Summer is a great time to relax.
The weather is warm, the skies are blue, and sunshine is smiling on everything.
Summer is the perfect time to curl up with a book or have an Anne of Green Gables movie marathon.
Nothing relaxes me more than lying on a beach chair listening to the waves crash on the shore. Soon, I am far away in a happy places. Oops! I hope someone is watching my kids!
Summer is a great time to make memories.
We love to swim in the pool, play games, craft, scrapbook, enjoy museums, and visit amusement parks in the summer. Afternoons at the playground or discovering where a dirt road leads are fun, too!
Summer is a great time to learn.
We always take a break from formal schooling in the summer, but learning continues on. After all, we live a lifestyle of learning as homeschooling families. There is always something to discover and investigate!
With all of this in mind, here are some happy ideas to celebrate summer, make memories, learn new things, and have a blast this summer!
Going back to my childhood, here are some fun summer ideas that are simple, timeless, and fun for all ages:
Take blankets outside on a dark night, lie down, and look up. The night sky twinkles magnificently! Enjoy star gazing.
Flying a kite is so simple, but children never tire of watching it rise and fall and float.
Go fishing in a lake, the ocean, a stream, a creek. Relax and enjoy the peaceful silence of fishing.
Catch fireflies in a jar.
Borrow some binoculars and go bird watching. Start in your backyard or a nearby park, but if you really want to get serious, Google to find out where the serious bird watchers go in your neighborhood.
Get out the watercolor paint and paint brushes and create a masterpiece.
Set out a puzzle on card table and work on it together as a family. It's so fun to see it come together over a few days.
Fly remote-control airplanes or make a model airplane. Or visit an airport and watch the planes take off and land.
Grab a camera or your cell phone and take photographs of everything!
Fun In, On, & Under the Water
So much fun happens in or around the water in our summer.
I just want to mention here that water safety really matters. Here in Florida, accidental drownings can happen with so many lakes, pools, and, of course, the ocean.
Teach your children to respect the water and to follow water safety rules. No swimming alone--EVER! Young children should always swim with an adult in the water. For older children, an adult who can swim, should be present and attentive. Pools should have a life preserver and a long pole that can be used to rescue a compromised swimmer. Children should learn early how to swim.
Where I live, it is safe to assume that every body of fresh water has alligators in it so be careful. A little alligator means a mean mommy alligator is nearby.
Being in the water means being in the sun so use sunblock to prevent bad sunburns.
We love to swim and dive in the pool and ride the waves in the ocean.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are an exciting way to see more of God's beautiful creation underwater.
Maybe this summer you could try surfing, water skiing, or jet skiing.
Or you might want to relax and collect shells while you walk along the shore. Or build a sand castle.
One thing about great lakes and oceans is the lighthouses. These are so fun to climb and explore!
Yummy Summer Food
Hot summers need cool refreshment like cold iced tea or freshly squeezed lemonade.
Summer is a great time to go berry picking and make homemade jam. Who doesn't love a juicy watermelon slice on a hot afternoon.
Freezing fruit like grapes or bananas is fun, too, and tastes delicious and refreshing on a hot day.
Of course, speaking of frozen treats, it's a great time to make ice cream the old-fashioned way so dig out that ice cream maker and start churning.
We always like to make homemade frozen pudding pops or frozen juice pops. I have an old Tupperware set, but I see them all the time at Wal-Mart.
Sunday is a great time for grilling outside. Hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, and chicken all taste better hot off the grill. And corn on the cob is perfect on the grill, too. Grill it in the husk and peel it just before you eat it. Kebabs are another great thing to fix on the grill.
And speaking of kebabs, you can use the skewers to make a grape caterpillar by sliding grape after grape on the skewer. I recommend read The Very Hungry Caterpillar while you eat your grape caterpillar.
Play Sports & Games Together
Don't forget to be active this summer so you can burn off all the calories you consume grilling and enjoying frozen treats.
Families can play touch football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball together. Most families are large enough for two whole baseball teams, but you can take turns batting with everyone else on the field.
Bowling is fun for the whole family and it's air-conditioned.
For smaller families, tennis and ping-pong are perfect.
Or pull out the archery set and have some target practice.
Oh, and don't forget good old-fashioned tag and dodge ball.
Families grow closer when they spend time together.
Here are some fun ways to make memories:
Camp in the family room. Make a tent with blankets draped over chairs.
Have a family game night, playing everyone's favorite games.
Camp in the backyard in a tent with sleeping bags. Make s'mores on the grill.
Make a time capsule that you agree to open in 25 years. Put in moments from each person and pictures and clippings that represent fashion, church, your city, and your family's favorite hobbies. Don't forget a photograph of each person.
Have a tea party. Dress up in shirt and tie for guys and long dressses for girls to enjoy high tea. Don't forget your elegant manners.
Go on a neighborhood walk and do a scavenger hunt. I have a Scavenger Hunt freebie in this month's Powerline Productions newsletter (June 2019). Or download your free Summer Scavenger Hunts at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Visit museums. Every city has at least one or two.
Visit an amusement park.
Try Something New!
Summer is a great time to read!
When the kids were younger, we enjoyed Book-It! from Pizza Hut. They filled out their reading lists and we traded them in for a free personal pan pizza.
Guess what? You can still do it! Check out Pizza Hut's Book It! program here.
You can also create your own Summer Reading Challenge and having everyone set a goal for how many books they want to read over the summer. Make a big poster with room for everyone to list the books they read.
Summer is a fun time to try out archaeology. You can have your own archaeology dig (learn more about Let's Have Our Own Archaeology Dig here).
Or you can try out Ice Archaeology. Simply purchase some inexpensive toys of different weights and freeze them in a large container of water. Then your children can chip away at the ice with a hammer to find the toys with safety goggles on, of course. You may need to submerge the block of ice in a sink of hot water for a few seconds before they start chipping away. Oh, and this is an outside activity.
On a hot day, try out a Garbage Bag Pinata. Fill a 5-gallon garbage bag with 2 gallons of water and some bath toys and tie a knot in the bag. Tie the rope just below the knot. Mom or Dad should drop the rope over the tree and hold it steady. Children can wear blindfolds and whack at the water-filled bag with a stick.
Make a Soda Bottle Sprinkler Head. Mom or Dad uses a screwdriver to punch holes all over in a plastic 2L soda bottle. Then attach the bottle to the hose with duct tape. Now kids can run through the sprinkler.
Purchase several glo-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets. Attach a few to wooden dowels to create glo-in-the-dark sticks and place a few inches into the ground. Make rings out of the others. Now, you can play Glo-in-the-Dark Ring Toss.
Race little cars in your Pool Noodle Racetrack. Cut two pool noodles of different colors in half length wise. Now you have four tracks that you can line up together. Make a finish line and set up your track from a high spot to a low spot. Stairs are great or from the coffee table to the floor.
Two of my daughters and my son-in-law participated in a Color Run Race where colors filled the air at the finish line. This mom had her own color run race in her back yard. You can, too! Learn more here.
Make a miniature house, room, store, garden or anything that delights you in a shoebox. You can paint the inside and outside of the shoebox and then fill it with tiny miniatures. Children and adults will love creating Miniature Worlds in a Shoebox.
Have a lovely summer relaxing, learning, and making memories!