Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Using Summertime to Build Family Ties

Summertime presents a great opportunity to really take time to connect with our family members. However, we have to be intentional about taking time for our family members or the summer will fly by without our expectations being met. Here are some fun and inexpensive ideas to help you in your efforts to bond with your family and to possibly create some new and lasting rituals:

  • Have an outdoor movie night. Put up a white sheet and use a projector and a laptop to watch a family film in the comfort of the great outdoors.
  • Plan a neighborhood water party. Have everyone bring water guns, balloons, and their water toys. Get the sprinklers going and the pools filled and have some fun.
  • Plan one-on-one dates with each of your children. Let your child give input and help plan the special date.
  • If you live outside of the city, take a blanket outside at night with your spouse and enjoy the stars and some good conversation.
  • Have a backyard slumber party. Set up the tent or sleep under the stars with your kids.
  • Find out some easy hiking paths in your area. Take a hike and pack a picnic.
  • Look up your state's fish and game web page. Find out if your state has a free fishing day and take the kids fishing.
  • Plan a creative date to go on with your spouse. Use your pre-marriage dating days for inspiration.
  • Sign up to do parent and child swimming lessons with your toddlers.
  • Find out about community education courses that your community or local colleges/universities offer. Take a class with your spouse or one of your children. You could take anything from guitar, to ceramics, Spanish, or photography.
Hopefully, these ideas help you to think about what you would like to do with your family this summer. Please share your ideas on what you have done to use your summers to strengthen your family relationships.

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