It’s finally summer!
Time to recoup after a long, fast year of educating. I was asking myself, “What should I write about?” It’s been two months since my last article and I am feeling like I should produce something; however, nothing was coming to mind since I am totally focused on serious recuperation! When I said that I couldn’t think of anything to write about, my husband said, “If you were going to think of something what would it be?” My gut reaction: It’s not time to work right now…it’s time to play. I firmly believe that educators needs a rest, but as a parent, I also want my children to be learning something constuctive.
We build a great deal of play into our summer that very much involves disconnecting from the gadgets and experiencing life in a way we cannot while being teachers and students. Everyone should make a summer activity wish list at the beginning of the summer.
- Attend a musical or play. A professional theatre production is an excellent experience for a child or youth especially if you choose the right production. Choose a show that has an easily understood story and contains visual spectacle. Excellent theatre experiences that I would suggest are Peter Pan, West Side Story, Camelot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, and Phantom of the Opera. If you have teens, you may want to choose a more mature themed production or a work of Shakespeare if that would be deemed enjoyable (We have one teen who likes it and has understood it on stage since grade seven).
- Play The Game of Things. Really, you can play any board game, but we have found this game to be particularly enjoyable with people of all ages. If you have not yet played this game, you are missing out on a guaranteed fun night. In this game, a category is given, for exampe, “Things never to do while you’re camping.” Each player must write a response. The reader (each player takes a turn being the reader and can’t get points on this turn), reads the responses, and the players take turns guessing who said what. A player gets a point for guessing correctly who said a certain statement. We forgot to bring the game on our family holiday, and we wanted to play it so much that we made up our own “Things…” statements so we could play. Playing games encourages dynamic thinking skills.
- Play “Grounder” at the Park. If you are not familiar with this game that is played on a set of park equipment, you are missing out! At least we felt we had been after we played with our children. Last summer, we played a big family game of grounder with three generations of family involved (ages 10-60). One person is ‘it.’ The person who is ‘it,’ must tag one of the other players who is climbing on the equipment. When someone is tagged, he/she becomes ‘it.’ The catch—the person who is ‘it’ must keep his/her eyes closed! At any time during the game, the person who is ‘it,’ can call “grounder’; if someone is touching the ground at that time, he/she becomes ‘it.’ It’s quite hilarious to play with a full range of ages.
- Attend a Concert Festival Weekend. Music is good for the soul, and live music is even better. Going to see musicians on stage with a lawn chair and a picnic lunch is a great way to spend a day.
- Storytelling and Writing Expo. You can tell stories in the car while traveling or around the campfire. The stories don’t have to be earth-shattering–just make it fun. For instance, take turns telling the same story (chain story) and what each person adds has to make sense with what’s already happened. It depends on what you children like to write, but having a song writing expo (or another type of poetry) could be fun. Agree upon a theme, set a date, and have a fun night where each family members gets to share their song (or whatever other type of writing you decide to include).
- Go Bowling. There’s actually a free summer bowling program for kids that has a very reasonable fee for the adults in their lives to be included. They can have two free games of bowling per day, and if you purchase the family plan, up to four other adults can go free as well (if they are accompanying the children).
- Beach…build a sand castle
- Visit a Zoo or a Wildlife Preserve. There’s nothing like seeing real, life animals up close!
- Go to a Historical Attraction. Museums and science centers that have an interactive, child friendly environment are best. Your children will be learning but not even realizing it!
- Andrenaline Rush Activity. I’m thinking water park or theme park where you get a little (or big) thrill. Ride a roller coaster. Go down the fast water slide. You get the idea.
I encourage you to create your own list of seize the moment opportunities! Don’t let your summer get away without working in those fun activities that you don’t have time for during the hustle and bustle of the school year.
Feel free to post ideas of what you think are ‘must do’ summer activities.