Back to school day coming too soon? Seven tips to extend your summer
Back to school day is almost here, but that doesn't mean summer has to end quickly. Stretch your summer a little longer with a bucket list, a sunrise, and five more tips.
While many of us are preparing our kids to go back to school, the calendar and weather still signal summer. The days are longer, our to-do lists are less crowded.Skip to next paragraph
Susan Sachs Lipman is the author of "Fed Up with Frenzy: Slow Parenting in a Fast-Moving World," which grew out of her award-winning blog, Slow Family Online. She is the social media director for the Children & Nature Network. Susan and her family enjoy gardening, hiking, soap crafting and food canning.
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Even if you never let go of frenzy for summer, or you’re feeling it now as you gear up for fall, there are a few small shifts that can really help you lighten up to match the remaining summer season, while also helping squeeze more true pleasure from this joyous time of year.
Make a Summer Bucket List
For many, summer conjures beach days, county fairs, gazing at the stars, planting flowers, playing flashlight tag, or making simple crafts. What else would you and your family really like to have done by the time Labor Day comes around?
Make a summer bucket list of ideas and hang it where you can see it, or write each idea on a piece of paper or a popsicle stick and place those in a bucket. Have one family member choose an activity once or more per week for the rest of summer.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on the list – you can do many of your favorites another time.
Watch the Sun Rise or Set
The day naturally slows when we take the time to witness a dramatic and beautiful sunrise or sunset.
Get comfortable, pay attention to the changing colors and light, and make a point to either greet or say goodbye to the day.
This small act can be very grounding and gratifying to people of all ages, as it truly takes us out of the artificial time of clocks, calendars, emails and to-do lists, and into the rhythms of nature and the comforting, yet awe-inspiring, turning of the Earth.
Make Time for Down Time
Many of us are uncomfortable with empty spaces on the calendar. As difficult as it may be, and as enriching as many choices are, try to resist the urge to schedule every moment of summer.
Kids actually need play time, down time and family time in order not only to recharge, but also to fully thrive. In addition, they don’t need to be constantly entertained.
Free time, and even boredom, has produced wonderful innovations and insights. It is often during quiet time that many children make unique discoveries, including the directions of their own inner compasses. If down time doesn’t come naturally to you, schedule some into your calendar.
This can be especially important as everyone gears up for a busier season.
Be Present and Do One Thing at a Time
Have you ever noticed that kids are usually not doing and thinking about multiple things at once? This is one area in which we can probably learn from them.
Many of us parents would be surprised by how much our kids just want to be with us, and how our multitasking makes them feel.
In studies of hundreds of kids over five years, Dr. Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, unearthed countless stories of children feeling neglected by their parents for media.
Try to compartmentalize your work and other tasks, so that they don’t invade precious time with your family.