Summertime Fun: Getting the Most Out of the Season
Kids can’t wait for the last day of school. As a parent, you may feel differently.
When you think about how you’re going to fill summer days with the kids, it can be a bit much. Before the final bell rings, parents should be on the lookout for summertime activities in their local community or other nearby towns. Finding things to see, do or visit can often begin with a web search.
Make Plans for the Whole Family
Some activities may be done as an entire family, others can include a friend or cousin. Some kids want to do the activities solo. During the summer it is important to remind kids of certain safety tips/rules such as:
Other summer safety topics that should be covered include water safety (never swim alone) and heat dangers.
Children should not be allowed to play in parked cars in the event they become trapped in the car and are unable to get out. Heatstroke happens when your body temperature reaches more than 104 degrees F, damaging your heart, brain, kidneys and muscles. It can lead to death.
Prevention is the key to keeping children safe; let your children know the rules and expectations to keep them safe.
Things to Try This Summer
Be a tourist in your own home town. What is your city known for? Visit some of those sites. Learn a bit of history about your town or even another city close by. Document your visit to these local landmarks with a photo or a story to remind you what you learned.
Story Writing and Photography
Tour your city parks – map out and plan visits to a few new parks. Write down the address of the park, identify any local landmarks near the park. Describe what play items are there, take a photo of your favorite park item.
You can even have a scavenger hunt at the park – searching for outdoor items. Pack a lunch and make a fun day of it. Hikes are fun, too.
Ride On and Explore
Get on your bike and ride! If your city has a bike trail, plan to visit it during different times of day, notice where the sun shines (on your face or back).
Map out different areas of the trail you’ve never been before and visit those. Stop to take a photo of what you saw along the way (animals, bridges, cross streets or parks) or when you return home take time to write down the things you saw along the way.
Bicycle riding helps develop gross motor skills, strength and agility. If there are not enough bikes for everyone in the family ask to borrow some from other family members or even a neighbor. Helmets are a must.
Seek Centers for Learning Together
Visit museums or galleries. Any local museum offers a look back at the past or may be specialized just for children. Some galleries have workshops where various artists come and talk about their work.
Many cities offer artistic sculptures in downtown areas. When visiting a museum or viewing art, start the conversation about what interests your child about this art, or the place. You can also ask children if they are feeling inspired to create some art of their own. Be ready to answer questions – and to have fun.
Get more ideas for family fun during the summer.
Twila Perkinson is a Family Life Educator with Avera McKennanHospital & University Health Center.