Summer is here! Unfortunately, my kids have grown and have their own adult responsibilities, so getting to spend the day with them can be challenging to arrange. Thank goodness I still get to have fun with my little nieces and nephews as often as I want! My favorite part about summertime is being the fun aunt. All year long, I love planning fun activities and trips for us to do together. The best part about it is asking for their input. The excitement in their voices as they talk about the things that interest them makes me giggle and warms my heart. Letting them be a part of the planning process is an excellent way to help teach them how to be better planners as adults. Of course, they aren’t giving that any thought. They just love talking to their fun aunt and thinking of all the exciting things we’ll do together. Here are a few things that my nieces and nephews always request. I hope your loved ones enjoy these activities as much as mine do!
1. Going to the pool
This is a great way to beat the summer heat and allow the kids to blow through their energy. It’s especially wonderful if I need to sit back and watch instead of getting in the pool. They have plenty of friends there or each other to play with.
If the pool isn’t feasible, check to see if there is a splash pad in your area. Since they are typically in public parks they are free to the public and a ton of fun. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, water, and some snacks. And always remember to have them wait for at least 30 minutes after eating to get back into the pool.
Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, water, and some snacks. And always remember to have them wait for at least 30 minutes after eating to get back into the pool.
2. Spending time with nature
This is another activity you’ll want to do earlier in the day so you can avoid the hotter hours. Take the kids to a national park to go for a hike and learn about the plants and animals around them. You could also take then to a local botanical garden.
3. Going to watch outdoor events
This can be going to watch a sporting event whether that is professional or collegiate.
I prefer to go to games that my nieces and nephews enjoy as well.We also enjoy going to listen to concerts in the park.
Check with community organizers to see if they are hosting any events in your area. Large malls also entertain with free summer concerts.
3. Outdoor Olympic games
This is my favorite summer activity and a family tradition. Sure, there are the usual games you see in the summer Olympics like foot races but we like to bring in some nontraditional games as well.
We’ll play games like driveway tic tac toe tournaments, the three-legged race, and name that tune. We always play suggestions from the kids.
One year my youngest niece had a play duck, duck, goose. The kids are also in charge of planning everything leading up to the games. We have a lot of fun making homemade trophies, medals, and ribbons. Every year a different child takes on one of the different roles such as announcer, judges, and team captain. It’s a blast!
5. A trip to the zoo
I know what you’re thinking, “The zoo? It’s going to be so hot.” Trust me, I know. When my kids were young I learned a few tricks about how to make sure everyone has a wonderful time at the zoo.
Temperatures are a lot cooler in the earlier hours, it’s less crowded, and the animals will be more active. It’s a lot more fun to see monkeys swinging in the trees than taking a nap because they just had lunch.
-Bring your own water and snacks.
Water is a must when you’re spending hours out in the summer heat and you’ll need food to keep your energy up.
However, buying those things at zoo concession stands can be very expensive. Bringing your own will help you avoid the heavy markup and maybe have a little cash for a special treat afterward.
These are just the things my family loves to do. Your loved ones will undoubtedly have other suggestions that they love doing. Part of the fun is working with the kids to plan the activities. It’s such a treat for them to know that their input is valued. Summer often brings a bevy of events that are fun and free. It can even be as simple as going to your neighborhood park for a few hours. As always, make sure you’re prepared for the sunshine with sunscreen and plenty of water. Oh, and if anyone gets fussy when it’s time to leave, just remind them that you can write a letter to Santa about their behavior. You can also remind them that Christmas is fast approaching with the free countdown calendar.