The sun is shining, kids are out of school and the opportunity is there to create memories that last a lifetime… But what if you can’t take time off and do a leisurely holiday whether in town or travelling?
Not to worry: if you ask kids what matters the most to them – it’s often surprising.
Fun ingredient number one: One on one time with … you. Yes, no siblings, no other parent, no cellphone distractions. Any activity done mano a mano (one child – one adult) tends to be something that creates an impression.
Fun ingredient number two: KISS. Contrary to what most adults assume, the best memories are linked to something that seems too simple to be so memorable. It’s the chance to hang out on the grass and look at the sky, it’s the first bike trip on the streets to the local park or the first long book read together. Or anything with water based play – be it on the beach, by a river or a lake or even spraying water in the backyard. Throw in ice cream – and you will have created perfection!
Fun ingredient number three: The coolness factor. What often matters to kids is to not only enjoy the summer, but have something cool to discuss with classmates in the school yard as well as to expound on when teachers ask them to write up or present their memorable summer activities. A visit from relatives, a few days spent dog sitting for someone, a new sport they had not seen or tried, a lemonade stand or a “treasure” hunt – anything that they can describe with excitement and detail counts.
So before summer runs out, ask your kids what activities they would like to do before school starts – discuss what can be realistically done within your time, money and energy budget and agree on a plan. These will become summer treats kids will love and remember.
Canadians want to make family a priority – 85% want to spend more time with their families according to a 2012 survey done by UBC. So no excuses – the best time to do it is … now!
Alexandra T. Greenhill, MD, mother of three CEO and Co-founder myBestHelper