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Saturday, June 14, 2014

It's Finally Here! 9 Ways to Savor Summer

Photo by: Zach Dischner (Flickr)

It's finally here! The trees are bursting with lush green and the birds are tweeting with aplomb! My girls are giddy with that heavenly mix of sunshine and laughter. We've waited so long for summer, so let's make the most of it! There's always so much to do, and staying active outside is much better for your physical and mental health than staying inside.

Here are nine great ways to help you savor summer and enjoy all that it has to offer.

  1. Hop on your Bike – Hop on two wheels and go! My two wildflower gals and I are blessed with a medley of trails to explore close by. We also love to run errands and fill up our baskets with fresh produce from the farmer's market. Even if you just bike through the neighborhood, it's a fun, relaxing activity. Not only that, there are many perks to biking more and driving less. Strong legs and an eager heart will make your world go 'round!
  2. Embrace Nature through Camping – Camping is a one-of-a-kind summer experience. Swim, dance, sing, climb, hike, explore – it's an all-you-can-play buffet under the sun and stars! The outdoors wakes us up to the essentials and refreshes us on how precious life and family are. So whip up some hearty snacks, spin stories, melt away your worries by the fire, and of course, relish this time with family and friends. If you can't actually go to a camp site, it's no problem – set up a tent in the backyard!
  3. Have a Picnic – Nothing says summer like a blanket sprawled on warm grass. Cozy up to the earth, enjoy finger foods galore, soak up the scenery and just be. Breezy smiles and laughter are sure to greet the open sky! Isn't that the spirit of summer? There are ways to be 'green' when you're out for a picnic, too!

    Head to the Playground – This one is a given! The playground is a summer wonderland; kids can exercise, interact, learn and just play! Also, it invites them to express their creativity, which is just one way playgrounds build strong, smart children. Make sure to bring plenty of water!

  4. Read in the Sun – Swimming, hiking, gardening, lounging in the hammock – just get outdoors! My girls love to belly flop onto the hammock with books. Those long, languid summer afternoons make it so easy to slip into new worlds, don't they? Or you could let the sway of the hammock lull you into a blissful nap. Either way, sunscreen is a must!
  5. Who's Hungry? – Mmm. Grilled food. I can't get enough of grilled salmon, zucchini, avocado and mushrooms! What are your delicious, smoky favorites? I urge you to try to get your grub from sustainable, ethical and local sources such as the farmer's market. The earth and global community will thank you!
  6. Outdoor Games – Good riddance, snow! The summertime air and plush grass invite you to get adventurous about playtime. Bond with your little ones by playing frisbee, kickball, softball or volleyball with them. Spontaneous, independent play is wonderful for kids too, so be sure to give them lots of freedom.
  7. Soak up some Vitamin D – After months of being imprisoned indoors, our bodies and minds are thirsty for sunshine. So while your family is joyously at play in the sun, you'll be pleased to know you're soaking up this much-needed nutrient. But make sure you slather on the sunscreen first!
  8. Do some gardening – Gardening is a great activity to introduce to your children. It fosters a deep love and appreciation for nature and hard work. When I was younger, my mother was passionate about gardening, and I received that gift. Plus, the conversations I enjoy with my daughters as we tend to our patches are some of the most lively and enriching!

I hope you're as ready to leap into this summer as I am! What are your favorite summer activities?

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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