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WIGGLY SANDY TOES, a pail full of pale shells, a pinecone-laden trail, a backseat sing-along, a running start up the driveway for a long-awaited hug. Summertime offers a unique opportunity for families and loved ones to connect, to learn, to grow, and to make memories. We only have eighteen summers with our children – how do we make each one meaningful? These scrapbook-worthy ideas will stretch those long summer days into a lifetime.


Even if a road trip isn’t in order (though if you’re able to, go for it!), kids can still bond with their loved ones from afar. Video chats, weekly scheduled calls, or even a group text can keep children and family members conversing all year long. Other fun ideas include playing online games together, watching streaming movies at the same time, or using a digital picture frame or family app to send photos back and forth (the sillier, the better!).


Have you been meaning to peruse your local museum? Immerse yourself in a pile of new books? Practice a new skill? Summer is the perfect time for educational exploration, and the whole family can join in. Make regular excursions to the library, go see a lecture or play, or head to a zoo, aquarium, or National Park together. If travel is tricky or cost-prohibitive, try a virtual field trip!

Lots of museums and institutions have online tours and live animal cams abound. Your family can even try a virtual class together – invite those long-distance family members to join!


Embrace your inner documentarian and create a family journal and memory book! Encourage everyone to contribute, sharing details about your adventures and day-to-day lives. Older family members can create diary entries, add favorite summer recipes, or create maps of places visited. Younger kids can include art, and adults can help them list favorite activities or document milestones. Don’t forget to include photos and mementos!

The sky’s the limit when it comes to crafting quality time. Be creative! Remember, kids will only be children once, so make this summer count!