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Thoughts from the Barnyard: Summer lovin’

Some families have the ability to get away for most of the summer, but what about those who can't?
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Summer holidays are not always a luxury for some families. There are parents who try to make the best of it, even if it is only one day.

The end of the school year is fast approaching and for some parents the pressure of making it the “best summer ever” is also looming.

There are a few things though that can put a kink in the plans, like work, lack of money or even weather. So how can a parent still make it a memory-making summer when the odds are sometimes against us?

The great thing with kids is they often forget a lot of things, especially when it doesn’t work out. Kids don’t remember the day you had to go to work, leaving them with the babysitter. To them, it’s just another day. What they will remember is the day that you had ice cream for lunch (and then they try to convince you to have it more often than once a year!)

For my kids, they have spent a lot of summer days at home over the years. We have had our getaways over time and have always made special memories. But it is OK for kids to have a simple swim pass, a bike for them to ride around town with their friends or even explore some of the dense bush around the community. I know for myself, I wouldn’t want to live in a vacation all the time, otherwise it wouldn’t be special.

We have often teamed up with my parents for our camping trips. We meal plan ahead of time, figure out who is bringing what for groceries and other items. We pack everything up, work together to set up camp when we get there. There have been times I was unable to go due to work, so my parents have taken the kids on their own, creating their own memories. Still to this day, they reminisce about their adventures, keeping me in the dark with their inside jokes.

Nobody said summer holidays need to be done in a camper or at a lake. I have taken my family on day trips to places we had never been before. Geocaching is a fun and inexpensive way to get outside and explore. Make sure you bring lots of goodies to trade of various sizes and always make sure you have a pen or pencil that can write. We have geocached a whole day away and ended up in a town we never seen before and stories we will never forget!

Another inexpensive summertime trip is to visit museums. Whether in your own community, the next town over or even some where else along the way, museums are always excited to see visitors stopping in for tours. While many of them have a low price, there are some museums who accept donations instead. These destinations are a great source of information about the community, other fun things that are happening around the area and love to show off their stuff.

So, if you are dreading the upcoming summer, unsure of how you can give your children a summer to remember, just know that summer does not need to be every day. Even one memorable day will live on forever with them.