“Young people, it’s wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it. Do everything you want to do; take it all in. But remember that you must give an account to God for everything you do.” Ecclesiastes 11:9 (NLT)
Summer is the perfect time to teach your children about God’s love and the gifts He has given all of us: nature, art, entertainment, laughter, family, and friends! “Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17), and so we should take the time to enjoy the good gifts God has given us and teach our children to recognize them as such. Here are some tips for making the most of your summer:
- Instill a love of learning
Learning can be fun! Instilling a love of learning in your children is one of the most important gifts you can give them. Ask your kids what interests them and find a variety of resources for them to explore, such as library books, documentaries, toys, puzzles, and audiobooks. Children don’t need to be taught everything; they will often be more excited about the knowledge they obtain for themselves. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the greatest intellectuals in history. Not only was he a gifted artist, but his work as a scientist and inventor was far ahead of his time. He learned the foundations of all of these skills by carefully observing nature and filling his journals with detailed notes and sketches about what he saw. Like da Vinci, a child who loves to learn will have the whole world as a classroom. Observing the details of a butterfly’s wings at the park, reading the signs about animals at the zoo, and experimenting by making clay pots from backyard mud are just a few memorable, fun, and educational experiences.
- Get your hands dirty
Participate with your kids. I didn’t realize how seldom I actually shared experiences with my kids until we moved a few years ago. They generally played with their friends while I chatted with the moms. With our friends out of the picture, my kids wanted me to do things like swim with them and go down the water slide instead of sitting poolside, and it was a great bonding experience for all of us. Now that we have settled in and made friends, my children would rather play with other kids than their mom, and I am happy to have some grown-up time. However, we still schedule outings and play times just for us, and we all look forward to it.
- Explore your city
Another great habit we established during our move was exploring our surroundings by trying out new parks and libraries, going to museums and cultural events, spending time in different neighborhoods, and learning the history of our city. I married an East-Coaster whose love of the mountains brought him to Colorado, so we have always spent weekends hiking and checking out different parts of the state. But I lived in Colorado Springs for ten years, and there were many parts of town I never visited and events I never got around to attending. I went to my favorite places and stayed within my comfort zone, but when I moved, I had no comfort zone. Even now, I realize that I have fallen into the same rut in my new home, so I plan to go somewhere new every week (even if it’s just trying out a different Wal-Mart).
1 Corinthians 10:31 tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Friends, I hope you have a fantastic summer, enjoying the warm weather and your family. Do it all for the glory of God and reap the benefits of a joyful family!
Blessings and Love,
- Do you take the time to interact with your kids, play with them, and experience life together? How can you make it a priority to do this more?
- What are some new experiences you think your kids might enjoy?
- What are the activities they love that you never seem to find time to do?
Incorporate the categories above as well as anything that is important to you into your calendar. If I don’t make a goal to play with my kids or go somewhere new on a set day each week, I will never do it. You can be flexible; rearrange your plans if something else comes up. Just make sure you’re rescheduling these important items so they don’t fall by the wayside. We are moms, and we are all busy. It takes intentionality to avoid falling into a rut and living under the tyranny of the urgent.
Write down the verses in this study, and tell your kids that God loves them and has given them so many gifts. He wants us to make the most of our time and enjoy this gift of life!