Getting more out of summertime

Maria Cunningham

As I stood in line at the local movie rental store, I noticed the man in front of me had an armful of DVDs.  The guy next to him seemed to know him and inquired about all the DVDs. 

“Oh, they’re for my kids.  You know, school is out.  My wife sent me here with a list.  She says she gonna go nuts with the kids home all day for the next three months!”

Later I was sitting by the baby pool and overhead two moms talking about all the camps and classes they had enrolled their children in for the summer to keep them busy.  One mom commented, “I don’t want them to get bored!”

Sure, summertime can be an adjustment with having your kids home all day, but is it really that bad?

I think not.

Summer break offers a wonderful opportunity for kids and parents to relax, develop their imaginations, read the classics, and play in a way that only the summer allows.

There is nothing wrong with summer camps or even watching DVDs in the summer, in moderation.  Kids do not need to have every minute of their day scheduled, nor should they.  If they are provided with constant activity and entertainment, they will come to expect it. Definitely not something you want to instill in your kids.

I think back to my summers as a kid – squirt gun fights, long afternoons at the pool, building forts in the back yard, trips to the library, sewing projects with my mom, the never ending Monopoly games with my siblings, week day sleepovers at my best friend’s house, day trips to museums and parks, making homemade ice cream, afternoon movies at the local theatre, planning a neighborhood carnival in our backyard, reading books that were not “assigned” to me, and trips to visit my grandparents.  Those experiences created memories that I still carry with me.

Here are some ideas to get you started … How about a summertime reading program for your family?  What about teaching your kids to make an easy dinner from start to finish?   Choose a week day to go to daily Mass.  Consider starting a small garden in your backyard.  Go camping.  Take a bike ride.  Make a mini pilgrimage to a local church or shrine.   Look into your local parks outdoor theatre programs for puppet shows and concerts.  Find a pen pal for your child.   Visit  your local zoo or a farm.  Participate in the Summer Faith Adventure online (http://www.holyheroes.com/).  How about creating a scrapbook with your kids?  Plan a family picnic.  Go strawberry picking.   Choose a volunteer opportunity for your family.  Tie-die some t-shirts.   Visit an elderly neighbor.  Just allow time for the kids to play … an activity that seems to be neglected these days.

Don’t feel the need to schedule every minute of your kids’ summer.  Instead, relax, enjoy them and have fun with each other.

What are some of  your ideas?

Topics: Culture , Family , Parenting

Maria Cunningham lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband Chuck, and their ten children.   Maria provides a look into her life as a "mom-of-many" at her blog Home Sweet Heart.

View all articles by Maria Cunningham

Ads by Google
(What's this?)


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google



Abortion (51)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (18)  Church teaching (35)  Contraception (28)  Culture (124)  Current Events (102)  Dating (15)  Death (7)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (231)  Family (95)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (4)  Fitness (1)  Food (3)  Forgiveness (19)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (3)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (15)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (9)  Marriage (38)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (3)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (6)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (61)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (46)  Personal Growth (107)  Politics (5)  Pope Francis (6)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (35)  Pro-Life (29)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (10)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Religious Vocation (1)  Saints (17)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (20)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (3)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (7)  Women's Health (21)  Workplace (13)  Writings of the Saints (12)  Young Women (41) 


Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30

Text only

Follow us: