Blue skies. Warm sunshine. Gentle, swaying breezes. Summer’s such a beautiful time of year, isn’t it? Yet with the many demands of our busy lives, we may all be just a little guilty of forgetting that we can make it as fun and rewarding as we want to. The most important thing to remember is to give meaning to what really matters: relationships, not activities or events. So let’s rediscover the true joys of this season all over again — together. Plus, to help spread Summer Joy, we have beautiful, printable summer quotes you can cut out and leave for others, or use for your as your own inspirational reminders to soak in the season!
How to Make a Meaningful Summer with Kids
The secret here is to avoid just absentmindedly and randomly making a list of things to do. Instead, plan your activities thoughtfully and with purpose. Be sure to actively involve your kids, and find out what’s most important to them as well. Some sample questions to ask them: “What do you think would be a fun thing for us to do together this summer and why?” “If you could imagine the best summer adventure in the world, what would it be?” “What can we do to make a difference?” Here are a few fun examples to spark an idea of your own:
- Learn something new. Share an experience that’s both novel and interactive. Ask your child if there’s something they’ve always wanted to try and maybe never had the courage to do. What a great way to discuss feelings of insecurity, how to handle life’s challenges, and satisfaction of accomplishment. Just having you there may be all the encouragement they need to get past their comfort zone.
- Volunteer for a worthy cause. Work side-by-side helping others while discussing the importance of giving back. Do some crafts with the elderly in a nursing home. Walk a dog at an animal shelter. Or offer popsicles to the garbage truck workers in your neighborhood. You may even make a few new friends along the way.
- Nurture relationships. Who do your kids want to spend more quality time with and get to know better? And why? Talk to them about the importance of relationships, whether it’s with their cousins, grandparents, or next-door neighbor. Then coordinate the visits and discuss afterwards.
How to Make a Meaningful Summer with Friends
This is all about spending quality time with your BFFs. That means stowing away cell phones and carving out time for lots of personal interaction. Take a day off work. Heck, take off a whole week of vacation and do something serendipitous. We like to call it “deliberate fun.” Here are some suggestions to get you started on your own brainstorming:
- Get personal. Instead of just “liking” the social media posts and photos of friends you haven’t seen in a while, take the time to actually call or visit them. Try doing this on a regular basis, and you’ll soon see how special you make each of them feel.
- Go unplugged. Pick an activity to do with your friends (liking eating out, going bowling, or hiking trails) and leave all electronics behind. Focus on your friends and give them your undivided attention. Bonus: Have your friends do the same.
- Make it “write.” There’s nothing quite as meaningful as a handwritten note, letter, or card from a friend. Get out your pen and rekindle an old friendship, or strengthen a new one.
How to Make a Meaningful Summer for Yourself
We all need some alone time once in a while. And summer is the perfect excuse to wind down and enjoy yourself — by yourself. Forget the errands and chores. They can wait. You can’t. This is your time. Make the most of it.
- Research your roots. If you’ve always wanted to find out more about your family history, now’s the time to do it. Reach out to family members who can fill in the gaps. You may even discover relatives you never knew you had! Your next family reunion will be that much bigger.
- Take some time just for you. Start the day with a nature walk to set a calm mood and take plenty of deep breaths to drink in your surroundings. Read a book, or write in a journal. Watch your favorite movie, or catch up on some much-needed sleep. Take the day to revisit yourself and see how refreshing some true “me time” can be.
We hope this helps you in planning to make it a meaningful summer this year, no matter who you’re with! To make it even a bit more fun and exciting, here are some super-cute summer quotes we’ve created just for you. Download and print today. use the blank notes to fill in activities or ideas you want to accomplish this season. Happy summer, everyone!