By Sarah Humphrey
Summer is a great season to soak up time with your kids or the kids in your ministry circles. With schoolwork out of the picture, kids’ brains are freed up to relax, play, and gather themselves through the art of free time, exploration, deeper conversations, and rest.
Unlike any other time of the year, the summer months can be a sweet offering of connection and can set the pace for a productive and fruitful school year in the Fall. What kids often yearn for is quality time, good creative and physical outlets, and sunshine! As an adult, you can use this time to help cleanse and nourish any exhausted portions of their little minds and bodies and simply give them a good, refreshing break.
Having intentional play dates with friends, scheduled outdoor activities, and a lot of time to explore nature are sure ways to brighten their spirits and help them engage with their five senses through outlets that don’t include a desk, television, or homework. This free time can speak volumes to them in ways that will nourish their creativity, enhance their faith, and give their bodies healthy movement and oxygen!
Some of my favorite summer activities include incorporating conversational lessons with the kids around me. When outside for a walk, make sure to allow the time to stop for ant hills, smell flowers, or step in creeks and streams. Talk about how big and creative God is, how He made everything in nature, and how He loves when we enjoy it!
When emotions run high, let summer be a time that you slow down to connect in authentic communication. Listen well to concerns, boo boos, and relational dilemmas. Sometimes kids need a little more attention in these areas, and it’s easy for adults to pass by them quickly. Take this time to stay with them a little longer, nourishing them with band-aids, kind words, and simple prayers.
Find new books to enjoy together (on a blanket under a tree, perhaps!). Let summer enhance a love for reading Bible stories, fun novels, and whatever genres your kids may like. It’s a wonderful opportunity to offer reward incentives for the time they spend in front of a book, instead of the time they watch the television or a screen.
As summer is upon us, give yourself the grace and joy of slowing down with the littles in your life. Let the sunshine warm you, the fresh breezes revive you, and the simple schedule nourish you. Summers are memory-makers for children, and being able to participate in those memories is a privilege!
Sarah is a wife and homeschool mom to three kids while also working as an artist, author, and voice actor. Her writing and doodling can be found in her devotional, “40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood” and her voice in several commercials, children’s books, and audiobooks. She loves encouraging women and kids to embrace self-care, utilize their gifts, and become leaders in the community around them.