It’s safe to say that for most people, their favourite and most memorable childhood memories come from the summertime. The warmth, the freedom, cool swims, and icy treats – summer is a magical time. While great summer memories are not hard to forge, there are some ways to help us maximize our own and our children’s summer experiences.
How to make the most of your summer with kids:
1. Document your family adventures and get your kids involved
Now more than ever, it’s easy to keep records of our family time. It’s rare to find a family without at least one working digital camera or device with recording abilities. A gentle reminder – if you’re documenting moments on your smartphone or tablet make sure to back them up. Developing a few photos or using summer images on a calendar or photobook, are a fantastic way to look back on your adventures.
Another way to preserve summer moments, is journaling your adventures. Try designating a notebook or buying a premade template like this one. You can write brief descriptions about your adventures, snippets of conversations you’ve had with your kids, and anything else memorable. If your children are older, get them involved in the retelling of your adventures, or have them write or draw portions themselves.
And if you forget to document, don’t worry – being in the moment has so many benefits.
2. Be prepared with snacks for the kids
Whether you’re traveling by bus across a city, flying on a plane, or driving across the country in your minivan, this one is key! As a parent, you already know this, but it’s worth a reminder – being prepared with snacks can keep everyone’s blood sugar levels stable and save the day. If you’ve already got little ones at home, you’re likely well versed in snack options. You’ll likely also know that Love Child Organics has some easy to pack, delicious, and nutritious snack options. Yet, it’s always worth exploring new ideas – check out this healthy snacks post for some great options for on the go snacks.
3. Get outdoors as much as you can with your kids
Especially in Canada, we are all well aware that our summertime heat is limited. In the blink of an eye we’ll be getting winter coats back out, so enjoying the heat while it lasts is important. Plus, getting outdoors has so many benefits for us and our little ones. The warmth on our skin feels soothing and provides us with that much needed Vitamin D, which is essential to our bodies wellbeing. Also, being immersed in nature has been proven to lift our spirits, improve our sleep, and our cognitive abilities. Just remember your sunscreen (check out these great tips on choosing the right one here) and hats!
4. Use all your senses to fully experience your summer
Take a few minutes a day to actively savour with our senses. Taking in your children laughing, cool water on a hot day, the sunshine, the hit summer song on your playlist will allow you to experience more positive emotions, such as joy and happiness. As psychologist Rick Hanson points out, when we savour our moments, we allow those experiences to become locked into our minds and bodies. This helps to foster resilience. When stress hits, those moments help to pull us back into positivity.
Young children are adept at being completely immersed in their moments. But taking the time to walk children through the steps of being present, can help them carry mindfulness through their lives, as they grow.
Get out there and enjoy summer with your kids!
Your summer plans do not need to be big – a sprinkler, some books and some summer snacks can do the trick. It will fly by though, so savour (and record) all those sticky moments, while you can!