In today’s post: Find 75 ideas for having an old fashioned summer with your kids (electronics free fun!).
When you get to my age, you start to get nostalgic for the way things used to be. Part of that is just looking back with rosy glasses – plenty of things weren’t actually that great 20 or 30 or 50 years ago – but part of that is genuine: life really was different back then and it feels like we’ve lost something special. People my age and older look back at summers filled with bike rides, watching for shooting stars, and hours spent digging in dirt (seriously, digging in dirt was fun!). Today, many kids look forward to summers filled with classes, activities, and hours spent on electronic devices. I’m not anti-electronics – I consider iPads on a 15 hour road trip one of the great blessings of living in the twenty first century – but I do believe that too much access to electronics does deprive our children of one of the greatest blessings of childhood: boredom.
Yep, boredom. I asked friends and blog readers what they remember about summers when they were children and you’d be amazed at the activities they look back on most fondly: sitting on a porch swing, catching tadpoles in the pond, making mud pies (I told you digging in dirt was fun). These are things kids don’t do if there’s an ever present array of more exciting options…but these are things we’re nostalgic about for a reason: we spent our summers interacting with the world around us and learning how to look to our own resourcefulness for contentment.
I’m interested in giving my kids an old fashioned summer this year. That doesn’t mean I’m locking all the devices in the basement until September or planning to hang my laundry out on the line. It does mean I’m going to give my kids the gift of getting bored. I’m going to give them opportunities to spend more time outside. I’m going to make sure they have time to go exploring with friends and time to be with family. And I’m going to give them a little more freedom to discover the world around them.
And because I don’t really want to hear my kids telling me they’re bored every fifteen minutes from now ’til September, I’m going to give them some ideas. Click here to download the printable Old Fashioned Summer Bucket List for 75 old fashioned summer fun ideas – the sorts of things you or your parens or grandparents may have spent their summers doing. Bonus: none of these ideas involve electronics!
Have any ideas I missed? Please leave them in the comments!
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