As a kid, I couldn’t wait for summer vacation. But that excitement usually faded by July when I realized there wasn’t as much to do at home as there was to do in school.
I grew up in a rural area, and we didn’t have a TV in the house. That meant my brother and I had to create ways to entertain ourselves. Or rather, my mother had to create those ways. As a woman managing a household and working part-time outside the home, I know summer school breaks were a challenge for her too.
Does this sound familiar? Sometimes, Mama, those long summer days drag on. While you love having your kids home—plus all the fun summer activities to look forward to—it still feels like you have double the work. Because not only do you still have your regular mom things on your to-do list, but you also have to entertain your kids.
Research indicates something very interesting about families and childhood memories. When looking back on their formative years, children don’t remember what they had or didn’t have. Instead, they remember the quality of their family connection.
What if you could connect with your kids in a simple way, do something fun, and spend little money all at the same time?
One of the things my mother loved to do was to go to garage sales and thrift shops. She is a very creative woman, and she loved to repurpose old things. Summer mornings were spent going from sale to sale. She would always let us pick out one thing for ourselves. Nothing expensive— usually a toy or book. But my brother and I looked forward to these adventures with her.
She found a way to integrate her kids into her life, her interests, and her responsibilities—while keeping us entertained.
Here’s a family connection whilst entertaining your kids during the long days of summer idea to try:
Give your kids $5 apiece. Take them to some secondhand shops or garage sales. Allow them to purchase whatever they want but tell them that they need to create something useful out of what they purchase. At home allow them to repurpose their item, for example paint them, sew them, or refashion them. Later in the day, hold a talent show where each child presents their creation and demonstrates how to use it. Let each family member try it out and vote on the best one. Give a prize and have ice cream together.
I know that your kids will come up with some amazing creations! And what a fun memory of family connection time they will hold in their hearts, not just for the rest of their summer, but for the rest of their lives. It’s minimal investment for you, Mama, with a huge payoff for your kids.
First Chronicles 22:19 says, “Devote your heart and soul to seeking the Lord your God.” God made us for connection. It is what brings delight to his heart, and it is the foundation on which he builds families.
Connecting with your kids doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to have a lot of money, and it’s okay if you have other responsibilities to attend to. Simple, fun things that your kids will remember—that’s all you need.
Do you have a great idea for connecting with your kids this summer? Feel free to leave a suggestion or comment at the end of this post.