I am in head deep in ministry planning for the coming year. The last couple of months my church has been praying and strategically thinking about what God is asking us to do and where He is leading us.
Similar planning happens in my family life. There are various books and devotionals that I have taken time to research and read with my children. My wife does a great job schooling our kids. She has spent a lot of time planning what to teach for the coming year. Praying, planning, researching, and getting direction for ourselves and our children are good things. So often we focus on planning for all things related to education, theology and ministry: what would it look like to be just as intentional about fun family experiences?
Experiencing fun during summer is one of the reasons I love the Disney Channel show, Phineas and Ferb. The premise of the show is how to make the most of the summer and accomplish all things they want to do: build a robot, surf tidal waves, climb the Eiffel Tower. Hopefully, by being intentional about spending fun time with our children, we can build closer relationships with them. We will be able to talk about their fears and dreams. We can create space and opportunities to ask questions about their lives. We can learn to enjoy who they are.
Here are a few fun ways to spend the summer:
Go to an amusement park or fair: What a great way to have fun and help your kids be fearless! Many parks have coupons, discounted days or season passes at reduced rates. Being with your child as they ride a roller coaster for the first time, brave the ferris wheel, or giving them the decision of what ride to try next is a fun memory builder.
Set aside 1 on 1 time: Every child is different, but they all have favorite places to go or games to play. Find out what those things are. Does your child love Uno or Monopoly? Whether it’s going to the playground or building blocks, take time to ask your child what they love to do and then do those things with them.
Find a team to rally around: Here in St. Louis baseball in is a kind of a big deal. The great thing about baseball is that it is a leisurely game that allows conversation. It is a fun memory for my kids that helps tie them to our city. Whether it is the Major leagues, the minor leagues, college or high school….find a team to support and root for together for as a family.
Take advantage of free family events. No matter where you live, chances are there are some free summer events going on. Maybe your library is offering a free summer reading program, or the park service is hosting free movie nights at the park. St. Louis has much to offer: the zoo, science center, history museum, city gardens. Take time to find out what free fun things your city offers.
What are some of the things do you do with your family? How do you connect with your kids?