Before becoming Your Family Guru, I was a nanny for 20 years in Florida. I was often hired to draw kids away from their electronics and keep them occupied and physically active during the summer. Here are some tips, ideas, and resources that really work to facilitate outdoor summer fun.
1) Don't be generic. You know your child best, consider her personality and interests. If your son likes Mine Craft, provide him with some fort making supplies (sheets, clothes pins, sleeping bags, cardboard boxes, etc), point him in a direction of the yard or outdoor space that he is free to alter (not your neighbor’s precious rose garden), and set him free. Not the outdoors type & always on social media? Send her outside to take artistic pics for her Instagram. Into science or animals? Challenge him to a photo scavenger hunt of your local nature, and afterwards you can look online together to identify any birds, plants etc you don't already know. Athletic? Sign them up for a new sport- tennis, golf, and surf lessons are offered during the summer. Day camps & summer camps are decent options if you also need summer childcare, just be sure to look for ones that suit your child. Teens with leadership skills can be encouraged to find work at a local camp, YMCA, or park as a lifeguard, junior counselor, or activities director.
2) Make a memory. Even as busy as you are, you need time in the fresh air and away from your desk too...and our kids really enjoy it when we take time to enter life on their terms and PLAY with them. One of my best childhood memories is of my Dad, a big military guy, on occasion coming out after a long day of work and playing kickball with me & all the kids in the neighborhood. There's so much you can do outside together as a family. Or with one of your children for some one-on-one time. Biking, sports, water sports or games (bubbles, slip-n-slide, water balloons, shaving cream wars), picnics, fishing, family scavenger hunts, etc.
3) Make a difference. There are a ton of volunteer and community organizations like Habitat for Humanity that have outdoor summer projects. At Volunteermatch.com, you can type in your city and check out what volunteer opportunities are near you. This site will also tell you what age-group an activity or event is appropriate for. What could be better than a summer of sunshine, bonding with your children, and together changing the world for the better!
Your Family Guru
Parenting Coach & Consultant