We just recently passed mid-summer, and the end is on the horizon! But let's stop and remember what summer is often about; memories; especially childhood memories. We all have them. Sure, they vary from generation to generation, but they usually are remembered as warm and fond memories.
Everyone has a story from their childhood summers'. Stories that are full of fun and new explorations and discovering something new about yourself, your friends and your world. They are made up of activities, running, jumping and having few cares. We can all close our eyes and remember the warmth, smells and sounds of our youthful summers. As a child, these memories are relived in stories they tell. Those stories stick with them. Why is that?
As a young child, things are always new and challenges abound. The opportunities to discover are greater when the weather is great. Children's stories are built without much thought and come together as they relive their experiences. There is a freedom that summer affords all of us and children thrive at its opportunities. The stimuli should be there for the taking.
But, is it there or do we as parents have to help with providing that stimuli? If parents only let children plop down in front of a screen to while away their hours, those memorable stories will never appear. Summer is here to help grow and express themselves in new ways. The opportunities and tools should be given to them.
It is always a challenge as a single or working parent to find time to explore together, but the time should be found. Not exclusively one on one, but by providing opportunities that get them to the playground, beach or pool, walking in the forest, or exploring a museum. It's not all that hard! Those activities allow them to ask questions, try on solutions, and are moments that stories often bloom. Give them the freedom to explore and question and those memories will be built. An important job of a parent is to help lay that groundwork for memorable moments of summer fun.
Do toys play a role in summer memories? Absolutely, but in different ways. The outdoors gives way to a whole new way to play with their action figures or pushing dirt around with their trucks. Sprinklers provide for non-stop giggles and bubbles are meant for endless chasing. And what about those interesting bugs and birds? What are their lives about? Think of the stories you can tell once you have discovered all of this.
Summer always seems to fly by. It's a wonderful time for all of us and especially for a young child. It only comes around once a year! Before you know it, its gone, and your child is going off to school. Let's give them the opportunity to make summer memories and expand their minds.
Something new, something unusual will always stick with them. Ask a young child to play back their summer day, and I'll bet there is a story in there somewhere!