By Caitlin Ultimo
From Ideas That Spark
A new school year may be fast approaching, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to end just yet. Make a day out of recreating your favorite summer memories, whether it includes that fun day at the water park, relaxing barbecue at home or day trip to the city.
1. Create a backyard water park.
That June day at the water park sure was a blast, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have as much fun on a smaller scale -- the goal here is to remember the fun, not one up it. Winding slides and high-powered sprinkler showers may seem like hard things to manufacture at home, but they’re actually a cinch.
Head to the store with the kids and pick out some new floats. You should be able to score them pretty cheap, thanks to end-of-summer sales. If you have a pool, toss them in; if not, position them around the yard to resemble the pirate ship or water animal structures you saw at the park. Setting up some slip-’n’-slides and breaking out an oscillating sprinkler will add to the water-mania effect. Get in on the fun and cool off with the kids -- it’ll be easier to do in your own backyard than at that crowded water park!
2. Relive that summer getaway.
If that adventurous excursion to the big city was one of your family’s summer highlights remember it by setting up a mini metropolis at home. Create a little snack stand with street food faves, display your souvenirs as if they were in a store window and create your own “We Heart” shirts -- the kids will have a blast filling in the name of the city they visited.
Did you see a play while you were out on the town? Rent the movie and pop some popcorn. Did you visit an art museum? Go online and print out pictures of their favorite exhibit and hang them on your walls or fridge: Revisiting what they liked about the pieces the first time and exploring new things they’ve observed the second time around will be a blast.
3. Whip up one more barbecue feast.
One of the all-time classic ways to make summer memories: Easy, breezy outdoor cookouts. Grill up all your family’s favorites -- and maybe a few surprises. The kids will get a kick out of the food-filled table and will love helping with the prep. End your meal with a corn on the cob peeling contest and an ice-cream decorating dessert party.
Of course, one of the best ways to remember all of the summer fun your family had this year is to make a scrapbook, so sit down with the kids throughout these last carefree days and reminisce on all the great memories you’ve shared this season. Take heart, next summer will be here before you know it!
Caitlin Ultimo is a writer and editor who specializes in parenting and family-driven content. She is a former editor at Parenting.com and has written about family, finance, lifestyle, health and nutrition for Parents magazine. She is a frequent contributor to Ideas That Spark.
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