With the arrival of June, the summer season has begun, and our Creekside kids should be free to be out in the sun, adventuring, teaming up for games, and playing together unfettered. COVID19 changes what we can allow our kids to do; to protect them, we have to limit their contact with others and maintain a safe environment.
Summer comes with all sorts of kid-friendly traditions. The long lockdown has been challenging for both parents and children but, the arrival of summer gives us an opportunity to change that. It’s important to adapt these rites of summer to safely let our kids know that the joys of life are still there for them. We want to teach our children that we are resilient and are able to thrive in times of adversity.
The joy of living. Life is bursting out of every crook and cranny in the summer. Insects emerge and the butterflies and birds are back. Take time to celebrate these things with your kids. Point out an anthill that has newly formed and explain how the colony works inside it. Pull up a YouTube video on ant colonies. Look for the returning birds and the Monarch butterflies. Take a moment to show your kids how to appreciate the pleasure of being alive together, even during a pandemic.
The great outdoors. In the summer, we look to do the things we can’t do the rest of the time and much of it is outdoors. It’s just warm enough to eat dinner outside and if you stay outside at dusk, you may be lucky enough to see bats flying around. On the hottest days, Cheyenne Creek is a good way to beat the heat and share some fun memories together. Nature hikes are a chance to get out together and explore our high desert environment. Bear Creek Nature Center has easily accessible trails for kids and grandparents too. Share a sunrise or a sunset, if you have the right vista.
The bounty of summer. Summer brings great foods to the table, and it can help children process this transition. Buy a watermelon (have you tried the yellow watermelons?), pick wild strawberries and raspberries in Cheyenne Canyon. Summer fruits and vegetables from a container garden or raised bed will help key your child into the changing season and provide new opportunities for the children to taste fresh fruits and vegetables they grow themselves.
Plant a berry garden. If you’ve got a yard to play with, why not play in the dirt with your kids? Plant strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries in a sunny place in your garden, and perhaps pumpkins too, in anticipation of Autumn. Have a look at James Prigioni’s Gardening Channel for ideas on berries you can grow.
Honor the break. If you have older kids you have been homeschooling, keep in mind that they need their summer break to play, be silly, and put the academics they have learned through the year to practical hands-on use. Their mood is transferable to their younger Creekside siblings, so if older siblings feel unfairly burdened by a school year that isn’t ending due to extra lessons and tutoring, it could create a negative impression for the younger ones. Make sure to have a cut-off date and honor it, so that all your kids know that summer has a sacred place, even during a pandemic.
Honoring the seasons as they change is important because they provide your preschooler with a deeper understanding of time, the calendar, seasons, celebrations, and even astronomy. Seasons and celebrations are how young children understand and mark time. Be sure to come back next month for some great kid-friendly activities you can explore with your Creekside kids this summer while social distancing!