This is just a quick “how to” type piece, to give some fresh ideas to all you parents who are excited – worried about summer vacation! Let’s face it. It’s at the door. It’s knocking already. The kids are counting days.
So what shall we do to make this a memorable summer for the kiddos? I am just going to outline a few things our family does – hopes to do.
1. Redo the back yard
Yes that’s right. Start at home. This is where they will spend most of their time. Spend some time, do some research, and make the change. Personally, this summers list for me is to . . .
A. Crate a bicycle path around our property. I wanted to do this last year but our budget plus lack of creativity hindered us. This year I have a plan! I read an article somewhere, forgive me for my senility, on how to kill the grass to make a path. We live on several acres of land in the country. The problem is, there is an outrageous highway right in front of the house. So bicycle riding is always a pain, lugging all the bikes (we have 3 kids) to the nearest park. Well my plan, is lay cardboard on a 2 foot wide path encircling the perimeter. Put simple wood on the sides to help keep it in place. Then add top soil to make it smooth. Add a couple of stop signs, maybe a make shift gas station. I expect endless hours of fun! Who doesn’t like to place like they are driving?? Walmart.com is awesome at helping with cardboard if you tell them in ahead of time. And loving companies will often donate wood boxes no longer usuable.
Never forget the joy kids get from raising fruit, veggies, and flowers. Who doesn’t like toting water pitchers and pouring water?? And there is always the HOSE! I remember as a child, my grandpa raised strawberries, cantelope, watermelon, ect. It was a hoot!
3. Zip line
Zip lines has some very affordable zip line packs for small areas. All you need is a couple of poles. My kids have begged me for this! And I believe this will be the year! Be sure to wear a helmet!
4. Take weekend vacations
We have always called these MINI VACATIONS. You leave Friday after work, drive 2 -3 hours, and check into a hotel ( must have pool). There are plenty of hikes, museums, and restaurants to keep you busy. Take5. plenty of pictures so you can build excitement for the next one. Last year our favorite was the Passion Play in Eureka Springs. That is an exemplary place to take kids. Great area, affordable, and BEAUTIFUL SCENERY!
5. The Zoo
Take your kids to the zoo. It’s a lot of walking, but very educational! Read up about the animals before hand. Some zoos have live cams to build up the level of excitment. Always buy a suveneir. It’s pricy, but my 8 year old still sleeps with hers. It’s a memory.
But no matter what you do, make sure the children are the center of the room, so to speak. Make it all about them. Eat at places with play places, stop at parks (we found some great ones!), and give them your full attentions.
Bottom line? The kids want to spend the summer. . . WITH YOU!