We just got back from a five-day vacation in the mountains of Colorado. The weather was perfect. The fishing was great. The cabin was outfitted with everything you could need…even a flat-screen TV which we never turned on because we were too busy during the day having fun outdoors and too tired at night to even want to watch anything. Cell phones don’t work there and we didn’t bring the computer. And I began to realize how life was like in the days before TV and computers and phones. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the technology that allows each of us to know what is going on in the world the moment it happens. But it made me more aware of how much closer a family could be if they were more isolated from all that is happening out there or if they made an effort to spend time together without the distractions that usually keep us going in different directions.
So here’s a list of a few great ideas for end-of-summer fun that might possibly bring your family closer together and won’t cost a fortune:
- Go camping…even for the day…but overnight, if possible. Rent equipment or borrow it from friends if you don’t already have what you would need.
- Check out local parks, museums and art galleries. Some are free and many have special deals for families. You might even purchase a museum membership that entitles your family to special museum privileges during the year.
- Have an end-of-summer get-together. If your child is going to school (or nursery school or daycare) this year, see if you can find out who will be in his/her class or group. Invite the children and their parents…what an awesome way to help your child start the year already knowing some of his classmates. The get-together can be a pot-luck with everyone bringing something to eat so that the burden of food is not all on you. Also, have each family bring a favorite game…there will certainly be plenty to do. Take lots of pictures and have your child help you make a collage or album of this special day. He/she can bring it to school for show-and-tell…great for a child who is anxious about the first day of school…something like BILLY AND THE BIG NEW SCHOOL by Laurence and Catherine Anholt.
- Plan to have dinner together as a family, if possible. And please, turn the TV off and don’t answer the phone if it rings 🙂
That’s it…just a few simple suggestions…hope they help you end the summer on a high note and begin the school year in a positive way.