June 24, 2015

How to Make the Most of Summer Vacation and Give your Kids the Best Summer Ever!

Summer is here!

This is the season for freedom, dirty bare feet and endless days.

Although many of us still have to work during the summer, there are many ways we can guarantee that this summer is the best yet—not only for our kids, but for ourselves too!

It doesn’t take endless funds or big trips to make that possible but, rather, looking at life like a child and finding the wonder in the small moments.

Children are born with a natural sense of adventure and crave moments that will make them grow. All it takes is a little imagination to make that possible.

Here are some great ways to incorporate magic into your summer so everyone is guaranteed to have a fun summer:

  • Make a plan! Sit down with your kids and ask them if there are any special things they want to do, or places they want to travel too (within reason). My girls and I made a list of the four places they want to visit this summer, and we have it posted on the refrigerator. This is a nice way to get kids involved in the summer plans.
  • Visit new places! In our family we make it a point to visit two places we’ve never been to before each summer. It doesn’t require a lot of money, but just planning ahead. I believe that when we travel to new places our soul collects experiences that make us a richer person.
  • Go on an adventure! Pack a cooler and bag and tell our kids that we are going to go on an adventure in whatever direction the wind is blowing (even if we know the destination).
  • Wake up with the sun! One morning, pack a bag with supplies for breakfast, wake our children up and get them into the car still in their pajamas. Drive to a nearby mountain or field and watch the sun rise and have breakfast on a blanket. Ask them what colors they see in the sky, and if they could be anywhere in the world watching this sunrise—where would they go? These small moments are often the ones they end up remembering the most.
  • Catch some critters! Kids love catching critters. Set up a little habitat in a safe container or terrarium and watch the changes that happen. For older children, they can be encouraged to take a picture each day of their new friend and then reflect on the changes over time. I’ve even encouraged my oldest to keep a journal and write what she sees. These little moments also help keep their brains sharp for the fall; no one ever said learning had to be boring!

  • Build a faerie house! Either in your own backyard, on walks, or even at the beach. Traditionally, fairy houses need to be from found materials with no sort of artificial adhesives. There is no wrong way to build one; it can be constructed next to a tree, or out in the open. Just invite your kids to help gather supplies and then talk together while you build it! Whether we have boys or girls, all children delight in the magic of faeries. More ideas are to put up a fairy door in your house, have a special fairy meal or dessert outside complete with wings and wands!
  • Camp out! Even if it’s just a tent in the backyard, set it up, start a bonfire, roast some marshmallows and tell stories around the fire.
  • Make magic! All children (and adults in my opinion) crave magic. One of the best ways to bring magic into our daily lives is to create a magical space. Blankets, canopies, swings, all decorated with soft white lights invites the feeling of magic at night. Set up a space, even if for just the night, grab some books and make bedtime even more special!
  • Catch fireflies! Take your children out into the night and catch fireflies with them in an old mason jar. Make sure it has air holes and let that be their night light while they sleep—remember to release them in the morning though.

  • Read! Especially for older children, reading is such an important part of learning. For my oldest, we started a literature project this summer, where she will read three childhood classics and then talk about the book with me once she’s done.
  • Picnic! It doesn’t matter where, or when, but have at least one picnic this summer! Let your kids help plan the menu and then share it together underneath the sun together out in nature.
  • Make art! Get a roll of butcher paper and create the world’s longest painting together! Grab brushes and let them paint pictures onto each other’s skin! Put out platters of paint and step into it with bare feet; make art using footprints! Build birdhouses or hummingbird feeds from recycled materials and then paint them together.
  • Make a beach (or lake) challenge! See how many beaches you can visit in one summer. Keep a list and let your kids add to it during the summer! At the end of the summer, talk about which was their favorite and why, and which they’d like to go back to.
  • Ice cream! Ice cream has a way of making the most boring days seem fun. Look up in your area different ice cream places you haven’t tried before and make it a point to visit a few new ones during the dog days of summer.
  • Slow down! The biggest thing that our kids want from us this summer is to just slow down and be in the moment with them. Walk barefoot, splash in puddles, dance in the rain, catch crabs at the ocean, go for walks in nature, bike rides around town, story times, and cook together, watch the stars, dream.

The greatest gift we can give our children is our time. So this summer, make the most of the long days and create some memories with your kids that they will have for the rest of their lives!

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueller’s Day Off



Author: Kate Rose

Editor: Caroline Beaton

Images: Author’s own ; Flickr



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