kids? Gas prices are officially averaging over $4.00 per gallon and it seems that the cost of everything has gone up. As a result, you may be looking for less expensive forms of entertainment. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about staycations as an alternative to traveling this summer, but what options exist for keeping your children from driving you crazy on a day-to-day basis over summer vacation?
The old-fashioned way of thinking about summer.
At my house, we have decided to have an old-fashioned summer vacation. What does this mean? Well, it is really more of a mindset than anything. We are choosing to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life. We want to teach our kids to savor the good things. We hope they’ll learn that shopping at the mall is not recreation. Besides, it isn’t usually the expensive or luxury items that make us happy anyway. It is the simple things. Its things like:
- Buying a snow cone on a hot summer day
- Eating ice-cold watermelon outside where you can spit the seeds on the ground
- Getting a treat from the ice cream truck as it passes through your neighborhood
- Running through the sprinkler in the backyard screaming all the way
- Spending a whole day swimming at the local lake
- Having a picnic in the shade at your favorite park as a family
- Playing in the rain and splashing in the puddles
- Buying fresh peaches at a farmer’s market and eating them right away
- Having a sleepover with your best friend where you try to stay up all night
- Seeing who can blow the biggest bubble gum bubble
- Laying on the ground and watching the clouds pass over
- Going to a Little League baseball game and listening to all the sounds
- Riding bikes on the trail alongside the river
- Going for a lazy walk in the evening after it cools down
- Pouring sand over your feet to cover them up in the sandbox
- Making mudpies with sticks and leaves and grass for garnishments
- Setting up a tent and camping in the backyard
- Going swimming in a creek where the water is ice cold
- Learning to ride your bike with your dad’s help
- Going to grandma’s house where everything is better
- Playing a board game in the air-conditioned house
- Going fishing at the pond
- Playing fetch with the best dog you’ll ever have
- Hunting crawdads to see who can catch the biggest one
- Playing hide-and-seek or kick-the-can outside
Make your summer vacation more fun the old-fashion way.
Don’t get caught up in the crazy way that others spend their summer. Many rush from one activity to another without ever really soaking up the real pleasures of summer. Try a few of the things from the list above without feeling the need to hurry to the next thing. Your kids will thank you for it!