We took a brief break from our Happy Family Habits series in July because a lot of you guys (and a lot of our team) were vacationing with the fam, and that in and of itself is a happy family habit to be celebrated! But we’re back now with habit #6. Ready to give it a go for the next 21 days? (And if you’re new to this series – check out all 6 Happy Family Habits here.)
Summer is a blessing and a curse. You don’t have to be out the door at a certain time and there’s no lunches to pack. But managing all that energy for 12 hours a day can be a little challenging. When we are home for the summer, I try to be strategic about planning our days.
Down time is great, but too much of it can lead to boredom and bickering. Planning in a few new activities stimulates the kids. They might even forget they are learning something new! Just like school, but without the classroom.
This summer, the new things we’ve learned range from pretty simple to a little more involved. One day, we shopped at an Asian market instead of our local Ralph’s. It was an adventure and we ended up looking up all the interesting fruits and vegetables we saw. Did you know the jack fruit can weigh up to 80 pounds!?
Exploring your own neighborhood is another great way to teach the kids something new. We live close to Signal Hill and I know the area has a lot of rich history. So, we took the hike and the kids took turns reading the signs that talk about what Long Beach was like decades ago.
Visiting museums is a perfect summer activity to teach new things. To really make it a purposed learning activity, I like to create a scavenger hunt list for the kids. They especially like it when I put the list on their mobile devices. To make the list, I look up the museum’s website and find out about the current exhibits. We usually have to drive a bit to go to a museum, so I end the day at a new ice cream place and we talk about what we learned over a fun treat.
Teaching something new can also be meaningful. One day we helped package meals with Kids Around the World. The representative taught us about hungry children around the world. We learned about what went into each meal packet and how it would help the children around the world. My kids still talk about that experience.
Planning these events in advance help ensure they will happen. Because summer is a blur and before we know it, we’re back at school. Take the time to plan in a new activity each week and you’ll make this summer memorable!