3 Tips For Enjoying More Family Summer Fun
I love these duck photos. For one thing, they’re funny. They also remind me of a trip to Germany to see my husband’s family when Tiny Traveler was 3½. It was filled with summer fun we still talk about, much of it unplanned. These ducks, our companions on a weekend in the country, offer up some good life lessons to consider before the summer is done.
Just like children in London, my husband’s mom and her siblings were sent during World War II to live on a farm outside of Munich to avoid the bombings in the city. The family later acquired one of the out buildings on the farm and turned it into a weekend retreat. Escaping the city to a real working farm in the Bavarian countryside—with all kinds of animals, fruit trees and plenty of space for wandering— was a unique experience that we really enjoyed.
We blew up the kiddie pool so TT and her cousins could splash around on a hot day. After the kids were through the ducks saw an opportunity to cool off and helped themselves.
The Life Lessons
Summer vacations are a of course a great opportunity for fun, family time and trying new things. But many parents focus so much on staging photo-ready moments and planning out the memories they want to create for their kids that they miss out out on the best family fun and memories—the ones you least expect. So I’ve decided these three little ducks are great role models for how to make the most of summer. Here’s what they have to say:
1. Be Curious and Explore
The ducks had free range of the property and took advantage of it. In their tight little group they wandered around to check out the other animals, the farm’s going on, and certainly to see what us newcomers were doing. By exploring, low and behold! They discovered a chance to swim and some other curious things as well. You can’t have serendipity without unplanned time and curiosity.
2. Get Messy
The ducks saw the opportunity to get wet on a hot day and dove right in. Afterward, the pool was full of feathers and dirt. But they didn’t care — because they’re ducks—and the point is they just enjoyed themselves. In the end, we didn’t care much either. A quick rinse with the hose got rid of the mess.
Part of enjoying yourself on vacation is being OK with a little mess. Let sand get on the beach blanket and all over your kids. Let your toddler have ice cream on his shirts in the photos, do tie-dye in the backyard and spill some dye on the grass. Make ice cream, bake with summer fruit, make fried chicken for a picnic and let the kids “help” even it means spills and sticky hands. Cleaning up afterward won’t be as hard as you think and you’ll have more fun than if you worry about staying neat as you go along.
3. Enjoy Today
This is a working farm. So these adorable ducks were of course, destined for someone’s dinner table. It’s a good reminder that life has its ups and downs and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Stop worrying about creating summer memories and let them happen. Get out, explore, get messy, discover. Whenever the sun is shining and the water is inviting, remember the ducks and dive in.
How will you make the most of the rest of your summer with your family?
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