School’s out, so regardless of what the actual calendar says, summer is here!
Now we’re faced with a long stretch of good weather and leisure time. When I was growing up, there was one forbidden word in our house. My mom called it the B-word, and if we said it, we were given chores.
What’s the B-word? B-O-R-E-D.
(Although, come to think of it, we were never under any circumstances allowed to call anyone the other B-word either.)
But I digress … avoid boredom with the kids this summer! Pick a fun, free afternoon itinerary from the list below to keep the whole family entertained:
Itinerary 1: Library + Park
Pack a picnic. Include some treats, but nothing too messy. Then, go to the library and find a book you could lose yourself in. Step out of your comfort zone, and get a book or two that excites you. Then, head to the park. Spread out a blanket, enjoy your lunch, and escape into another world for a few hours. This itinerary scales beautifully and can be enjoyed alone, with your friends, or with your kids. Just make sure you bring enough lunch for everyone!
Itinerary 2: Picnic at the Lake/River/Stream
This time pack a picnic, but put on your swimsuit under your clothes. Bring lunch to your local swimming hole, and go swimming! When was the last time you swam? I have very curly hair, and when we were young, my sister wouldn’t even play with me until I’d “swum the curl out of” my hair. This summer, I can’t stay away. I’m teaching my scruffy puppy to swim, and I keep wading in past my knees “just to show him” how to do it. One of these days, I’m going to have to take my own advice and put my swimsuit on under my clothes. Then, as I dry off, I’ll eat a delicious meal. Why does everything taste better outside?
Itinerary 3: Imagination Staycation
This one’s fun. Put your swimsuit on again, and head out into the yard with the pretense of watering plants. Once everyone’s outside, start a water fight! Spray the hose, turn on the sprinkler, get out those squirt guns if you have them, and squeal away! When everyone’s had enough (but not too much, don’t wait until someone gets upset!) head back inside and build a fort. Build a fort like you’ve never built one before. Use all the pillows. All the blankets. Bonus: build the fort around the TV and watch a summer movie from the floor.
Itinerary 4: Crafternoon
I have a great organization kit. It was a gift from my sister. It’s a hard plastic box that has Scrabble tiles on the top, spelling out “Time for a Crafternoon!” and I keep it tucked away most of the time. But today’s itinerary brings out the craft supplies. Challenge yourself to make crafts from the things you have. Use Pinterest as inspiration, but stay out of the craft store! You’re using imagination here, nothing else.
Itinerary 5: People Watching
Get up early, and make a big breakfast. Then, get on your bicycles and head to the farmers’ market to watch people. Listen to their conversations. What are they asking? What do they want to know? Who did they bring with them? What are they buying? I could spend all day at the farmers’ market, just watching. Word of warning, though: you may not be able to do this one for free, since the food at the farmers’ market is so crazy delicious that it could tempt even the fullest of tummies.
Itinerary 6: Outdoor Movies/Concerts
Does your city set up outdoor movies? What about free concerts in the park? This is another itinerary ripe for people watching. You’ll get to be outside with your family, and you’ll get to see a movie you’ve seen a thousand times or listen to a concert of someone you’ve never heard of. Bring your picnic here, too.
The principle is simple, really. Do as much as you possibly can outside, especially eating. Don’t forget to hydrate and wear sunscreen, and make this summer the summer to remember!
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