Article Kathy’s 5 Family-Friendly Tips for Sneaking in Sunshine This Summer

From farmers markets and family walks to dining al fresco, try these easy tips!

July 28, 2016

Article by

Kathy Smith

Summer is our family’s favourite season, and we’re hardly alone in our pure love for summer evenings that don’t quit and the fresh, local fruits and veggies that arrive at our markets in bushels.

Here are five easy-to-adopt ways to squeeze a bit more gusto out of this wonderful season:

1) Bike to work, or park further away and walk a few blocks.

Biking or walking a few blocks creates a gentle, natural transition between home and work. Even a small stretch of unstructured time will give you moments to decompress, count your blessings, frustrate worry and return to the here and now. Even when working from home, biking around the block before you sit down for work can help you decompress, meditate, and gear up for the day ahead.

2) Go camping, or take dinner outside.

Heading to a nearby campsite is the ultimate way to unplug. Getting closer to nature—and far from To-Do lists and electronics—seems to slow life down and open doors to new adventures for both kids and adults. No time to get away? Just pack a picnic lunch to a nearby park or serve dinner in the backyard to make it feel like a special occasion.

3) Check out farmers’ markets.

Summertime is high season for local outdoor events. You don’t have to go far to check out the fresh seasonal bounty at farmers’ market booths and get inspired to cook it all up.

Better yet, grow your own food and flowers. Edible landscaping is wonderful and can be incorporated in creative ways—every home can enjoy a pot of fresh herbs or cherry tomatoes.

4) Collect leaves, flowers, and shells for use in craft projects.

Making arts and crafts with natural materials was a favourite activity with my girls when they were growing up. We had such fun choosing flowers from our garden to press and dry. Your children may enjoy collecting shells on your beach vacation or picking leaves from neighbourhood trees as seasons change and the leaves change colours. Beautiful cards can be made with natural things and we all love receiving a homemade card in the mail.

5) Exercise outside.

Escape air-conditioned rooms and explore the great outdoors. I love to hike and am constantly looking for new trails and paths in my community—look for multipurpose trails where you can walk, run, or bike. If it’s hot out, choose a cooler time of day, generally early morning or evening. Drag the kids and the dog along—you’ll all feel the better for it.

Wishing you a happy, healthy summer!


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