The summer I turned 7 my family surprised me and took me to an Amy Grant concert. As is embarrassingly evident in this picture (taken when I was 12), I was a huge Amy Grant fan.
My family was so excited to surprise me with that concert and I freaked out when we drove up and I saw the sign.
You’d think, looking back, that would be the highlight of my year.
But it wasn’t.
My absolute favorite memory of that year was sitting in the chaise lounge with my 60 year old grandmother as she read The Chronicles of Narnia to me.
My Point: We Are Bigger Than Rock Stars
As we plan for this summer, let’s remember that, to our children, we’re bigger than rock stars. We don’t need to break the bank and take them to Disney World. We don’t need to buy them the latest toys, pools or waterslides. We don’t need to send them to the coolest camps.
Our kids best memories will be the ones they made with us. Simple traditions. One on one time. A chance to see Mommy at her goofiest. Late night games. Cuddly storytimes.
Children have significantly lower memory making standards than we do. Too often, we do what WE think is fun. We spend a bajillion dollars and then get frustrated with our kids because they didn’t appreciate all the effort and expense. When, really, all they need (and want) is a little time, a little creativity and a lot of love and attention from you.
Memory Making “Themes”
There are lots of ways to make special memories without spending a lot of money. I’ll share more specific ideas later, but here are some “themes” that you can use to generate lots of memory making plans.
- Surprise them – Have a spontaneous family fun night or movie night.
- Single them out – Go on a date with just one of your children.
- Break the rules – Stay up late, eat ice cream for breakfast, etc.
- Be consistent – Read to them each afternoon while they eat a popsicle or drink lemonade.
- Do something normal in a new way. Eat dinner at the park. Have bedtime stories and hot chocolate at a bookstore. Read to them in a cushion fort.
- Do something new in a normal spot. Instead of going to the park and just watching your kids play, slide down the slide with them. Ride the merry-go-round. Have a scavenger hunt at the grocery store.
- Be creative. Paint a picture together – frame it and hang it on the wall. Make a movie together. Write a song together and put it on a cd. Write a story together complete with illustrations.
A memorable summer doesn’t require a lot of money, it just takes a little creativity and a little bit of you.
(You’re going to start seeing Community Projects incorporated into some of my blog series. If we work as a team we can really help one another and save time by not reinventing the wheel over and over. I have some fun projects planned, so stay tuned.)
Share your fun, low cost ideas in the comments and I’ll compile them all into a massive, printable list that you can keep handy all summer long.
I’ll also compile the list into a post, so if you have a blog you want me to link to next to your summer fun idea, leave that in the comment as well.
(…and if you want to disassociate yourselves because of the picture at the top. I completely understand. I tried to disassociate myself from myself, but it didn’t really work…)Leave a Comment