As great as it is, summertime can seem really long when your home with the kids with nothing to do. I know what you're thinking, if you had the money, you could think of a million things to do, right? Well, perhaps a little brainstorming can make your summer fun without spending a huge amount of cash.
Living outside of Philadelphia, I often forget how many awesome tourist attractions I have right in my back yard. Valley Forge park, for instance, is an amazing place of historical significance. As a kid, I grumbled and whined through these landmarks and points of interest. I begged my mom not to take me, however, now I greatly appreciate those times with my family.
As an adult, we often look back at things we experienced as a child with a new appreciation. Although we loved the things with bells and whistles (like the boardwalk or Six Flags Great Adventure), our experiences are what creates our childhood. Happy family memories can be made anywhere and at anytime. It's up to us as parents to create the memories for our children. Take a moment and really think about this question, "How do I want my children to look back at their childhood? What kind of memories do I want them to have?" Believe it or not, using some of the free and/or inexpensive attractions near you can be an easy and fun way to create wonderful memories with your family.
If you would like to take a trip to a cool place near you, make sure you PREPARE!
1. Look online. Find an interesting tourist attraction near you and look at their website. See what they offer, how to get there, how much it costs, and any historical facts that your children might find interesting.
2. Let your child bring a friend. Face it, although it can seem like a hassle, your child may be more excited to have a friend along!
3. Present the excursion with enthusiasm. Get excited about the place you're visitng and even goofy about it. Let your child make fun of you! Remember, excitement is contagious!
4. Create a scrapbook of your adventures. Children love taking pictures and documenting things they like. Giving them some control makes them feel excited and engaged in what your doing.
5. Don't drag things out too long. Remember, children have limited attention spans and tire easily. Even if you are interested in something, come back another time if you want to read every detail at each marker. Ending the experience on a postive note is always a good thing.
6. Ask your children questions about what they saw. The ride home can be a great chance to find out what your child liked or didn't like about the attraction you experienced. Keep the conversation simple and fun or you will quickly loose their interest.
Most of all, enjoy the time with your children and tell them how much you enjoyed the time spent with them. I know you might be thinking, "he already knows how much I enjoy time with him!" But kids need to hear that they are appreciated and loved often!
Finally, take the time to enjoy the moments, they will not last forever.