Featured Local Business

Most Read: Parent Tips

A Salute to Special Olympics

Last December Cierra Winn swept her long chestnut hair over ... Read more

Changing for the Better

Early on a recent Sunday morning near Kids’ Cove at Mo... Read more

Growing Up Gardening

Finding time to play outside is a challenge for today’... Read more

Doulas on Duty

You’re a few months along in your pregnancy and beginn... Read more

Getting Better with Art

The inpatient playroom at the Children’s Hospital of the Kin... Read more

Set Sail with Sea Scouts

Something exciting is happening in Tidewater. Here, where th... Read more

A Heart for Kids

After a successful battle with cervical cancer, Tracy LaGatt... Read more

My Mentor, My Friend

Kids need adult role models to look up to and trust. Parents... Read more

Connecting with Horses

In this more-than-one-horse town, kids and adults take pleas... Read more

Parenting with No Regrets

My son just turned 18, so he is no longer legally a child. I... Read more

Kiddies & Kitties

There is nothing so heartwarming as when a family visits an ... Read more

Learning from WHRO

When my oldest was six, he came to me with a cape and a pict... Read more

A Gift of Life

At the age of five, Shutong Hao (“Tong Tong”) had already un... Read more

Explore the World with NATO

When NATO Festival organizers realized Luxembourg would be t... Read more

Tips for Kids Dining Out

Going out to eat with your children should be a relaxing and... Read more

Eating on a Budget

Get the most for your food budget! There are many ways to sa... Read more

Is Your Child on Track?

From birth to 5 years, your child should reach milestones in... Read more

Sea and Sky

Dear Friends, I was lucky to grow up on the shores of Sandb... Read more

Hit the Pause Button: Read

One of my favorite photographs is a picture of my mom readin... Read more

The World Can Wait

Parents have it rough these days. So much to do. So little t... Read more

2019 Jul

Tomorrow's Memories

Wouldn’t you rather play with your kids than clean house? Just do it.

Kids today are growing up too fast. More and more of our youth are getting hooked on screens at a young age. Sure, it’s easy to turn on a TV or hand your child a cell phone with colorful cartoons distracting him or her long enough for you to start a load of laundry. And yes, I know chores have to get done and there are only so many hours in a day.

But I’m a firm believer that a messy house isn’t a bad thing if it means that you spent the day engaged in enriching play with your child. I also think that you have to take the lead and teach your kids how to enjoy old-fashioned play. To that end, we are featuring our A to Z Guide to Summer Fun this issue. It’s packed with ideas for easy-on-the-budget activities to enjoy with your kids.

The alphabet wasn’t long enough, however, so here are a few more ideas.

  • Outdoor Concerts - Summertime means outdoor concerts, and every city has performances planned. When my kids were little, we would often attend free concerts at Town Point Park. I’d bring a picnic and we’d spread out on the grass. The older boys would run around and Baby Ross would crawl after them. Peter and I stayed busy chasing the kids, but every now and then everyone would settle down and we’d spend blissful moments enjoying the sunshine, fresh air, and breezy music.
  • Playgrounds - Take your kids to a playground and let them loose. It’s free fun, people! When I drive by an empty playground on a beautiful summer afternoon, I can’t understand why more kids aren’t swinging, sliding, and climbing. Our children need exercise and fresh air and time to be a kid. If it’s hot outside, try an indoor playground. The main thing is to get your kids moving.
  • Library Programs - The A to Z list mentions checking out books from the library, but don’t forget to check out children’s programming at area libraries. From storytimes to crafts, local libraries offer inspiring fun for kids of all ages. Plus summer reading programs promise prizes to everyone who commits to reading a few books. The best prize, of course, is knowing that reading keeps your child challenged throughout the summer months. It’s the perfect way for kids to develop their vocabulary—and it fuels their creativity and imagination. Reading is a win-win!
  • Playmates - Plan a few playdates with your child’s playmates. Take turns hosting the kids with other parents, and when it’s your turn, plan a day packed with adventures. Then when your child goes to his or her playmate’s house, you get a day off to shop or read or take a long nap under a shady tree.

Summer should be a time for fun and relaxation. If your summer’s gotten off to a crazy start, it’s not too late! Take a deep breath and plan some special days on your calendar—days devoted to playing with your kids, to being together, to sharing experiences that will become tomorrow’s memories.

Kids grow up so fast. Don’t waste a precious minute. Happy summer!                                

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and co-publisher of Tidewater Family and Tidewater Women magazines. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

Enter to Win a FREE Subscription to Tidewater Family AND Tidewater Women Print Magazines

We're hosting an extra year-end giveaway and are excited to gift 5 FREE subscriptions to both Tidewater Family AND Tidewater Women Magazines, a $40.00...

Free to Enter!