When the end of June hits, most parents I know are thankful for the few months of reprieve ahead, as the hustle of the school year, especially those last two months, gets tedious near the end of the year. Summer time can be a combination of lazy-days around the house, and epic adventures with some vacation time, or just hanging around exploring your city. My teens and I usually have some epic plans which include workouts, beach days, and some shopping of course. Now that we are into August, we have crossed a few things off our list, but we still have some to-do’s before we head back to school.
My teens and I usually have some epic plans which include workouts, beach days, and some shopping of course. Now that we are into August, we have crossed a few things off our list, but we still have some to-do’s before we head back to school.
Not every summer to-do activity is fun and instagrammable, but rather, some things that are going to set you up for a better, and easier year ahead. A healthy combination of fun times, cleaning out last year’s stuff and setting up systems for the upcoming school year will fill your August calendar, and you will feel refreshed and ready once September hits.
Visit a body of water near you.
A lake, the ocean, on a boat or at a cottage, something about hanging around the water is always fun. Water sports like surfing, water skiing or paddle boarding are great for bonding and family fun, but even just hanging out on a boat says summertime. Most Canadian provinces have some type of lake, ocean or water activity nearby, and if you don’t public pools are always an option. Getting wet while enjoying some sunshine is always a way to make memories, and get some exercise at the same time.
Purge bedrooms and closets.
Sitting inside on a hot summer day doesn’t seem that appealing, but the truth of the matter is, some days are just too warm to be outside. Take advantage of those days where you can’t plan an out-of-the-house-excursion by doing a bedroom purge and cleaning out closets. Inevitably, your kids will have outgrown some clothes, books, and activities that are cluttering up their bedroom. We take the time to organize and pack away last year’s dance costumes and choose others to donate. Books that are no longer of interest get passed over to friends and clothes are constantly being rotated. Once September hits, and activities start up again, you will be glad that you took time over the summer to do this job.
Explore something new in your city.
It’s fun to visit new-to-you restaurants in your area and introduce your kids to something you wouldn’t normally try during the school year schedule. When Monday-Friday consists of the same weekly routine and the weekends are filled with activities, most often we are eating on the fly or getting takeout from our old favourites. Going to a new restaurant and trying something you haven’t had before is a fun summertime activity, and all the better if you can get the extended family together. Similarly, there are many local landmarks that we have never visited with our kids. Public gardens, museums and even places just a short drive away can be something fun to do when you have the time. Not every memory-made has to be at legendary vacation spot—sometimes just exploring things close to home can be fun for the whole family.
Downtime with your loved ones.
I can’t stress enough the importance of downtime. It is so easy to get caught up in the fear of missing out—especially when you and your kids are seeing everyone else’s vacation photos all over social media. Most of us are living full, overly-scheduled lives during the school year so it’s really important to just spend some time with your loved ones just chilling out. Playing games like cards or backgammon in your backyard or in your basement, binge watching those TV-shows you’ve never yet seen or simply spending time together doing nothing can be as good for the soul. Enjoy your own family, and teach your kids how to re-charge—it is an important skill that we need to model for our children.
What are you going to do with your family for the remainder of the summer?