Tips for Family Summertime FunMay 26, 2021
Summer is just around that corner and you know what that means: School is almost out. Whether you are a stay-at-home parent or working full-time, planning entertaining and educational summer family activities is important for mental and physical wellbeing and to help build positive self-esteem in children, improve communication, and strengthen familial bonds. Read on as we highlight some tips for family summertime fun.
Spend time outdoors
Spending time outside as a family has numerous health benefits for both parents and children. Research shows that playing outside improves physical fitness, reduces stress and anxiety, and provides the necessary vitamin D for a healthy immune system, strong bones and muscles, and improved disposition. Outdoor activities can also improve intellectual development and increase attention span in children. Some fun outdoor summer activities include swimming, biking, hiking, nature walks, and boating.
Unplug from the digital world
Today, the average American spends as much as 12 hours a day in front of a television, computer screen, or smart device. Moreover, with parents working from home and children engaged in online learning due to COVID-19, screens have become a central part of daily life for everyone. However, too much screen time can negatively affect sleep patterns, eyesight, and may lead to “screen addiction.” And while banishing electronics completely may not be feasible, limiting screen time during the summer can enhance social and emotional well-being for the whole family. Instead of television, video games, and smart phones, try diverting attention from digital media with activities such as swimming lessons, digital-free summer family camps, museums, or nature centers.
Have some nighttime fun
Cool summer evenings provide the perfect setting to engage in family fun outside the home. From outdoor movie nights and backyard camping, to stargazing and ghost stories around an open fire, when the sun goes down there are plenty of nighttime games and activities that are just as entertaining for parents as they are for kids. Plan a night under the stars – and remember the bug spray.
Take a road trip
After a year of COVID-19 and restricted air travel, a family road trip may be the perfect solution to satisfy that wanderlust and facilitate family bonding. Domestic road trips are still at an all-time high despite new guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), easing travel restrictions, mask mandates, and other leisure activities. There are so many hidden gems to explore right here in our own backyard, and hitting the open road is the best way to check those destinations off your bucket list. You may still need to take pandemic-related safety precautions and pay attention to local guidelines on mask ordinances, dining restrictions, and hotel policies. Some good resources are state government websites or AAA Covid-19 Travel Restrictions Map.
Spending time as a family this summer can strengthen relationships, build character, and improve self-esteem while expressing love and appreciation for one another. Go out and have some fun. The more time you spend together, the stronger the family unit will be.
- Emotional Wellness