These days it can feel like making memories with your kids requires Pinterest-perfect projects or expensive vacations. If your take on summer break is a bit more realistic and you’re looking for authentic ways to make summer special, here’s seven ways to create simple yet magical summer memories that will last a lifetime.
1. Start a lemonade stand.
Raise your hand if you remember your own lemonade stand from childhood? It’s simple, it’s fun and it provides entertainment for hours. Neighbors find it charming, and this summer we could all use some light and easy ways to reconnect. Plus, kids learn a little business know-how in the process. The best part? It’s inexpensive and safe!
2. Plan an outdoor movie night.
Bring your television and dvd player onto your porch or deck. Pop in a favorite family feature, pop a big bowl of popcorn and create your own drive-in movie theatre! Add an unforgettable twist by making this inexpensive outdoor movie screen. Start the film just after dark for a wonderful memory-maker.
3. Go to a free outdoor concert.
Most towns and cities host free concerts throughout the summer with a variety of music. Google your town or state with “free outdoor concerts” and add the ones you think your family will like to your calendar to save the date. And since most kids love surprises, make it epic by keeping the event a secret until you arrive for the show.
4. Picnic in the park.
Picnics are a traditional favorite that never gets old. Have everyone contribute to the picnic and pick one food to pack. Try a few new recipes to make it extra fun. Even better, let the kids help make it the day before! Take board games, outdoor toys to play with and don’t forget to take some pictures of everyone having outdoor fun.
5. Go for a swim at dusk.
There is something magical about an evening swim. If you don’t have a pool, ask a friend if you could have an after-dark party with them, and you’ll bring the treats! Tell the kids to get their swimsuits on and start the fun an hour or two before bedtime. Afterwards, they’ll be all tuckered out and have a great night’s rest!
6. Have a watermelon eating contest.
Put together a watermelon eating contest with your local neighborhood pals or invite family over and make a day of it. Pick up an inexpensive plastic table cover so the stickiness stays contained, buy some watermelons and get to cutting. Be sure to have some wipes handy — it could get messy. And don’t forget to create a prize for the contest winner!
7. Give kids a little summer freedom.
The truth is, you don’t need to plan out your children’s entire summer. You don’t want to set an expectation that they’ll be entertained at every moment, and some of the best memories will happen naturally. Given freedom and space to create and play, kids tend to make their own. Keep it simple with a bike, a yard and plenty of free time.