Minnesota summers mean green grass and swimming in the lake, parades and a weekend at the cabin. Fishing and boating and camping. Djibouti summers mean watermelon and trips to the ocean and hunkering inside air conditioned rooms, hiding from dust storms and suffocating heat.
Popsicles and lemonade stands, or balls of pink ice in plastic bags and fresh fried samosas. Family walks in the park or dip-netting for salmon, playing cards, and sleeping late.
What does summer look like around the globe and how do kids pass the hazy, lazy summer days? I asked people who live all over the world to share what their children do. The resulting photos and kid activities showcase the beautiful diversity of our planet and the stunning similarities. One aspect of summer that I had not previously considered is that it is summer for half the planet. The southern hemisphere is currently experiencing their winter months. I find this fascinating and am thankful for the reminder of how massive the world is. And yet, as these photos demonstrate, we are connected.
Kids in Mexico play football and kids in Switzerland play football and kids in Djibouti play football and kids in the United States play, well, they play soccer. They play across gender, religious, ethnic, and class boundaries that some adults might find divisive but the kids don’t have time to notice. They are too busy not being caught in tag, or scouting out the best hiding spots for hide-and-seek, or designing a game of duck-duck-goose (duck-duck-gray duck in my native Minnesota) on a trampoline.
What do your children love to do in the summer?
This slideshow is a celebration of our diversity, our planet, our commonality, and our children.
Summertime! 1 of 21
Djibouti, Djibouti 2 of 21
Kids play jumprope in Djibouti, happy for vacation time.
Penang, Malaysia 3 of 21CoreyAnn Khan shares from Malaysia. "Penang is known as a place where cultures intersect. These kids are Malaysian, American, and Australian. They are Hindu, Christian, and Muslim. And yet, when it comes to summer, they don't see all those barriers and do what kids do best - PLAY! Here the kids are playing 'duck-duck-goose' on the trampoline with each other."They all live on the same street and the mothers blog at:CoreyAnn blog http://www.AdventureBee.netTina's blog http://mommynificent.com/Tracy's blog http://www.ourtravellifestyle.com/Annie's page (Malaysian homestay owners but not bloggers) -http://www.annieshomestay.com/
Switzerland 4 of 21
In Switzerland Ute says her children like all sorts of outdoor activities. Hiking, building dam walls in the stream, playing all sorts of ballgames (mainly football), refreshing themselves whereever they can and playing cards with friends.
Ute Limacher-Riebold writes at expatsincebirth and lives in the Netherlands but her family spends most of their holidays in Switzerland.
Switzerland 2 5 of 21
they play ball games...
Switzerland 3 6 of 21
Switzerland 4 7 of 21
Merida, Mexico 8 of 21From Becky and her kids, ToÃ±ito, Viviana, Maya, and Ricky: We spend our summers in Mexico, and my 4 kids love to go to the beach or spend time in parks! The parks here are very large and frequently have little playgrounds, a train, sometimes there's a little zoo, lots of vendors with balloons, snacks, and ice cream, and the kids play soccer or sometimes there are trampolines or jumpy houses too.
You can find Becky Morales at www.kidworldcitizen.org and this summer they are living in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Mexico 9 of 21
At the beach Becky and the kids collect sea shells/rocks, play in the sand, or jump over the waves. At some beaches you can snorkle and see amazing fish and marine life.
Alaska, USA 10 of 21
After a long cold winter, and with nearly around-the-clock sunlight during the summer months, kids on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula spend a lot of their summertime outside. Biking, hiking, camping, and playing organized baseball or soccer are popular activities. But for 2 weeks in July, when hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River to spawn, everybody focuses on ONE thing: dip-netting! By placing large round nets, attached to long poles, into the river, Alaskan families each harvest 50+ fish to freeze, can, and smoke...a major source of food to be enjoyed all year long. Here 13-year-old Emily shows off a salmon pulled from her net.
The Pieh Family of Soldotna, Alaska
Enkhuizen, the Netherlands 11 of 21
Olga says that they love to stay in the Netherlands during the summer. "Usually, we visit our families in Poland and Germany, but this time we had my parents come over to see us. Also, we're taking this opportunity to visit more of the Netherlands. We have found many exciting places already!"
Olga Mecking lives in The Netherlands and blogs at The European Mama
Canada 12 of 21
Aisha's family moved to Canada from the UK 3 three years ago and "ever since we've been enjoying the outdoors like so many other Canadians. There are walking trails, splash-pads and parks EVERYWHERE so it's easy for families to spend time outdoors. Summer means fireworks and face-paints on Canada Day, watching the rib-eating competition at the local Ribfest, maybe a trip to Niagara Falls or Canada's Wonderland. But our favourite by far is packing a picnic, grabbing the fishing nets, buckets & spades, frisbee and swimming gear, and heading to the lake. We live just a few minutes walk from a quiet sandy beach on Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes that together account for over a fifth of the world's fresh water) and it's easy to while away a whole day down there. There's nowhere we'd rather be on a hot, humid summer day."
Aisha Ashraf blogs at expatlog.
San Francisco, USA 13 of 21Giselle and her daughter practice Morning Yoga before heading out to Butterfly Garden at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers.A link to a kids yoga sequence inspired by our trip to the Butterfly Garden -http://www.kidsyogastories.com/virtual-book-club-week-2-garden/.Giselle Shardlow blogs at kidsyogastories
California, USA 14 of 21
Giselle and her daughter enjoying the butterfly garden.
Kenya 15 of 21
Junior high school boys hike in the hills around Kijabe, Kenya during school vacation.
Rachel Pieh Jones blogs at Djibouti Jones
Ali Sabieh, Djibouti 16 of 21
In Djibouti the early summer months (May and June) are for track and field championships.
Khoran Bato, Djibouti 17 of 21
Later summer months in Djibouti are for cooling off at the beach and exploring.
Rachel also blogs here on Babble Voices at Into Africa
Minnesota, US 18 of 21
In rural Marshall Minnesota Heather and her three daughters garden together to provide home-grown and homemade deliciousness.
Heather blogs about all things fresh and homemade at The Welcoming House
Marshall Minnesota 19 of 21
After the hard garden work, time for bubbles!
Bujumbura, Burundi 20 of 21
What would a global summer slideshow be without Kristy Carlson and Burundi? Her boys love to play and jump and explore.
Kristy writes and displays her gorgeous photos at the Long Miles Coffee Project.
photo by Kristy J Carlson
Burundi 21 of 21
And what would summer be without books and tent-building? Read, read, read.
Kristy also writes here on Into Africa.
photo by Kristy J Carlson