I have always looked forward to summer with my kids. We just enjoyed being together. Summer days are the perfect time to reconnect and tackle those projects you've been wanting to get to. Here are some cool ideas:
* Spring cleaning - I know...."groan".... but kids can be involved in those deep-cleaning necessary chores. I would tell my kids every summer, "Every day we will work for 30 minutes on our deep cleaning and hoeing. Then we'll do something fun!" And we did! They helped me clean out drawers and cupboards, closets and windows, etc. Then we'd do something like...
* Go to the lake!
* Hike a nature trail.
* Visit a museum (my kids loved museums so much that even when we had a rare time together recently I offered them the chance to connect at a local park or a museum. They picked the museum.)
* Check your local paper for special events in your community. Here in Ithaca we usually take in a movie at the park, or a show at the local theater, or a festival or something.
* Curtain off a section of your basement or under a tree. Give the kids a box of costumes and tell them to come up with a play. When they're ready to perform it, invite the neighbors for a picnic and show.
* Keep making those weekly visits to the library!
* Go swimming at a city pool.
* Painting in the park! Take paper, easels, paints, and snacks and set up to paint a pretty landscape.
* Go blow things up! (Carefully, of course). We tried a few ideas from the book Backyard Ballistics.
* Identify birds, bugs, trees, wildflowers, rocks and constellations. Keep field guides and binoculars ready to take with you. Kids love identifying and naming things. Make a list of what you've seen, or if legal in your area, make a collection.
* Have a garage sale and earn money for something special... perhaps a charity?
* Let kids play play play! Give them time to pretend or read a book. Keep computer and TV time limited.
Enjoy your kids! Their childhoods go by so fast.