I recently read a post by Dr. Tim Elmore that really resonated with me as we prepare to end this school year and head into summer. The thrust of the column was how young people today seem to be afflicted by different forms of anxiety and depression. One phrase he used really struck me: “Our lives are saturated. Kids are overwhelmed. And they are distracted. Our brains are not built to take in all the activity of our daily lives.”

I think he’s probably right. And that’s important when we think about the summer ahead. Summer does not have to be a time for drill and practice, workbooks, tutoring, travel sports, or anything that overstuffs their schedules and ours. Instead summer is unstructured time for children to explore, create, imagine, build, and have fun all on their own. So, what is summer good for? How about…

  • Spending a lot of time outside getting wet, dirty, or sweaty – ideally all three at the same time!
  • Reading lots and lots and lots of books – everybody gets to pick what they want just for fun.
  • Meeting new people – at the park, the playground, the library, or when traveling.
  • Putting on a talent show with friends from the neighborhood – lip sync, dance, air guitar, skateboarding, magic tricks, and more!
  • Building a fort in the living room out of cardboard and blankets and whatever else is on hand.
  • Having a car wash or lemonade stand and giving the proceeds away.
  • Reading the Bible and talking about it together as a family. And praying!

Sound like fun? I’m ready! How about you?