1. Parenting

Top 10 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids this Summer

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Summer is a great time to reconnect with your kids and create those lasting memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. Not sure what to do or where to get started? Try these fun activities.

1. Rate the Parks in Your Area.

Your local phone book probably includes a list of free parks in your area. Together, map out the parks you plan to visit and create a system for raking them. Then, create a schedule for visiting each park this summer. This is a great activity because it costs nothing and gives your child something to look forward to each week. Plus, participating in raking each park will make your child feel important and valued.

2. Read books together.

Kids of all ages love being read to! It's an activity that requires our attention and our time - two of the things our kids crave! Depending on your child's age and interests, you might pick a certain theme or author to focus on this summer. This is also a great way to get to know your child better and share one another's interests.

3. Take Regular Walks.

Or bike rides...or scooter rides...This is another great way to spend time together. It allows you to take in the scenery, set aside the concerns of the day, and be present with one another. Again, it requires you to invest time with your kids, which makes them feel valued and important.

4. Play in the Water Together.

Whether you're playing in the sprinkler or your community pool, being in the water feels great. It reduces tension and provides a great opportunity to laugh and play together. On one hand, this seems like a simple activity, but your willingness to play together says "I love you" to your child in a language he or she understands.

5. Visit a Museum Together.

At least once this summer, visit a local museum. Why? First, taking the time to visit a place of learning together demonstrates the value you place on education. And, second, it gives your child a wonderful opportunity to tell you what he or she knows about history and the arts!

6. Visit a Petting Zoo Together

Most children enjoy visiting a petting zoo and touching the animals. It's a special activity for you to enjoy together because it gives your child an opportunity to "be brave" in your presence! Just remember to use the antibacterial hand gel or good old soap and water on your way out!

7. Share an Ice Cream Treat!

Summer is a great time to enjoy ice cream! Did you know that you can even make your own ice cream in a coffee can? The kids will have a blast rolling the can around the backyard while the ice cream freezes!

8. Share Your Artistic Talents.

Art is a wonderful way to express our feelings and have fun at the same time. Whether you're simply drawing outdoors with sidewalk chalk or creating a family collage of your favorite things, sharing yourself through art is a great way to deepen your relationship with your children. Another artistic option to consider is creating a picture journal - with drawings or photographs - of your summer fun activities! This will help your child preserve these memories all year long.

9. Cook Together.

Cooking is a fun and simple way to spend time with one another. Whether you're making spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes or mixing up a box of brownies, time together in the kitchen is a collection of moments your child will recall fondly. It's time to talk, to share, and to simply be together.

10. Write to One Another

Is there a time this summer when you'll be apart from one another? Maybe it's for a day or a month. In any case, use the opportunity to write a short letter to your child about how much fun you're having and how much this time together means to you. Even a few short sentences will be a sacred treasure to your child!
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