Summer Kids Kyle Elmendorf Ice Hockey coach

6 Ways to Create a Memorable Summer with your Kids

In Leadership by Kyle Elmendorf

Summer is here, finally. Can you believe the year is already halfway over? For athletes and the parents of athletes there’s really no break. Summer is just as busy as the rest of the year, if not more so. Going from practices, to summer league games, vacations, cookouts, holiday parties, birthday parties, and hopefully trips to the pool can be exhausting. Even though it can be hectic, summer offers a great opportunity to do fun things with the kids. It’s a great opportunity to use your presence to enhance your relationship with your children.

Time goes by fast. Before you know it your kids will be grown and have a family of their own. So, what memories do you want to make with them? How do you want them to remember their childhood summers?

Here are six ideas for you to create a memorable summer with your kids:

One of my favorite things in life right now is playing driveway games with my son. He’s six and in the past couple of months has really gotten into playing hockey, basketball, baseball, and football. Every day we will go out and play games where my team (usually the Sharks or the Hawks) takes on his team (usually the Eagles, Blues, or Ducks). There’s something magical about playing these driveway games with your child. The battles, laughs, bouts of tears, and best of all the high-fives after a shot made create lasting memories. After you finish reading this article, go out on the driveway, play a game of hockey, pretend to be your favorite team, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

What would summer be without BBQ, baseball, and the radio? There’s something about sitting outside, cooking on the grill, and listening to your favorite team on the radio. Hearing the call of the game through the radio allows your imagination to bring the game to life. Along with the grilling and the game, you hold conversations with family members that almost become ritualistic. In the fall and winter months you will long for those long summer nights in front of the grill with the radio on. Instead of cooking on the stove with the game on the tv, get your kids to help you grill, turn up the game, and create some memories.

Early summer mornings or evenings provide the perfect opportunity to go for a hike. Being active in nature is one of the best ways to enlighten our senses and allow serenity into our lives. Going for a hike will provide the perfect family bonding opportunity. Your kids curiosity will take over and you can teach them about nature. A hike will most definitely give you a physical challenge. Parents can use this opportunity set goals to accomplish during the hike which can add enhanced value. Reaching those goals will only help your child enjoy the great outdoors that much more.

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As a child, and still to this day, one of my favorite mid-summer things to do is watch Wimbledon tennis. There’s something special about watching the best in the world, in the sport’s greatest venue. I vividly recall watching the greats like Sampras, Agassi, Courier, Graf, and Seles growing up. I would be glued to the screen watching their epic battles, and then would go out on our back patio (with no net) and play tennis. Tennis may not be as popular as the other major American sports, but there’s no denying the incredible skill and athleticism of these athletes. So this summer, take some time, sit down with your kids to watch Wimbledon tennis, and then go play with them on the nearest court .

What’s better than playing water games in summer? Remember the classic jump off the diving board and catch the ball before you land game? Man, was that fun! It’s even more fun now as the parent. For dads with sons, water games for us inevitably involves wrestling matches. It’s all fun and games until the son can legitimately beat the father. Enjoy it while you can dads! Kids are creative and make up some the best games on their own. Some of my best memories as kid in the summer we’re the games we played in the pool. We loved the kids vs adults game. Everyone always had fun. And who can forget water balloon fights. They were epic! The next time you’re at the pool, don’t be a bystander. Hop in, divide up teams, and play a game. It will be the highlight of your day!

Lastly, teach the value of brain games. Our number one goal as parents is to teach our kids how to be successful in life. Since they’re not in school kids have much more free time. Don’t let them fill their days binge watching netflix or playing video games all day. Teach the value of self-reliance and self-education. The greatest investment anyone can ever make is in themselves and self-development. Instead of paying an allowance for completing chores (they should do that anyway, it’s responsibility) pay them $5-10 for every book they read. For those with young children under the age of 10, structure the day. Schedule tv time (not too much), creative time (make something, color, etc), outside activity, reading/library time, etc. Whatever it is, don’t let your kids be vegetables in front of the tv all day.

What does your family enjoy doing together in the summer? Tag us on Facebook and Twitter and let us know.

Get out, be active, have fun, and make some memories with your kids!

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About the Author
Kyle Elmendorf

Kyle Elmendorf

Kyle Elmendorf is an educator, coach, speaker, and writer. He currently resides near St. Louis and is the proud father to two young sons, and the loving husband to his beautiful wife, Angela. Coach Elmendorf also serves as the director of business development for Lead 'Em Up (www.leademup.com), a company who's drills and excersises help build the leaders needed to win. His passion lies in building champions on and off the playing field. Sports are a vehicle to teach life lessons and build leadership skills, but only if done so intentionally. Coach Elmendorf has made it his life's mission to build character and leadership through sport in order to build a better future for our world. Oustide of his career, Coach Elmendorf loves to travel, be active outdoors, read, and spend time with his family. He writes a regular blog which can be found at www.coachkyleelmendorf.com and his articles have been featured in NFHS Coaching Today, The 9s Magazine, Ignite Magazine, and High School Today.

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