The summer goal for stepfamilies and single parents is to enjoy time with their kids.
It’s easy to get bogged down in all the things your kids want to do. And you can’t always afford every single activity. So you need to come up with something both memorable and cost effective.
Before you get overwhelmed, first recognize that the goal is to have more quality time with your children. The goal is less about how far you take them away, expensive camps, or how much money you spend. Instead, focus on making memories and establishing new traditions.
To help make this time enjoyable and memorable, read on for 9 ideas for entertaining your children during the summer post divorce.
9 Ideas For Entertaining Your Children During The Summer Post Divorce
Your children won’t be reminiscing about the cool camp or vacations in the years to come. For the most part, they probably won’t remember the things you are thinking are the most important to them. What they will remember are the positive moments and the quality time with you. All in all, parents stress themselves out too much when it comes to lavish vacations.
Start By Determining The Shared Goals
To prepare for successful summer family outings, first figure out your schedule and determine what you all like to do.
Talk to your child and give them options. Ask, “Is there anything that you want to do?” Then just have a general conversation and go over your list of ideas. But remember to be open to your child’s ideas that you may not have thought about yet.
While you’re planning your summer break, make time to do things that you and the children don’t typically have time for during the school year.
If you’re an employed parent, make a point to create more open time during the evenings. Let the kids stay up a little later. Take advantage of daylight savings time. It doesn’t get dark until 9pm, and those late daylight hours are usually cooler and easier to enjoy time outside.
Are you in need of support to help you thrive as a single parent or move forward after a divorce or remarriage? The Bridge Across can help. Schedule a consultation today to get started.
Cost-Efficient Memorable Summer Activities
When you get creative, you’ll realize there are a lot of things to do that don’t cost too much. Moreover, there are usually plenty of free activities as well. So let’s get into the 9 ideas for entertaining your children during the summer post divorce.
1. Swimming Pool
What’s summer without pool days? Local swimming pools are great places for family days in the sun. But they are also perfect for taking your kids and their friend(s) for a few hours on the days you agree to playdates. My father says that when we were young, we only cared about one thing when going on vacations – the swimming pool!
2. Splash Park
Many city parks now feature splash pads as a free resource for everyone to cool down while enjoying summer days. The available hours will usually be listed on the park’s website.
3. Hardware Store
Does your child have an interest in building things? Maybe they enjoy watching you getting handy with your own toolkit and are showing an interest?
Whether or not they have expressed this is something they’d like to do, most kids appreciate learning a new skill. They’ll especially enjoy it if it’s something they see as a “grown up” thing to do. Look for projects online, big or small, and visit your local hardware store. It may surprise you how helpful employees will be at suggesting ideas and making sure you have all the right supplies for a successful project. Additionally, children get a kick out of exploring hardware stores – watching the forklifts and other big machinery.
The gratification of building something with their own hands will empower your child in addition to creating lasting memories.
We can all use a little help sometimes. If you’re wading through the aftermath of a separation or divorce, The Bridge Across can supply you with tools to move forward towards a healthy future. Visit our website to schedule a free consultation.
4. Cooking Classes
In-person cooking classes were probably more plentiful pre-COVID, but don’t let that discourage the idea. If you and/or your child enjoy cooking, look for an in-person class or simply find one online.
Just like building something with their hands, cooking a meal also provides gratification and empowerment. Help your child explore interests through different styles of cooking. You could even make a point to explore other cultures through their cuisines.
5. Take A Tour Of Your City
In Houston, it would be easy to make a day of visiting the many murals. Create lasting memories by taking family photos in front of all or at least you and your children’s favorite murals. Pack a cooler and enjoy your meals picnic style at a new-to-you park or an old family favorite park.
6. Movie Night
The options are endless when it comes to movie night. Moreover, you can keep the cost extremely low if you want.
Pop some popcorn and settle into the couch. Or go all out and pick up a variety of appetizers from you and your children’s favorite restaurants. Furthermore, you can build an island of pillows or set up an air mattress to make movie watching a little more fun. Another option is to set up a projector outside to bring nature into your movie night.
The great thing about movie nights is you can make it as stress-free or as festive as you want. Either way, your child will enjoy the time spent with you laughing at a silly movie.
7. Army Surplus Store
Whether you make any purchases or not, Army surplus stores are pretty mesmerizing to kids. There is so much history to uncover while walking through the aisles.
Use this as an opportunity to share stories with your children about relatives who served in the military. If that’s not your speed, you can still have fun perusing through the overflowing aisles of military gear.
8. State Parks
Texas state parks are plentiful and host a wide range of scenery and activities. Moreover, there are hikes suitable for all levels of mobility. If your family is active and you all enjoy pushing yourselves, opt for a challenging hike. However, if you’d rather stick to paved walkways, there are plenty of beautiful areas to explore without having to go off the beaten path.
To ensure a great time is had by all, check with the Texas Parks & Wildlife website for hours, fees, and rules and regulations.
9. Enjoy A Jungle Safari
Create lasting memories by taking your children to visit real-life versions of their favorite cartoon animals. That’s right – there are plenty of jungle safari adventures just outside of Houston.
In particular, the Bayou Wildlife Zoo in Alvin, Texas, is just a short drive from downtown Houston. Enjoy a tram ride through the wilderness while waving hello to furry friends you don’t expect to see anywhere near big cities. Pack a picnic and make a day of it.
Afterwards, print and frame photos of you and your kids with exotic animals. Not only will you be creating lasting memories, but you can continue conversations about your children’s favorite animals all summer long. Even better, you may awaken a love for adventure in your kids that you can continue to build on year after year.
Keep Loving Moments The Focus Of Your Time Together
No matter what you and your children choose to do, make sure that peace and love stay at the forefront. Be careful not to overextend yourselves, because exhausted souls anger easily.
Consider looking at each day in thirds – morning, afternoon, and evening. If you’re planning two activities in one day, you might want to take advantage of the afternoon for a resting break.
If you want to further explore what the city has to offer, check out the Houston Chronicle, 365 Things To Do In Houston and other publications that list out of the ordinary family friendly activities.
Need Help Mentally Preparing For A Future Of Co-Parenting With Your Ex?
We could list a thousand ideas for entertaining your children during the summer post divorce. However, if you’re still struggling with your ex, you may need some tools to ensure that you’re showing up as the parent your children need.Moving on after a separation can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to define you. Reach out to The Bridge Across today to schedule a free consultation. You’ll leave with new tools to help you navigate this new chapter of your life after just one visit.