This means lots of swimsuits, the sweet smell of freshly cut grass, losing track of time with the days stretching long into the night hours and, of course, ice cream. Summer!
But this shift from a very hectic schedule of school, kindergarten, appointments, after-school classes, and other activities to a vacuum of free time can be somewhat overwhelming for our kids (and for us parents, too). The casual queries “what are we doing today?”, “I’m bored!”, “can we watch something on the computer?” frequently pop up and it seems that for the first days at least, Wildlings need a jumpstart to help them get on with their vacation.Here are some kick-ass ideas we’ve managed to put together :)
Whether we spend the whole vacation with our kids, or just the weekends, whether on the road or off to the local playground, it doesn’t matter – that summer feeling is in the air. So get those strawberries and cherries chilled and find a nice spot in the sun.
And this goes without saying - water! Plenty of magical water! Putting a small pool wherever possible can work wonders. A local lake or swimming pool are always an option.
If we’re lucky enough to get to the beach, building castles and dams is obviously part of the game plan.
How about a fishing game?
All you need is a decent enough sized bucket, or a small pool - just throw a bunch of fist-sized things into the water and let them have a go at trying to fish them out. Great fun for the little ones! The advanced level is fishing the stuff out with your mouth - give it a try (don’t forget to hold your nose) :)
Can’t use the bucket for fishing? Why not just fill it with water and throw it at the person standing next to you? Be the first to start a water fight and let the play roll out right in front of you. It’s a simple enough option, easy to setup hand guaranteed to end in smiling faces and dirty clothes.
Temperatures too high? Water not cold enough? How about some ice?
Put some of your favorite fruits and toys in water and pop them in the freezer. When they're all nice and frozen, introduce your beautiful ice rocks to the would-be archaeologists.
Don’t feel like getting wet? A trip to a nearby park or forest and letting them run wild is always a great option. Find ten sticks and do ten different things with them, such as building a raft, a small teepee (for the fox to sleep in at night), covering them with colorful leaves or simply let nature take its (wild) course.
A simple pile of gravel, or sand can work miracles. Find one in your area. Bring some toys to play with just in case.
And, of course, there are those smartphones - how can the outdoors compete with a device designed to be the most addictive stimulant to the human mind. Let alone, a kid’s mind!
Like all parents, we’ve also been grappling with this one – on the one hand, you have all the advantages it has and the obvious future that awaits us all; on the other, the fact that it hijacks our kids minds. And so easily.
So, in certain situations, those shiny apps and gadgety jingle-jangle can actually be used for further exploration.
Find apps that can be shared with friends and that will encourage them to explore the outdoors on various treasure hunt simulations. These have some fun features and a lot of info about the area, different plants, rocks, etc. These will encourage them to venture out even more.
With all that said, we still believe that boredom is one of the best ways for them to develop their imagination and creativity. ;)
What’s the best way you’ve found to make them use their imagination more?
Have a summer full of wonders…
Anna, Ran & Team Wildling
Titelbild by Lotta H. Löthgren alias Elkmarketwraps