With the school out the tempurature steady rising on a daily basis, there's no mistaking that Summer is in full session! Around our house teenagers have summer jobs, and there are basketball camps to attend and swim lessons to get to. There have been a few summers where the weeks literally blew by me like a tornado and had me wondering where did the time go.
Now that I'm more seasoned and I FINALLY got the hang of this summer thing, I want to share some ways that you and your family can make this summer more meaningful and truly make it count.
1. Take A Family Trip- Vacations not only renew your mind, but they bring families closer together. Decide as a family where you would like to travel and what your travel budge looks like. It may be a few days by the ocean or a weeklong trip to a foreign destination. When's the last time you loaded up the car and visited Aunt Martha? Whatever it is, do it together and enjoy the time away from the hustle and bustle of your daily routines.
2. Start or Join A Book Club- Book clubs are a fun way to read new books, and it's also a time so gather and socialize. Many library offer summer reading programs and so do local book stores. If you don't see one in your area, grab some of the neighborhood moms and form your own. If the kids are joining in on the fun, after everyone has finished the book have an outdoor movie night to watch the movie version.
3. Go To Summer Camp- Whether its a day camp or a sleep over camp, get the kids out of the house so they can explore. Younger kids may prefer the day camps which give them a few hours away from home, and they can see mom and dad at the end of the day. Older kids may prefer roughing it in the great outdoors and sleeping in tents and cabins. Some of the best childhood memories have been made a summer camps around the world.
4. Get A Good Camera- In order to capture all of theses memories you are going to need a good camera. Don't go out and buy a million dollar camera with all of the bells and whistles. In addition to my iPhone camera, I use a basic DSLR camera and I let my kids take pictures of just about everything. Remember to print out the photos and put them in a photobook or a scrap book so you can pull it out and enjoy the memories year round.
5. Volunteer- Nothing shows you care about others like volunteering your time. Check around your city and see if there are volunteer oppourtunities for your whole family to serve at. Your church may have a missions program that you can serve. This is really big in our home. Not only does is teach compassion, but it gives our children a greater appreciation for the things that they have in life.
6. Set Some Goals- Whether you want to go back to school, purchase a home, start a business, or just win the school spelling bee, setting goals will help you achieve the victory. Success doesn't just happen, it needs to be planned. Start small and grow from there.
7. Stay Fit And Active- Just because P.E. is not in session doesn't mean the kids get to slack off. Enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or the local track as a family. Time yourselves and compare your times from the beginning of the summer to the end of the summer. Look around for some trails to hike or maybe swim a few laps in the community pool. Active bodies are healthy bodies.
8. Stay Educated- Just because there's no homework to turn it doesn't mean we stop learning. Make sure everyone has a journal to write in at the end of the day. Have them write their goals, the adventures that they had today, or just a simple word of the day or a Bible scriptures. Learning is a life long process, not just during the school year. This way when school starts and they have to write about their summer, they will have lots of memories to fall back on and use as prompts.
9. Clean House- I know NOBODY likes cleaning, but it has to be done. When our house is in order, everything just flows smoothly. Take a day to go through the closets and get rid of old clothing that no longer serves a purpose. Vacuum behind the the beds and clean on top of the window sills. Go through the garage and the attic and toss out things that are not being used. Having a yard sale at the end of the week can be a great way to get rid of your clutter and make some money. At the end of the day, a clutter free, clean house is going to serve a greater purpose to your family.
10. HAVE FUN- Don't fill up the family calendar with activity after activity, day after day. Afterall, families need time to just hang out and enjoy one another.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out my post on 10 Tips For A Successful Yard Sale.