Every year, summer brings welcome changes. As the weather improves, schools let out and an entire season of possibilities begins. This year, perhaps more than any other, summer will be celebrated as a chance to get outside, explore new things and revisit seasonal favourites.
Whether you make a summer bucket list or take each day as it comes, this year has the potential to be great. While you may modify some activities, there is plenty of fun to be had and a full summer to be enjoyed.
If you have kids at home, you may be wondering how to make the most of this short season? How do you have the best summer ever with your kids?
In the following checklist, we’ve put together some ideas on how to have the best summer ever. We hope this checklist has inspired you to think about ways to get outside, try new things and have fun.
1. Get Out to the Parks
Parks are often synonymous with the best summer ever. Thankfully, local and national parks were among the first public spaces to be re-opened this spring. Bring a lunch, your water bottle and a trail map to make the most of these beautiful hiking trails, walking paths and open spaces. Try a new park or trail to make your outing feel more like an adventure.
2. Find a Great Day Camp
Another tip on how to have the best summer ever is to find a great day camp. Let ‘fun’ reign this summer. While not all camps will operate, others will be able to make the modifications they need to run safely. Day camps are an excellent choice for summer fun, as they offer a wide range of experiences.
Whether your kids are into sports, arts, technology or adventure, you are sure to find a camp that fits their interests. Does your daughter love aviation? Do your boys love theatre, science or Minecraft? Look around, as you are sure to find a day camp that lights up their eyes.
3. Escape to Overnight Summer Camps
After many weeks of sheltering in place, an overnight summer camp might be the perfect escape for school-age kids this year. Look for a camp with a strong reputation, solid health guidelines and lots of opportunities for kids to be outside.
4. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
There’s no better way to get your kids moving in the summer than an outdoor scavenger hunt. For added adventure, head to a new neighbourhood, where items will be harder to find. Make the items age-appropriate, from bikes and bridges to dogs, motorcycles or specific models of cars.
5. Build an Obstacle Course
For kids too young to take on a scavenger hunt, try building your own obstacle course in your yard. Simple supplies, including string, nylon tubes and pool noodles can be used to create obstacles for crawling, balancing and jumping. Get creative with supplies you have around your home and get your stopwatch ready.
6. Research Outdoor Performances
While most large-venue concerts will be on hold this summer, there are sure to be smaller-scale, outdoor performances available. See if your community has any shows scheduled, where you can sit outside and enjoy the warmth of summer.
Another option is to ask local music schools if their students will be performing year-end recitals. Watching other kids sing, dance or play the violin is a great way to inspire interest in your young ones.
7. Try a New Summer Sport
The summer is a great time to try new things. While team sports such as soccer or basketball may be modified or on hold this year, it might be the perfect time to try a sport they’ve never done before. There are plenty of solo activities that go hand-in-hand with summer, including: kayaking, golf, rock climbing, mountain biking or windsurfing.
8. Make Summer Trips
While you’ve likely kept your distance from most people for a long time, summer might be the best time to make some strategic visits. With warmer temperatures, outdoor visits with family and friends, while following current guidelines, will be much easier to manage. Consider driving to a favourite aunt or uncle’s house, even if it means a longer drive and patio-only visit.
9. Find Some Sand
One of the true luxuries of summer is finding the opportunity to run your toes through the sand. If you live within driving distance of an ocean or lake, pack your lunch, grab your book and some sand toys; make the effort to find some down time this way. Your kids are sure to remember the sounds, the warmth and the feeling of being on a beach.
10. Explore a Creek
No summer is complete without a thorough exploration of a good creek. Ask around or research where to find creeks in your area. Bring some snacks, your boots and even a magnifying glass to get a good look at the creek’s smallest critters.