The sun is shining, the kids are smiling and I can’t blame them! I am excited as well. I couldn’t be happier to put aside making lunches, 20 wake up calls, constant yelling to get dressed and the crazy kiss and ride, all before 8am! Two months of freedom - or is it?
Our children are now home and we are still working. We are now overwhelmed with how to entertain and spend time with them this summer, all while not pulling out our hair. Making an activity schedule and working full time can be very difficult and costly.But it doesn’t have to be. I have created a list of things you can do with your children while keeping your sanity and wallet all in tact! Not only will this list help you with ideas but it will also ensure quality time with your children for the summer.
1. Picnic Dinners: The days are longer now. That means more day light time to have your dinner under the sun. You were going to feed them anyway, just take it outside. It doesn’t have to be anywhere special, you can use your backyard, balcony or closest open park. Pack up the food and take it outside. This is 30 mins they won’t forget!
2. Short Walks: This may sound crazy, but after you come home from work, take a deep breath, and take 10 mins to take a walk with your children. While you are walking, have a conversation with them about their day. How we do it at our house, whether we spend the day apart or together, we ask each other, “How was your day? What’s your highlight or low light of the day?” Do this while on the walk or even make up silly songs.
3. Sprinkler Fun: Children love playing in water! And I love watering my grass! So with this, everyone wins! The big win is when they tire themselves out and all they want to do is eat and sleep! Don’t have a back yard, no problem, google the closest splash pad, pack up dinner and spend an hour at there.
4. Movie Night In: Nothing is better on a Friday evening than eating candy and popcorn in your living room with the ones you love! Cuddle up and take in whatever movie you all would enjoy together. This is great for teenagers as well.
5. Star Watching: Take your children and sit on top of the hood of the car and watch the stars. You don’t have to drive far. I usually go to my children’s school in an empty parking lot and watch the stars. Don’t forget to add great conversations to this evening. Your children will love this and again the memories will last a long time.
6. Dance Parties: Turn on the stereo, turn up the speakers and shake your foot. It’s the great way to stay loose and have fun with your children. Children like to see their parents act silly. So be as silly as you can be and have fun!
7. Nature, arts and craft day: I love going on walks and collecting items while on the walk. But usually when the items come home, they end up in the garbage or don’t even make it into the house. So I thought why not make a cool collage of the items you may have. So next time on your walk, have them collect any interesting items they may find. Limit the number to about 5 items. At home, set them up with supplies and you can either have them work on their own or work with them on the collage. However, having them work independently allows creativity and independent work skills. It will also give you time to spend on your own.
8. Games Day/Night: This can be outside or even inside the home. Pick your families favourite game and have FUN! You can do board games, or go more active like touch football. Be creative and again have fun!
9. Free Events in your area: Google what events are in your area and plan a family day out. There are many free events that you can take your family to and have an amazing day! This is also a great way to introduce your children to many different cultural events throughout the city of Toronto. These types of events are a great way to have fun in the sun with the family.
10. Child’s Choice: Give your children the opportunity to choose an activity they would like the family to do. The options of activities can range with different ages but plan for it to be once a month. This gives your children the chance to share their interest, plan an event and watch the results.
We all wish there were more than 24 hours in a day! But what I learned from my children was they don’t need a lot of “time” they just want us to be present in the time we have together! These different activities will help you use your time wisely! Enjoy the sun, spend less money and invest in quality time.
Have a great summer!