10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Time with Your Kids This Summer

Summer is a special time when kids are out of school and families have the opportunity to spend quality time together. In today's fast-paced and digitally dominated world, finding ways to connect with our children can sometimes be a challenge. While there are countless activities available to engage them, few things can match the pure joy and lasting memories created each Summer. To make the most of this precious time, I've compiled a list of 10 exciting ways to make the most of your time with your kids this Summer.

  1. Don’t forget to Notice Your Vacation Time!

    Almost all family law court orders include an order allowing each parent to have a vacation with their child, with the length of time varying from a few days to a few weeks. Many court orders give deadlines when that notice is due to the other parent with certain requirements with providing information like travel dates, location, and/or the specific airline or hotel you are planning to stay at.

    Make a plan in advance for a trip you’d like to take with your child. It can be as close as San Diego or an international trip (depending on your orders). Email, text or send your Talking Parents message now so that your child can look forward to the trip (and your co-parent can plan accordingly).

  2. Family Bucket List

    At the beginning of the Summer, sit down at the kitchen table and make a list of things to do over the Summer. Each family member should contribute at least one idea to this year's Family Bucket List. The only requirement is that everyone participates with a smile on their face.

    Need ideas? Check out these sites:

    Sandy Toes and Popsicles

    LA Parent

  3. Get Outside

    Set clear limits on screen time and encourage your child to spend time outdoors instead. This may mean setting up specific times for outdoor play or establishing a rule that screens are allowed only at specific times of day.

    Spending time outdoors is crucial for children's physical, mental, and social well-being. By encouraging children to get outside, adults can help kids stay active, reduce stress and anxiety, and build important social skills.

    Easy ideas are bike rides, picnics (even in your backyard), plan a beach day, water balloon fights, and races (in the pool, on foot, or on wheels!)

  4. Get Creative with Arts and Crafts:

    Unleash your child's creativity by engaging in arts and crafts projects. Set up a dedicated space at home with supplies like paints, crayons, colored paper, and glue. Encourage your children to let their imagination soar as they create unique artwork or build something from recycled materials. These activities not only entertain but also enhance their motor skills and cognitive abilities.

  5. Organize a Family Movie Night:

    Create a cozy atmosphere at home by planning a family movie night. Let each family member take turns choosing their favorite movie, and make some popcorn or snacks to enjoy together. It's an excellent opportunity for relaxation and bonding, all within the comfort of your own home.

  6. Visit Local Museums and Attractions:

    Explore your local area and discover museums, galleries, and other attractions near you. For example, Discovery Cube has interactive and STEM activities specifically designed for children, providing educational experiences. If you have little ones, try out The Children's Museum at La Habra, which has fun hands-on exhibits geared towards toddlers and preschool age kids. Take advantage of these resources to stimulate your children's curiosity and expand their knowledge.

  7. Read a Book Together (Or a Whole Series)

    Engage in reading time with your kids to foster literacy. When our children were young, we made it a priority to read to them every night, even before they could speak. However, during the school year, this routine can sometimes be overshadowed by other responsibilities.

    One way to reignite the reading habit is by taking your child to the library and allowing them to choose a book or a chapter book series they find interesting. Set aside a few minutes before bedtime to read together, even if it's just for 10-15 minutes. You can take turns reading, with the parent starting a page and the child taking over for a portion. Encourage discussions about the story, characters, and themes, giving everyone a chance to share their thoughts and ideas. This activity not only nurtures a love for reading but also promotes critical thinking and communication skills.

    If your child is motivated by goals or needs a little extra encouragement, you can create a Summer Book chart with a reward to celebrate their achievements.

  8. Create a Backyard Campout Experience:

    You don't need to venture far to enjoy the thrill of camping. Set up a tent in your backyard and create a mini-campground. Build a bonfire and roast marshmallows for s'mores. Tell stories, stargaze, and enjoy the coziness of sleeping outdoors. This backyard camping experience offers the joys of camping while still being close to home comforts (like a real bathroom!).

  9. Bonding Through Play: Playing Sports with Your Kids

    Playing sports with your kids is a great way to create lasting memories, promote physical well-being, and strengthen your parent-child bond. Tips for Playing Sports with Your Kids:

    • Choose age-appropriate activities and sports that suit your child's interests and abilities. Get your child interested by involving them in the planning – buying the equipment, setting up, and a chalk board or dry erase board to keep score.
    • Embrace the fun factor. Keep it light-hearted, focusing on enjoyment rather than competition. Rock-paper-scissor for who goes first. Don’t keep score if that doesn’t make it fun.
    • Celebrate small victories, encourage laughter, and let your inner child come out to play.
    • Be patient and supportive, allowing your child to learn at their own pace.
    • Explore a variety of sports to expose your child to different experiences and skills.
    • Emphasize the importance of good sportsmanship.
  10. Volunteer in Your Community:

    Engaging in community service activities is a valuable way to teach children about compassion and empathy. Find local volunteer opportunities that align with your family's interests and values. Whether it's participating in a beach cleanup, volunteering at an animal shelter, or helping at a food bank, working together for the betterment of others creates a sense of purpose and unity.

Review, use or transmission of the information above does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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