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6 Summer Activities for Bonding with Your Kids

June 23, 2016 | by Bluma Gordon

Summer vacation can become a cherished time for strengthening our relationships with our children.

Summer vacation need not be a time reserved for producing edgy children yelling “I'm bored” all day, or equally edgy parents counting down toward the first day back to school. The less structured and more relaxed environment of summer vacation is actually a precious time for us parents to reconnect with our children, strengthen our relationships with them, and right the wrongs of the school year. Cut the boredom and reconnect with your kids with these budget friendly, summer activity ideas:

1. Set aside more time for quality fun, relaxation, and recreation. Summer is devoid of school related stresses and provides the perfect opportunity for relaxing with our children. This summer, try turning off your phone during dinner and devoting your energy and time for your kids. Relax with a family game night and liven up an old bored game with pop-corn, music and a disco ball. Have romantic family dinner nights alight with candles and menus.

Let your kid see your fun side. Indulge in the arts. Cover a wall with a plastic tablecloth and decorate it with masterpieces of finger paint art. Do ceramics. Bake together. Put homemade, washable spray paint in a bottle and hold a family laser tag competition in the backyard.

2. Learn something new together. Education is not limited to school; it begins in the home. Connecting through an educational venue can create a deeper bond and a greater appreciation of one other.

Attend a Jewish studies classes and learn new ideas. Go to yoga, karate, or jewelry making class, or learn a new instrument together with your child. Teach your child how to swim or toss a ball into a hoop. Have your child teach you a new skill. Learn from your kid how to hover board or navigate social media.

3.Enjoy nature together. Nature has a way of relaxing and bringing people together like nothing else can. Take nature hikes, walks, or visit your local bird watching center. Make a picnic or barbeque in the park or your own backyard. Go apple picking. Venture out at on a clear night with a telescope and practice star gazing. Plant vegetables and flowers in your garden together.

4. Dig into your family history. Kids take pride in knowing what makes their family special. Tell stories about your childhood at the dinner table. Dig through old photos of yourself and your family. Explore your family's history and draw up a family tree. Help your child find old photos of himself and create a scrapbook of his personal life.

5. Volunteer together. Visit your local nursing home or children's hospital. Bake cakes and donate them to charity organizations. Put up a yard sale, lemonade stand, or join a bike-a-thon to raise money for a cause you believe in.

6. Document your summer fun. Kids will cherish recording all the fun times they had and creating memories that will last for years to come. Start a summer journal, write about what you did each day, and take turns reading it to each other. Take loads of family pics and create a summer scrapbook together.

Summer vacation can become a cherished time for strengthening our relationships with our children in ways we never thought possible. Have a great summer and a happy bonding!

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