With the kids out of school and the weather warming up fast, it’s time to start planning summer activities. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter daily life, many families will find themselves staying closer to home than they usually would during the active summer months. Fortunately, there’s lots of summer joy to be had right in your backyard—or on your balcony, in your living room, and around the neighborhood. Summer activities are fun to anticipate together as a family. Still the change from a structured school year to a less structured summer break may be overwhelming for some adopted or guardianship kids who may have been ill-treated or unloved.
To survive the summer, you will want to acknowledge that change may be hard for many kids. Therefore, you will want to be intentional with setting up a new summer routine for them. It may be a more laid-back schedule, but this will provide a sense of security and boundaries for your youth. Ask them to help you make the new schedule. Introduce them to your family’s current tradition, ask them about their traditions and create a few new summer traditions. Here are a few creative suggestions for summer activities:
- Backyard camping. Your kids may be too small to go camping at a campsite or park, but why not start in the backyard?
- Plant flowers or vegetables. Use the summer to teach your kids how to plant! Plant flowers or vegetables in your flower bed or in a pot by your home. They can water it every day and watch them bloom!
- Go to the farmer’s market. You don’t have to travel far to open up your kids’ worlds. Going to your local farmer’s market can be a fun outing as well as a way for showing them all of the different and colorful foods!
- Berry picking. Now is the time to indulge in the season! From strawberries, blueberries, raspberries to blackberries, there are places in our state that will let you pick them for free or for a small entrance fee. Top of Form
- Go to a flea market or garage sale. See if the kids are better negotiators than you!
- Go to a local carnival or county fair. Eat cotton candy, elephant ears, or something unhealthy at least once this summer.
- Collect rocks and paint them. Then, turn them into pet rocks, garden ornaments, or gifts for family members.
- Make good use of nearby parks. Go to your local park’s website, and print the schedule of activities and hang it on your refrigerator.
- Play croquet on the lawn, and try boccie too.
- Play outside in the rain. Smell the rain on the pavement; splash in puddles; make mud pies.
- Make fresh lemonade or sun tea. Enjoy it on the front porch with some homemade cookies, or sell it at a lemonade stand.
- Make ice cream. Turn it into ice cream sandwiches or enjoy it on its own.
Whether you turn this list into your summer bucket list or pick a few of your favorites, you will make great memories. The key is to slow down and enjoy the summer months with your family. Having a plan will help you survive together and it can help you thrive together. Don’t let your kids have all the fun—many of these activities are fun for the whole family to share. So join in!
This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Kim Waswick, LBSW