This post by Amy Carney originally appeared here, and Amy graciously allowed us to re-share it with all of you!
Childhood is short. Summer is even shorter.
God willing, we only get 18 summers with our kids, so how can we bring significance to this summer that may be simpler than we’re used to?
1. Strengthen your family values and purpose
Have you taken the time to claim your core values and purpose for raising your kids? It will be nearly impossible to live out a summer of significance if you haven’t taken the time to define what ‘significant’ even means to you.
Start by defining your core values and what it is you want to instill in your children while they are growing up under your care.
What do you want your son or daughter armored with when they leave your home one day headed into adulthood?
Claim it. Name it and strive to live it out this summer.
2. Prioritize play
Let’s take a deep breath and think about how you can bring more fun to your simple summer days.
How about planning a themed family dinner night? We still talk about the backward dinners we did when our kids were younger, where we all came to dinner wearing backward clothing and started our meal with dessert and ended with salad.
What is it that brings your family joy when you do it together? Plan more of THAT to create significant summer moments and memories for your family.
Click HERE for FREE ideas for being more playful this summer! (Be sure to look for my Boredom Bucket idea for helping kids to be playful on their own!)
3. Cultivate an atmosphere of growth
What’s something that didn’t go so well for your child during this school year? Focus on strengthening that area this summer.
While it’s important to play and relax, it’s also crucial to keep learning and growing through the summer months.
For instance, I’m so tired of online learning and am looking for ways to help my youngest keep up on his math skills. This summer we’re using Learning Math Wrap-Ups to strengthen his multiplication and division facts.
4. Teach life skills
Having the kids at home provides a perfect opportunity to teach them what it is we want them to know before they leave our homes for adulthood one day.
This summer we can take the opportunity to teach our children how to do their own laundry, cook, clean, or change a tire. Perhaps you can finally open that bank account or help your child start a business. Or simply teach them to tie their shoes or handwrite, address and mail a thank you note.
What life skills will you purposely teach your child this summer?
5. Make mindful entertainment choices
Binge-watching random television shows, scrolling social media constantly, or playing video games non-stop isn’t a good use of our child’s time. Sure, there may be space for mindless entertainment choices this summer, but we must purposely set boundaries on them, so they don’t consume our days.
Why not purposely choose documentaries to educate yourself as well as create conversation in your family this summer?
Here’s a resource from Screenagers listing 10 documentaries to watch with your family.
Two of our favorite DVD sets we watched when traveling around the USA on our RV trip were: How the States Got Their Shapes and History Channel’s America- The Story of Us
What healthy entertainment choices will you choose for your family this summer?
6. Go on local adventures
Unfortunately, our epic trips, along with many other things are still on hold for this summer. As disappointing as not going on that cruise or European vacation may be, we have to pivot and plan for simpler adventures this summer.
Where can you plan to go explore, get out in nature, and enjoy the outdoors where you live?
Most likely, you don’t have to venture further than your home state for family fun. Many times we take for granted the beautiful places that surround us locally that we’ve never taken the time to visit… yet.
What adventures will you create this summer that will add to your family narrative and strengthen your relationships?
7. Celebrate life, and loved ones, in simple ways
What can you do to celebrate Dad on Father’s Day so that he feels special and loved?
When my kids were younger, they loved it when I planned a special day for each of them. My sons and daughter got to pick what they wanted to eat for breakfast in bed and what our family would do (within reason) that day.
In my Create a Summer of Significance in 2022 Printable Pack, you will get monthly celebration calendars for you to plan your June, July, and August, as well as a fun fill-in-the-blank All About Dad printable for Father’s Day.
Questions to Ask Yourself-
What does each family member need this summer to strengthen them physically, mentally, emotionally, and relationally?
What frustrated you the most this school year? Work on improving that area this summer so that when school rolls around again you may have established better habits.
What summer family tradition can you repeat again this year? Summer wouldn’t be summer without this…. bike rides to the bagel shop or boating on the lake. What are the simple things your family does together that can happen this summer of 2022?
What is a way that you strive to create a Summer of Significance?