When I was a kid, nothing excited me more than summer vacation. Summer was all about potential, adventure and the feeling that anything was possible. But even though I no longer have any schoolwork of my own to worry about, summer still feels this way: It’s a time to challenge yourself and your family to do things you might not otherwise attempt during the rest of the year.
And so, to make this summer fly by (in a good way), here’s a list of five fun activities for your family’s summer bucket list.
1. Read Four Great Books
Or three. Or one really big one. Regardless of the number, pick a great book – either one you’ve never read before or one you read as a child that you’ve always meant to reread – and carve out some time each day to get lost in it.
And don’t stop there – get your kids involved by making monthly (or even biweekly!) trips to the library. Most libraries host a summer reading program (and many of them offer incentives and prizes depending on how many books your kids read). Encourage them to pick books outside the genres or authors they normally read, or introduce them to a few faves from your own childhood.
2. Learn a Brand-New Sport.
I’m not athletic in the least, but about 10 years ago I decided that I wanted to learn how to scuba dive. I figured that it’s a sport that doesn’t require a huge amount of exertion, but it also felt like a challenge. So I called around my town and found a scuba operator who had a pool on the premises and could certify me.
The result? I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment, not to mention that I planned several great vacations where I could practice my brand-new skills. So maximize the long summer days by learning a new sport – whether it’s scuba diving, swimming, rock climbing or whatever sounds interesting – and then reward yourself by planning a trip to a new place where you can give it a whirl. Nothing will make you feel like you can conquer the world like using your newfound skills in the wild.
Tip: Baby, it’s hot out there! Whether you’re hiking in the woods or sprinting around the soccer field, keep dry and fresh during summer sports activities with Secret Outlast Xtend and Old Spice Invisible Solid. Just toss them in your gym bag and go.
3. Taste 10 New Fruits
A friend of mine made it a personal goal to taste 1,000 fruits during her lifetime. The results are amazing: Because there are so many fruits around the world, she tries them on her travels and even goes to ethnic food stores in and around her hometown, resulting in a culinary adventure every time she takes a bite.
While attempting to try 1,000 fruits in a summer season is highly unrealistic, there’s no denying that many wonderful fresh fruits are in season right now, and there’s nothing quite so refreshing on a hot summer’s day. So while you’re at the grocery store (or traveling), see if you can find a new fruit to try.
Tip: If your kids are messy eaters, remove drippy fruit stains from their clothing with Tide PODS Ultra OXI. With 10 times the cleaning power vs. the next leading OXI detergent, plus built-in pre-treaters, it removes even the toughest stains.
4. Photograph Your Summer
It’s easy for summer to pass by without notice, and before you realize it, it’s already fall. So this season, make a point of photographing it: Keep your camera (or your smartphone) close at hand and take photos of beautiful moments in your days, whether it’s a weekend get-together with the extended family or your kids’ sticky faces after a trip to the ice cream parlour – or even the morning sun as you enjoy your cup of coffee juuust before the kids wake up (you can dream, right?). Record your days and, at the end of the summer, print your photographs in an album.
Tip: Keep your smile sparkling white for all those summer selfies with Crest 3D Whitestrips with Light – they whiten two times better than a professional treatment!*
5. Create Your Own Summer Camp
Just because you’re not spending weeks away in a mosquito-ridden cabin in the woods doesn’t mean that you and the kids can’t do some of the awesome activities that summer camps offer. Break out the embroidery floss and learn how to make friendship bracelets together. Get your hands on an ice cream maker and make some homemade ice cream. Pick up a watermelon on your next grocery run and have a seed-spitting contest with the kiddos (I guarantee they’ll love it). Camp out in your backyard, sing songs, roast marshmallows and find constellations.
Summer days are fleeting, and before you blink the kids will be back to school. So be creative and adopt an adventurous spirit while the weather is warm and the days are long. Who knows? You might land on an activity you’ll want to keep up with even after you wave good-bye to summer.
*vs. an in-office 40 percent hydrogen peroxide treatment.