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The thrill of Summer, don’t you remember it?!

That giddy feeling of not having to study for three whole months and the promise of no schedules. (Yeah remember when summer break was from Memorial Day until after Labor Day?)  Days of sleeping in a bit, staying up late, sleepovers on weekdays, outdoor exploration, video games on the atari or nintendo, swimming all.day.long, eating anything and all things frozen (i.e. otter pops, ice cream, push pops, popsicles, drumsticks, snow cones, snickers ice cream bars, klondike bars…) night tag (a.k.a. ditched’), concerts in the park…ah, summer time and the livin’ was easy.

Nowadays, starting in January, most children’s summers are being planned out and maxed out with some structured activities, day camps, sport camps, sleep away camps and multiple vacations taking up all their free time. Summer becomes just as over scheduled as the school year and under appreciated for what it’s meant to be, a time for kids to be kids while they still can.

It’s time we learn a few things from our past. Yes, a few activities can be fun or even necessary if you are a working parent, but may we suggest some laid back days too? Some silliness and memory making – good, old fashioned hanging out with each other, fun!

Make a “Summer Bucket List” with ideas of things to do that aren’t so “busy” and “structured”. Things that your kids will look back on as an adult and immediately associate with “Summer”. Things like having dessert for dinner. That’s right, load the Mini Van up, take everyone to Baskin Robins or Cold Stone, order ice cream and say “dinner is served”. Have s’mores in the fire pit outback and tell campfire stories. Have a sleepover on the trampoline. Dye each others hair with cool-aid or let your son have a mohawk until school starts back up (if they go to a school that doesn’t allow it, otherwise rock that hawk all year long! #freedomtobedifferent)

Check out Pinterest for some “Summer Bucket List” ideas and templates: https://bit.ly/2rQH6j0


Make traditions and memories with your kids that help them to see that it’s ok to live outside of the box sometimes, it’s ok to slow down here and there, and that it’s ok to use their imaginations! Help them to see that fun can happen at home, with their parents (GASP!) and doesn’t only come from the structured, organized events that they are signed up for… or their electronic devices.

As a parent, remember that “school’s out for summa’” feeling and just go crazy (in a fun and childlike way), be intentional and spontaneous this summer.

The memories you make will help you grow in relationship with your children, giving them a secure love and allowing plenty of opportunities to show them grace along the way!

Kelli is a wife, mom of 3 kids and the Events and Social Media Director at Family Matters.

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