It’s safe to say that for most people, their favourite childhood (and perhaps our adult ones too) memories come from the summertime. The warmth, the freedom, cool swims and icy treats – the summer is a magical time. While great summer memories are not hard to forge, there are some ways to help us maximize our own and our children’s summer experiences.
1. Document your family adventures.
Now more than ever, it’s incredibly easy to keep records of our family time – it’s rare to find a family without at least one working digital camera or device with recording abilities. A gentle reminder - if you’re documenting moments on your smartphone or tablet make sure to back them up. Developing a few photos or using summer images on a calendar or photobook, are a fantastic way to look back on your adventures.
Another way to preserve summer moments, is via writing. Try designating a notebook (or buying a premade template like this one) where you can write brief descriptions about your adventures, snippets of conversations you’ve had with your kids, and anything else memorable. If you’re children are older, get them involved with retelling your adventures, or have them write or draw portions themselves.
And if you forget to document, don’t worry – being fully in the moment has so many benefits (see number 4). These great memories you’re creating may not last in minute details in your family members’ minds, but they will impact their lives significantly. And remember, while traveling or vacations with kids has benefits, it’s not feasible for every family. Our communities and homes are rich with experiences – home made popsicles, sidewalk chalk, and a hose can be just as memorable as a trip across the province or globe.
2. Be prepared with snacks.
Whether you’re traveling by bus across a city or flying on a plane, this one is key! As a parent, you already know this, but it’s worth a reminder - being prepared with snacks can keep everyone’s blood sugar levels stable and save the day. If you’ve already got little ones at home, you’re likely well versed in snack options. You’ll likely also know that Love Child Organics has some really easy to pack, delicious, and nutritious snack options. However, it’s always worth exploring new ideas - check out this post for some great options for on the go snacks.
3. Get outdoors as much as you can.
We all are well aware that our summertime heat is limited – we’ll blink and we’ll be getting winter coats back out - so enjoying it while it lasts is important. Plus, getting outdoors has so many benefits for us and our little ones. The warmth on our skin feels soothing and also provides us with Vitamin D, which is essential to our bodies’ wellbeing. Also, being immersed in nature has been proven to lift our spirits, improve our sleep, and our cognitive abilities. Just remember your sunscreen (check out these great tips on choosing the right one here) and hats!
4. Use all of your senses to fully experience your summer.
Taking even just a few minutes a day to actively savour something (this usually involves our senses) – a hot or cool drink, your children laughing, cool water on a hot day, the sunshine, the hit summer song on your playlist – allows us to experience more positive emotions, such as joy and happiness. As psychologist Rick Hanson points out, when we savour our moments, we allow those experiences to become locked into our minds and bodies, helping to foster resilience - when stress hits, those moments help to pull us back into positivity.
While young children are innately adept at being completely immersed in their moments, taking the time to walk children through the steps of being present, can help them carry mindfulness through their lives, as they grow.
Your summer plans do not need to be big – a sprinkler, some books and some summer snacks can do the trick. It will fly by though, so savour (and record) all those sticky moments, while you can!
This post was originally published for Love Child Organics. Read their other amazing content here.