If you have school-aged children, you will most likely have been dreading the long stretch of school holidays and scrambling around to organise childcare and kids clubs, looking forward to having a relaxing break or staycation together, or perhaps a mixture of both. The summer holidays can be a great opportunity to reconnect with your little (or not so little) ones, so here are five suggestions of ways to help make it a summer to remember!
1. Embrace nature Being outside together gives us the opportunity to reconnect - both with each other, and nature. Plant some seeds in the garden, volunteer to take your neighbour's dog for a long walk, explore your local park or woods, or enjoy a picnic outside. You can embrace nature by simply laying down on the grass, feeding any wildlife in your garden or creating a suitable habitat for a nighttime visitors.
2. Reflect on the year The past year has been like no other, and we have been faced with many challenges and disruption to our regular daily lives and relationships. In many cases, it has forced us to put many aspects of our lives on hold and we are only now thinking about some return to normality. It can be cathartic to reflect on what has been going on, and to remind ourselves of how we have grown as individuals, and overcome the challenges faced. You might like to start a diary, or create a collage or memory box, to help you process your thoughts and feelings. You could even turn your memory box into a time capsule to bury in the garden, as a way of connecting with future generations.
3. Get creative Even on inevitable rainy days, it's still possible to have fun! You can get creative in the kitchen together, paint pictures of each other or make a den in the living room. And if the sun reappears outside, how about creating a mini treasure hunt in the garden, or using chalk to draw around your silhouettes on the pavement or driveway.
Image by Any Lane
4. Make an ideas jar
It can be exciting to plan fun things to do during the holidays and it's a great idea to involve your children in this process, and avoiding any last minute planning or unexpected requests that may be problematic.
You might like to use a family dinner time to make your summer plans. Ask everyone in the family to come up with a few ideas for days out or activities to do at home, and write them down together. It can be new ideas or old activities that you miss or enjoy doing. Then put them into an empty jar, giving younger children the opportunity to decorate it with paint or stickers. Pick one at random each week and make it happen!
5. Take a break from screens Adults and children alike have had too much screen time this year, so take a break and give each other your undivided attention. There is no one size fits all solution. You and your partner can decide how often and for how long you want to detox from the screens. Then you need to commit to it. This will be a huge gift for your family and the most memorable time for everyone involved.