Each summer parents are tasked with the responsibility of keeping their children engaged throughout the summer weeks.
For as much as we plan for them, from day camps, to specialty camps, to week long vacations, we still stress over how their time will be spent and if they will be happy. Not only do we stress about what our youngest children will be doing, but our older children as well, the ones who have outgrown the traditional camp venues.
Are our older children keeping busy with CIT programs, part-time jobs, or volunteering opportunities?
Parents work very hard to plan out a summer where the “I’m bored” notion seldom comes into play, but are we working too hard? While all these venues are important and a much needed necessity for working families, sometimes I wonder if we put too much energy into scheduling the summer to be spectacular.
Perhaps our focus should be in consciously taking a moment, a day, or a weekend to draw from the old playbook of our own childhoods.
Perhaps we should think back to what kept us busy over the summer. It was often simpler activities than what you see today. Often just in the backyards around the neighborhood and for little to no cost.
Some of my best memories are of painting/creating animals out of rocks, going to town parades, playing Frisbee/badminton, making pictures out of clouds, looking for four-leaf clovers or skipping rocks (which takes true talent.)
These activities are not for kids alone. As adults we need to take some time to rekindle the kid in us and recapture the joy of summer time fun. When was the last time you went to the park and swung on the swings or went down the slide? Maybe it’s time to skip some rope, shoot a water gun, or ride a bike.
If the childhood playbook is not for you then instead this summer could be about starting a new tradition. Wander a farmer’s market with your teen, grab some lunch from a food truck, or try zip lining for the first time.
However you choose to plan out your summer months I hope you take some time to enjoy the simpler activities and make Summer 2019 a memorable one. It only takes a moment to make a memory that lasts a lifetime.
This summer let’s set out to embrace the idea of “we didn’t know we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun”
While I challenge you to include some simple moments in your summer I understand the reality of needing daily care for your children. The Colonie Youth Center Summer Day Camps and The Rudy A. Ciccotti Recreation Center still have openings in their programs. Check us out at www.colonieyouthcenter.org or www.ciccotticenter.org. We would be happy to add to your child’s memory making fun this summer.
Colonie Youth Center, Inc.
School-Age Childcare Director