Loading

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?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (49)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (18)  Church teaching (35)  Contraception (28)  Culture (124)  Current Events (98)  Dating (15)  Death (6)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (226)  Family (92)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (3)  Fitness (1)  Food (2)  Forgiveness (19)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (2)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (15)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (9)  Marriage (37)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (3)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (5)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (59)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (45)  Personal Growth (106)  Politics (4)  Pope Francis (4)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (34)  Pro-Life (28)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (8)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Religious Vocation (1)  Saints (16)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (20)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (2)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (7)  Women's Health (21)  Workplace (12)  Writings of the Saints (11)  Young Women (40) 

Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
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
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: