5 ways to bring meaning to the end of summer
School starts this week!!!
Or maybe, school starts this week....
Depending on the moment in time you hear me say this statement, it might be said with pure elation, screaming from the roof tops, counting down the hours and minutes till that moment my children walk into the school building. Or you might hear me say it with a sound of disbelief.
I can't believe its already the end of August and school is starting.
Sure, I love my kids, but weeks of no camp or school or any semblance of routine can start wearing at a person's sanity. The constant arguing and need for entertainment is a little daunting, not to mention the endless state of mess my house is in from all the freeze pop wrappers and wet towels thrown around. Summer break can be hard. But, doesn't the saying go that nothing good in life is easy.
While we all yearn for routine and order, I can't help but feel sad that another summer is coming to an end. I love summer. My kids love summer. Pressure free time when kids can just be kids is priceless. So in an attempt to hold on to those last few precious moments of summer, I've compiled a list of five ways to hold on to summer just little longer. Five ways to make the most of these last few summer days and maybe even add some meaning to these ordinary moments.
1. Bring it outside: What's the best part of summer?? The weather! Not having to bundle everyone up before getting into the car. Just being able to walk out your door and enjoy a little sunshine is amazing. So while the days are starting to get a little shorter, the summer weather is still going strong. Make every effort to do as many activities outside. Eat lunch and dinner outside. Play a game of catch or tag outside. Just sit outside and read or color. Being outside just makes everything more enjoyable so we might as well enjoy it while we can.
2. Keep it hands free: Phones are a huge distraction. Just answering one text can lead us to check just one thing and then another and before we know it we've been on our phones for an hour. When the kids are happily playing its sometimes easy to sit back and get lost on our phones. But what moments are we missing by keeping our hands tide up with our devices? Set aside specific hands free time. Or better yet, only allow yourself to get lost on your phone at specific times, when its not getting in the way with your time with the children. Put your phone away. You don't need to take endless pictures. The memories are made when we take time to connect, not when we are endlessly trying to capture each moment with our phones. When your hands are free, who knows what you might end up discovering.
3. Add some music: Life is always better with a little music. When everyone is bickering and no one wants to do another outing, turn on some music and dance. Let the kids lead freeze dance or just have some good old fashioned dance party. Releasing all that adrenaline is sure to put everyone in a good mood for the last few days of summer!
4. Take time for a little gratitude: There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Hopefully we all had a great summer but even if you didn't take time to write out what we did enjoy this summer. Sit down with your children and talk about the best parts of summer. Make a collage of pictures or even a digital book showing all the highlights of your summer. Write a top ten list of the best things from this summer. Involve your children with the process of reflecting and appreciating. Talk about what we are thankful for this summer and the good that Hashem has given us. Talk about what you are excited for this coming school year too. Reflecting and anticipating are great ways to end off the summer with a little gratitude.
5. Have an end of summer celebration: Make it big or keep it small. No matter how you choose to celebrate make the last moments of summer cause for celebration. It can be as simple as going out for ice cream or elaborate as a party with baked cupcakes, balloons, party streamers and of course music. Make sure whatever you do, make it exciting. We all know the power of a name and nothing is as exciting as a celebration. Have some fun and remember, nothing beats some summer lovin'!