Creative Child

Meaningful Summer Traditions

by Rebecca Eanes

The slower, sticky days of summer provide a great opportunity for us to create meaningful summer traditions that our children will cherish. With no school lunches to pack or homework to complete, there’s finally a little more time to connect heart to heart with our kids.

Take a Family Vacation

Summer is usually when families pack up and head out for vacation. According to research conducted by the Family Holiday Association in 2015, family vacations can act as “happiness anchors,” happy memories that will help your kids get through tough times. John McDonald, director of the Family Holiday Association, says, “Reflecting on our happiest memories of joyful time spent together as a family can be extremely powerful in bringing relief and respite when faced with the darker times that life can bring.”

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For parents, vacations require a lot of planning and often a big chunk of money. That’s not always an option, so when money is tight or you can’t get a week off work, opt for special weekend getaways. This summer, my family isn’t taking a big vacation. Instead, we are going out of state to visit family one weekend and spending another weekend at one of favorite destinations. These mini-getaways won’t be nearly as pricey as a week-long vacation, but my kids will enjoy the same benefits – happy memories to hold on to.

Do What You Love

Decide on one “thing” (or several things) that your family loves to do together, and look for opportunities to do it during the summer months. For example, my family has several loves – music, movies, and comic-cons. These shared experiences unite us, making our bonds stronger and providing a sense of belonging. A quick internet search led me to several summer comic conventions within driving distance (all on weekends) and weekly free local concerts! I also discovered that a local park is showing a free outdoor movie for kids this summer. If you’re on Facebook, it’s easy to check for local events!

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Traditions are simply any activity that your family does ritualistically, so outdoor concerts, movie nights, and comic-cons have become our summer traditions. Other ideas include trips to a water park, hiking, biking, flea markets, crafts, camping – the possibilities are endless! What do YOU love?

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