School Is All Over
School is all over
I’m in the next grade–
And it’s picnics and popsicles,
Sunburns and sailing
And feet that are bare
T-shirts and sneakers
And sand in my hair,
Swimming and rowing
And fisherman’s fun.
It’s hard to believe it,
But summer’s begun.~Alice Low
Don’t you love summer? I think this poem by Alice Low perfectly sums up this special time! I especially love the beginning of summer when it seems like an endless span of time stretching forever into the future. Kids and adults alike need unstructured days of carefree fun.
As a kid I remember roaming around with friends all day exploring, pretending, and playing. Summertime nowadays means working parents, summer camps, neighborhood pools, all-star all-summer sports teams, water-parks and theme parks and video games. I didn’t have any of that growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. Family vacation was traveling to North Carolina to visit relatives. It was days spent at the beach swimming and building sand castles. I’m not sure if children today aren’t missing those lazy summertime days of yesteryear where we created our own fun rather than expected to be entertained.
Here’s what summertime meant to me:
· Sleeping in until the sun was blazing in my bedroom window. No air conditioning back then and you had to finally get up to keep from drowning in a pool of sweat.
· Fishing in the lake across the street. Snagging catfish and trying to figure out how to get them off the hook.
· Riding our bikes until we found a new creek to explore, a new field to play in
· Creating whole fantasy worlds, populating them with characters, conflicts, friendships. Acting out all the parts with my best friend and next door neighbor. We were drama queens before anyone had even thought of the stereotype.
· Giving ourselves new names that we thought were more romantic and personality. Actually using them to talk to each other.
· Writing my first novel but, never getting past the first chapter which I rewrote over and over
· Playing games for hours; Monopoly, Canasta, Parcheesi
· Creating forts wherever we went; in the woods, in the garage rafters, under the jungle gym covered with an old blanket
· Going to the library and checking out stacks of books, then lying in bed reading them for hours until my body was stiff from the lack of movement
· Neighborhood Fourth of July parties on the beach. Getting up early and arriving before the sun was even up. Cooking eggs in a skillet over the fire for breakfast, then playing all day long in the sand and the waves.
· Playing tag and hide and go seek just as it was getting dark. Mom calling us inside when we wanted to stay outside forever and keep playing.
Creating Summertime Memories through Writing
Summertime is a great time to create family memories and to capture them in writing. There are lots of ways to not only encourage writing throughout the summer but to create a legacy that you can look back on or build upon in years to come. Here’s ten ways you can engage your child in writing throughout the summer. Don’t just give them as an assignment though. Do them with your child!
· Take your child on an artist date to purchase some things to make writing fun. This doesn’t have to be expensive. The dollar store works fine. Consider a special notebook, pen or pencil or some stickers.
· Write about summer time activities but from the perspective of someone or something else. What would the dog have to say about playing in the yard or a visit to the park? Write from the point of view of an object. Does the frisbee like being thrown around or is it tired?
· Keep a simple travel log–each day list the place, the best thing about the day and the worst thing about the day, draw pictures to illustrate both. What if you aren’t traveling? Make an “I Wish Travel Log” and imagine where you’d like to go.
· Send Wish You Were Here postcards to friends and relatives who live far away–even if you aren’t traveling. Tell them what you miss about them.
· Make a summer newspaper. Have a special events section, a recipe section, sports or weather section, a whatever-topic-you-like section.
· Start a summer memoir. Start with the first summer your child remembers and record memories of each year. Find pictures that go with each summer and add them.
· Create a summertime collage with pictures and words cut out of magazines.
· At the end of each day, write one sentence or just one adjective that describes the day on a calendar. Save the calendar every summer and you have instant history and memories!
· Start a gratitude journal. Each day write something you are grateful for. Focus on one person for a week or a month and write something each day about that person. Give them the journal when you finish.
· Keep a book-graphy or a videogame-graphy or a dessert-graphy. Record games played, scores and any additional pointers or notes for future players. Record favorite desserts. Describe what makes them so special. Include a recipe.
Enjoy your summer and create lasting family memories!!
What are your favorite summertime memories? Let me know in the comment section below!
Want a great summertime book with an empowering message? Check out what happens to Wyatt when he visits his grandparents at the beach: