Simple ways to make a magical and memorable summer
I am a die hard romantic for summer and chances are, if you are here, you have a special place in your heart for summer too!
I have loved summer since I was a kid. Spending hot summer afternoons propped in front of a cooler, a distant humble cousin of an air conditioner, eating delicious mangoes and just living the best life!
I am not sure what I long for more, the relatively simple life or the endless hours spent in the sun.
Summer clearly was the most favorite part of my childhood.
And that's what I want my kids to have, a simple, nostalgic never ending summer that will bring them back to their childhood year after year.
Spend days in the sun
Is it even summer if you are not spending every waking minute in the sun?
Kids spend too much time indoors glued to their screens, spending a day in the sun is such a refresher for their mind and souls. And not to mention all that sunlight will tire them enough to hit bed early in the evening. A win for both parents and the kids!
This one is my personal favorite and something I look forward to the entire winter. We plant a vegetable garden and tend to it every weekend together. Kids get to pick and plant their own little saplings that they take care of through the growing season.
And the rewards are the sweetest! We get to cook with home grown vegetables and enjoy the delicious strawberries from our garden. We are in no way professionals and lose so much of our produce to squirrels and birds. But another important lesson for the kids… to live in harmony with nature!
Haven’t met a kid that won't squeal with joy when given a chance to play in water. You can go as elaborate or as basic as you want. Some days we will pull out a water-fountain-pool with slides and everything and other days I will just fill up mixing bowls with water and hand them ladles to make soup.
Kids seem to enjoy water no matter what. And I don’t have to worry about giving them a bath that day. One less chore for me!
We used to love camping before we had kids and to tell you the truth, camping feels like more work and less fun now that we have little humans to take care of. So I came up with the most fun and least amount of work kind of camping… drum roll please.. It's Backyard Camping!
Whenever we have warmer temperatures at night during summer break, we set up a tent in the backyard. The kids get so excited, for them this is as good as camping in the camp grounds. We lie down in our sleeping bags and tell each other stories, gaze at the stars and snuggle. I get to watch their little eyes sparkle with joy and wonder. At that moment it's hard to tell who is this camping for… for them or us!
Backyard movie nights
We started this tradition during covid when the city movie nights were all canceled and it was so hard to keep little kids engaged and content just at home.
We got an inexpensive projector and hung a white sheet in our backyard. It is, in no way, a luxury experience but is it fun? Just pop some popcorn and watch the night away! One of the most memorable movie nights ever!
This one is totally for me! I suggest BBQ evenings when I do not want to cook. Dear husband is so happy at his grill and the kids all help him while I sit and sip my mojito in joy!
I hope they never find out why I suggest BBQ nights 😀
I mean they get to eat smores… that should be a reason enough to never suspect an ulterior motive!
Cook dinner together
Give your whiny little kids some potatoes to peel and some ingredients to mix and watch the frown wipe away!
I sure end up with a lot more mess than if I was cooking alone but if you have a toddler whose sole purpose in life is to cling to his mom’s leg, you might as well get some potatoes peeled. Better yet, involve your bigger kids and cook something fancy. Not only will they enjoy the process, they eat so much better when they have cooked something.
And if you ask my daughter, cooking Royal Dinner(that's what we call them) is one of our favorite summer activities!
Ice cream time
Whether it is the ice cream truck that circles around the neighborhood or if it is the frozen yogurt place downtown, my kids love getting their cold dessert after dinner.
The evenings are long and balmy, there is no school the next day, a little bit of sugar rush can create so many happy memories!
Plan a fun vacation
As a family we take one fun vacation every summer. It does not have to be an elaborate european trip, even a small road trip is just as fun! And the best part about the vacation is planning it. We always plan with kids. We search up places together, look at the images in Google Maps, figure out fun hiking places and ice cream stores, make notes, read something new together.
My kids are travel marshals, they love planning and traveling way more than the vacation itself.
And to document it forever, create a travel journal for them!
This is something my kids beg for every now and then. I don’t know what they like more, licking the batter or the fresh hot baked goods with cold milk.
Whatever it is, baking is their favorite afternoon activity. I am usually happy to oblige when I don’t have to worry about getting their homework done or lugging them around from one class to another.
Redo their rooms
Over the years I have realized one thing, if I want to keep my kids’ room clean, I have to involve them in the process of… re-decorating their room. By re-decorating I do not mean to actually bring in stuff and re-do their room. We simply just move the furniture around, ask for their tips on how they want to arrange their reading area or what bed sheet to put, how to sort their books and where to keep the laundry basket. We sometimes build a canopy of sheets or bring in cardboards to build forts. It keeps them busy for days and propels them enough to keep the room clean for at least a few days.
Spend hot afternoons at museums
Museums are such a fun way to spend a hot afternoon indoors getting fascinated by all the art and science.
We sometimes encourage them to bring their notebooks along and to note down things they found interesting. And frankly I like the idea of a quiet afternoon where I don’t have to engage with them every minute. They are stimulated enough in the museums and come back inspired to work on projects which will give me more peaceful afternoons!
Recently we started a birthday tradition… On their birthday, we take kids to a bookstore and each kid gets to buy as many books as they can carry. Kiara’s birthday is right around the corner of summer break. So she makes a list of all the books that she wants to read in the summer and on her birthday gets to pick as many as she can carry. The joy on her face and the twinkle in her eyes are so worth this tradition and the best part… endless quiet afternoons and memories that will be cherished for life!
Family game nights
Fridays are for Family game nights. Kids get to pick a game that they would like to play on Friday and they eagerly wait the entire week for the game night. From board games to group online games to outdoor games, we have done it all. It is such a sweet family bonding time, although I am not going to lie, the games can sometimes get intense and there are tears and foul moods. But that’s bound to happen when you have competitive kids and a dad who will not let them win every time 😀
Visit Farmer’s Market and picnic
Sundays are for picnics at the farmer's market! The kitchen is closed and mom is off duty. So we head over to the farmer’s market, make our way through all the tastings, ciders and honey sticks. Pick our favorites, enjoy a small picnic at the park and spend a lazy sunday basking in the sun.
Visit Splash pad
Is it even summer if you don’t visit a splash pad? Put kids in their swim suits and head on to a local splash pad. They will have a time of their life squealing with joy running through the cold water and burning all that extra energy away!
Make sure to take some videos, these will be such cherished memories when they are all grown up.
Pick a new hobby together
It is so fun to pick a new/old hobby and work through a project together. Whether they want to learn painting or sewing or beading or legos, working on a project together will be so much fun. They will be able to learn something new, hone their skill and have a souvenir to remember that fun summer they learnt something new.
Make music/Karaoke nights or Dance Parties
My guilty pleasure is singing my lungs out to Disney Princess Karaoke and I am so happy to share this act of absolute enjoyment with them and sing through the night. You will be amazed at their ability to sing high and low accompanied by the hand bangs!
For this one night, let them jump off the couch, shake their little booties and shriek with joy.
While you are spending this most memorable summer with your littles, don’t forget to get a professional photoshoot! The heirlooms that you will create in the summers will be the happy memories they will carry in their hearts forever and this is what will bring them home year after year, long after they are gone!
Now I can not live your summer for you, but I can make sure to capture these precious memories for you that you will cherish for your lifetime!
Call me discuss your dream family session!