We all had plans of the pools, packed soccer games, amusement parks, grill-outs, family reunions, and vacations. Then 2020 hit and well, we got to learn the lesson of a slow-down. But guys, who says because we slow down, summer has to suck?
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. make the now the primary focus of your life.” – eckhart tolle
Many of our favorite activities seem back on but… different. I just happen to be one of those pretty paranoid-germ-a-phob types, so actually attending said activities is likely not in the plans. Our summer guide is now yours!
Bring the fun to you
Outdoor movie nights are the things nostalgia is made of. Imagine a screen, fire pit, marshmallows, sleeping bags, and the outdoors. Amazon has screens for around $100, give or take. When you look at a family of four will drop about $60 or more for one night at the movies, this investment will pay for itself.
Although the neighborhood pool is definitely our home away from home, there are guidelines they must follow, which may cause many to miss out on their summer sanctuary. Bring the fun home! Slip n slides are relatively inexpensive compared to the cost of a day at a waterpark. If you want to go big, invest in a large blow-up pool.
Choose artistic activities
There is a reason art therapy is a thing. It taps into our mine and unleashes our inner world on a canvas. After a spring of remote learning, social distancing, and wiping down our groceries, we have a lot to paint out. Grab some tools and let the warmth of the outdoor work to your advantage.
While online art classes are ah-maze-ing, there is something about just getting out and creating with nature. Go foraging with your kids. Pick flowers, grass blades, and leaves. Bring them back to create your own sun prints.
If you happen to come across some small rocks on your walk, save them. They can be used for outdoor dominoes or tic tac toe. Of course, you can spread the love by painting positive messages and leaving the rocks where others travel.
What summer day isn’t complete without bubbles? Using an old water bottle and a sock, you can upcycle your materials and create bubble snakes. If you’d rather make bubbles, use the cardboard from a toilet paper roll and make a large bubble wand! You can always lay down paper to see what surprise pictures come from the popped bubbles.
Find the joy of planting
There are few things more exciting for a kid than waiting a few weeks after planting a seed to see it suddenly pop out of the soil. How that small green stem somehow finds its way to the light is a mystery to most of us. Let that same wonder spark fascination in your children.
Strawberries are great for kids. Most like them and planting in a terracotta strawberry planter means that even people with a small area can enjoy the sweet delights. Sunflowers are fast growers. Consider growing something that can be shared with friends and family.
Pick flowers and lay in a book to dry. If you are worried about the pages, make sure to put extra paper in the book for protection. Place the dried flowers on cardstock and wrap with packing tape for a homemade bookmark.
Make a penpal
Snail mail made a comeback during stay-at-home. There was something about getting a letter in the mail that made your heart feel connected. It was a simple reminder that distance did not stop care.
Go the extra mile and buy wax and stamp for sealing the letters. Shoot – make it old school and buy gel pens and decorate it like we did in high school when passing notes was more than texting under your desk. Put in a small thing like one of your dried flowers. Knowing you sent a smile will definitely bring one to your own face.
Nature grounds us. We are reminded of quiet and peace. The energy can a place to release and float away without bounding off the walls and into us. Take advantage of it.
A simple walk to the mailbox can be a start. Take a moment and watch the clouds. Hear the birds. Breathe in the breeze. Find the spot in your soul where you connect to the oxygen.
In the end, do what is best for our family this summer. As the saying goes, “anything worth doing is worth doing well.” Take the summer and make memories. It is okay if they don’t look like last year.