We couldn’t wait for school to end, for the cool weather to move out, to get out of our sweaters and into shorts...
Here we are...now what?
Admittedly, I am a lifestyle family photographer(the following photos are from a recent Denver area shoot with a lovely little family), and not an activity planner, but if you need a few ideas of what to do with your kiddos, look no further....(well, read these ideas, do them, and then look further because I only have a few)!
1) Visit the Denver Art Museum
Did you know kids are free at the Denver Art Museum? I did not until I looked into it and realized we could have an awesome adventure for just $10, parking and, of course, some ice cream afterwards. My kids are eight and five and were pretty engaged the whole time, although the five year old struggled a little with the Impressionists display on the second floor. Armed with notebooks, colored pencils and a brief overview of the principles of art, we spent about an hour and a half perusing the displays, sketching when they felt inspired, and snapping pictures of their favorite works of art.
2) Take a Hike
A friend and I just discovered a lovely little trail called Upper Maxwell Falls near Conifer, Colorado. It was a short hike to the destination with lots of wooded area and a gently flowing creek for little minds and bodies to explore, which was perfect for our group which included a three year old up to an eight year old.
Pack a picnic, have some patience and carefully enjoy the view of a waterfall from the rocky outlook above.
3) Read a Book
One of my favorite activities in summer is sitting under a tree in the yard and reading with the kiddos. We’ve been reading some great chapter books lately, so I’ll list a couple of our recent favorites:
Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech is a beautifully simple and thoughtful book about a boy who saves a donkey. In its own brief way it addresses profound themes such as weakness, courage, friendship and family. It’s a quick read, but a great one (best for kiddos ages 5-8).
Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley is a truly lovable book with an endearing main character. Gertie learns that there is more to life than proving your worth and finds strength in being exactly who she is.
Lewis and Clark for Kids by Janis Herbert sounds like a home school book, and it is (or it was for us, this year), but I recommend it for summer reading because it’s such a good adventure. My little girl kept saying, “They should make this into a movie!” It follows the story of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they explored the west in 1804-1806. Be warned: it is a lot of text, but it is written for kids and once your kids get into it, they won’t mind. There are a few great pictures in there, too!
I typed up this list of activities mostly to start a conversation and get some good ideas of what I should do with my kids. Leave a comment below, let’s hear what your family will be doing this summer!
Holly Freeman is not an activity planner (although she was a camp counselor a long, long time ago). She is a lifestyle family photographer, and when she’s not lounging in the grass reading with her little ones, she’s creating stunning family portraits for families in the Denver area. Reach out to learn more about scheduling a photo shoot.