Summer, the season when some families go so fast and far and often that the return to school in the fall feels like a break.
Summer, the season when some families slow down, savoring every opportunity together and enjoying a simple lifestyle.
Drumroll….to appeal to all of you, I have compiled a list of 10 easy-to-squeeze-in-to-the-breakneck-pace-schedule, memorable, simple and meaningful activities to do with your kids THIS summer. After all, consider this:
18 – your child’s age = the number of summers remaining of his/her childhood …..so, enjoy this summer togetha!
10. Learn to identify several types of trees. Red pine, white pine, maple (in general) and oak (in general) are a good start.
My husband is an arborist, so everywhere we go he tells us all about the trees. He even describes places and yards by the trees there. For instance, I might say, “You know the yellow house on the corner with the white shutters and tire swing out front?” And my husband would say, “You know the yard with the autumn blaze maple that’s obviously never had a structure prune?” Right. White ash, mountain ash, green ash, ya de ya de ya da – there are tons of species of trees (which is why I simply listed oak and maple as [general] since there are many types of oaks and maples).
9. Cook Cherry or Berry Crisp over a campfire.
Cherry or Berry Crisp: Mix 1 Tbsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp lemon juice with the fruit of your choice. Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup pecans, a few Tbsp cinnamon and sugar, a couple Tbsp oil and a couple Tbsp maple syrup. Lay a pineapple ring on sprayed foil; top with fruit, then nutty sauce mix. Cook on the fire. Delish.
Hobo Dinner: On sprayed foil, stack onion, meat, potato, carrot, pepper, and/or other vegetables, topping with butter and salt and pepper. Cook on the fire. A nourishing meal with few dishes 🙂
8. Braid a dandelion crown.
7. Make a nature mandala.
6. Play in the rain. Don’t want the kids to get soaked? It’ll be worth the extra laundry, trust me.
5. Get completely drenched from splashing in a puddle. Again, it’ll be worth the extra laundry.
4. Teach your kids how to find Polaris (not the snowmobile) and Sirius (not the radio). I recently was fascinated to learn that Sirius, Orion’s dog, is where we get the phrase “the dog days of summer” since Sirius rises before the sun during those hottest days of summer.
3. Walk to the library and check out a copy of Jim Trelease’s Read Aloud Handbook. Choose several books to read to your children this summer. Outside, of course. If you live too far from the library to walk the whole way, park at a park and walk from there.
2. Sleep outside without a tent. Count lightning bugs and meteors.
1. Watch the sunset from a tree or hill. Bring a light for the return hike.
I plan to work through this list with my own family, and I hope you will too.
Please comment with YOUR favorite ways to savor summer.