After counting down the days until summer vacation, it seems all you have to do is blink and it’s over. Here are five ideas to help make the most of summer vacation with your family and create lasting memories:
1. Take Advantage of the Warm Summer Evenings. Rather than spending more time in front of the television, take advantage of the warm weather by taking part in outdoor activities. Chase lightning bugs. Marvel at the night sky. Sit around the fire or grill and roast marshmallows. Grab a supply of glow sticks to illuminate your surroundings or come up with a few games using them, such as glow ring toss.
2. Do Something Out of the Ordinary. Do something as a family that you wouldn’t normally think to do. See a movie at a drive-in theater. Attend a minor league baseball game. Go to a carnival or cultural festival. Head to the local bowling alley for a game of midnight bowling.
3. Send Postcards to Yourselves from Your Vacation. Everyone loves to receive something fun in the mail, right? Have your kids pick out and purchase some postcards while at your favorite vacation destination or even during your day trip to a local museum. Have them write to themselves about their experiences and put it in the mail before you depart. Not only will your children have something to look forward to when they return home, they’ll have a keepsake to look back on for years to come.
4. Create a Memory Jar. Before summer ends, give each child a clean empty jar, a supply of paper strips, and felt tip markers or pens. Have them think back over the previous few months and ask them questions, such as, “What was your favorite moment this summer?” “What is something new that your learned?"
“What is one special vacation memory that you would share with friends?” Have them write the answers to your questions on individual strips of paper. Have them fold the papers and place them in the jar. In the months to follow, you can pull them out the jar and randomly select slips of paper out of it, read them aloud and relive those summer memories.
5. Make Plans to Relive a Summer Memory. Identify your family’s favorite summer getaway or excursion and plan creative ways to revisit the event. Recreate a meal or special snack you had while you were there. Pull out the souvenirs you purchased and craft a new one of your own. Rent a movie that was set in that location or find a travel documentary on that locale to watch. Go online and print out pictures of the things you saw or events you experienced and hang them on your refrigerator.
What is one thing you will do to make memories with your kids this summer?