10 Ways to Reconnect with Your Kids this Summer

 In Travel Tips

Cannon Beach

Who says you need to drive 14 hours or hop on a plane to a far off destination in order to have a fabulous summer with your kids? There are so many things you can do at home, or if you opt to, on vacation with your children to make sure you make the most of your quality time together.

Try a new food

Almost everywhere you look there is a spot to try something new, whether it is as simple as grabbing that kumquat from the grocery store, sampling a new dish at your local restaurant, or going one step further and diving into a new (for you) eating spot. See what weird and wonderful foods you and your kids can sample this summer. You may just find a new family favorite.

Mix up something delicious

Roll up those sleeves and get your aprons on. It’s time to find a new recipe to whip up with the kids. My toddler loves to dump the flour, beat the eggs, and turn on our mixer (with supervision of course). The baby loves to bang on a few pots while his brother and I are hard at work. Too hot to turn on the oven? Time to make some smoothie popsicles, watermelon sculptures or fruit and cheese kebabs.

Fishes Sushi

Dig through the garden 

Nothing is more fun for my little guys than getting dirty in the yard. Give your toddler a spot to go to town with his shovel. Make a few mud pies, break out that swimming pool and let him fill it up, or plant a few summer flowers together.

Follow a few bugs

Did you even notice how ants walk down a line back home? Why not follow the line to see where they came from or where they are going. Just remind those little feet not to stomp on those creepy crawly friends!

Take a hike

Seattle is bursting with easy spots to go for a hike both in the city and just a short drive outside into the Cascade Mountains. Even if you don’t have ready-made paths you can hike through your local park, a meadow, forest, or even do a little urban hiking through the city.

ice cream

Ice cream from anywhere, home or far away, brings families back together

Discover a new part of town

If you live in a big city there are probably a few corners you still haven’t stepped foot in. Pack up the kids and go for a drive (or hop on your local bus or train) to find out what that neighborhood has to eat, where the kids are playing, and if there is any cool graffiti or public art on display.

Dive into something wet

Ocean, lake, creek, or local swimming pool- all are great spots to have fun playing with your kids. Jump on in, teach your toddler to back float, let the baby get a little splash time in before a nap, and reconnect with each other through some wet fun.

Cannon Beach Sand Castle Day 2013

Cannon Beach Sand Castle Day 2013 (No, we did not make this)

Build a castle to the sky 

Sand castles are a highlight of the summer and any beach trip for our family. We make dribble castles, bucket castles, and even get a little fancy with the sculpting every now and then.

Unplug together

Turn off the iPhone, tablets, and TV. Remind yourself why you had kids and just how much fun they are. Pull out those board games you bought way back when in anticipation of kids that could play with you one day. Do a little gardening together. Take a walk, whip up a batch of cookies, or simply build a fort in the living room. Just don’t check your email while you do it.

Role reversal

Time for mom and dad to take a break and let the kids be in charge. Depending on your child’s age this could be as extensive as you want it to be. Have the kids make dinner while you whine about being hungry. Tell them to plan the whole day, or just an afternoon. The skies the limit when the kids are in charge.

How do you reconnect with your kids during summer break? 

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Showing 5 comments
  • Cam @ Traveling Canucks

    We’ve really enjoyed going on short trips with the little man. It’s nice to just get away but not have to disrupt our lives too much. Hopefully going to take him on a proper hike this summer!

  • Allison

    Great ideas! We are a big fan of local travel and keeping it simple. Kids don’t need extravagant vacations – they just want our time.

  • Kathy

    Love the connect with your kids ideas, but you missed a big one: Neighborhood or Park Photo hunt. Make a list of 4 or 5 things to photograph like close up, abscract, reflection, or funny. Then head out with some cheap digital camera’s or cell phone camera’s and see what happens. When you get home, compare and the winner makes the next list or chooses what’s for dinner.

    Have a great summer!


  • Anuja De Silva

    This post made me look at what I’ve been doing this summer to spend time with my son

  • ceeareare

    Thanks for the ideas! We have 4 kids and try to do a lot of stuff that’s managable and close by. I wrote a post about it earlier this summer. Thanks for sharing!

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