For my two boys and me, summer break begins in two days. When you’re a kid, there are few things more exciting than the prospect of eight weeks of un-graded, unabashed playtime. When you’re a parent, there are few things more daunting than eight weeks of unstructured time — during which you’re required to entertain your troops.
The key to surviving the summer is simple. Open-ended, I-don’t-care-how-silly-I-look play (for you, and your kids). It not only lowers stress levels and promotes all-around happiness, but it significantly increases creativity, problem-solving skills, memory function (where are my keys?), and agility.
So I encourage you, super parents of the world, to shut down your inner adult and rediscover your inner 8-year-old. Create a PLAY-list (encourage your kids to do the same) describing the top 10 ways you’ll get your play on this summer. Post them somewhere visible, so you can’t avoid being reminded. Mine is below!
1. Start those mandolin lessons
2. Make a shaving cream table for my tween/teen kids and me. (Who says they’re just for 4-year-olds?)
3. Learn three new campfire songs to sing at the lake
4. Learn to throw a Frisbee properly (I’m horrible)
5. Learn to kayak with this:
6. Arrange a backyard camp-out. When my boys were little, they would have loved this tent:
7. Paint a picture on an easel
8. On the beach: Try to wake board and learn to fly a kite. This kite is perfect:
9. Perfect my lay-up and three-point shot, and teach my boys how to shoot hoops in the pool. Love this hoop:
10. Buy that trampoline and learn to do a back flip. Might be easiest to learn in some very deep water with this cool contraption: