The blithe and fun summer months are almost over but there’s still time for the family to enjoy the remaining sunny days than just indulging with frosty halo-halo, playing online games or watching TV, hanging out with friends or malling. Here are some suggestions:
Learn to swim.
When my children were just in grade school, their first summer activity was swimming lessons. I wanted them to learn to swim to improve their health condition. Our pediatrician advised us that swimming could help them cope with their asthmatic problem. It worked for the kids.
Since then, my daughters, who are now in their teens, no longer suffer from asthma. Besides, swimming is also a great bonding activity for the family. You can exercise and be entertained at the same time. It’s also a cheaper cool down activity during the hot days of summer than switching the air-conditioner in your room!
Participate in religious activities
Summer can also be a time for the whole family to be closer to God. During Lent or Holy Week, we let our children participate in religious activities in the parish. We go to High Mass together, join the community in a spiritual procession, venerate the Cross, keep vigil during the Holy Hour, relive the Via Crucis, attend a retreat or recollection, recite the Holy Rosary and many more.
You may also try a spiritual journey to Mt. Banahaw. This is a perfect opportunity for parents to consecrate the family with the Lord. The bond between parent and child is sacred according to a child psychologist. It has an impact that goes beyond words, that ensures a regular and long-lasting commitment to building a great relationship.
Enjoy the wind, go fly a kite
Long before the advent of real estate development in our place, kids and adults dominate the vast rice fields during long sunny days and blue skies after the harvest for some serious kite flying. I still remember the time when I asked my father to make me a kite. We used walis tingting (broom sticks), old newspaper, kaning lamig (left-over cooked rice) for the paste and spool of strings. Then, he accompanied us to the fields to play until dusk. I do the same thing with my kids and nephews as part of our bonding moments but unlike before, there’s only little space left to fly a kite. But you can try the only available open grounds in the city: Luneta or Fort Bonifacio in Global City, Taguig where several kite festivals are being held.
Organize or join community clubs
Another interesting way to enjoy summer is to join community events like sports fests, fiestas, talent shows, fun runs and more. In the early 90s, we organized a church-based youth club in our community. We invited teenagers to join and undergo a three-day training workshop on theater, leadership and team building exercise. We also asked the parents to endorse their children before they are accepted to the group.
After the training, they are armed with knowledge on community service. To raise funds, we used to organize a Basketball-for-a-Cause event with former PBA legends to lure spectators. That way, we make our youth happy and pleased, including my teens.
Be productive, Mag Go-negosyo.
A worthwhile and productive endeavor is to start a seasonal livelihood program. Perhaps you can start a food and cart business in your neighborhood. Try homemade siomai, fishballs, french fries, halo-halo and sell it in front of your house like what we did five summers ago.
You may also look at your closets, segregate old clothes and have a garage sale or come up with a totally new and unique business idea. This is a great chance to make some extra money as well as teach your children financial management and other life skills and values. If your teenager prefers on-the-job training, visit your local Public Employment Service Office (PESO) at the City Hall and find him a summer job.
Hit the beach
If the above suggestions are not within your kind of fun then go on with the traditional family excursion. Hit the beach and just enjoy the sun, sea and sand.
The Philippines abounds with numerous dazzling beaches, islands and islets waiting to be discovered by the daring adventurer. If your budget fits then go! Hang out with other families in beach resorts that are open to the public and enjoy swimming in the warm waters, a round of drinks, grilling meat or singing your hearts out in parties and raves. You can also try snorkeling, or diving.
There are lots of beneficial activities for both mind and body for your children during summer. You can also try cycling, camping, climb a mountain, joy ride, act on stage, take a short educational course, go abroad, throw a party, horseback riding, etc. The possibilities are endless. Summer is short so just enjoy!