Keeping Summer Alive Through Fall

by added on 27 September 2019, Comments Off on Keeping Summer Alive Through Fall , posted in Blog
By Maggie Homer, Parent Educator

As I write this, it’s the first week of August. It seems like we’re just starting to get the beautiful, warm Seattle weather…and yet I’m somehow feeling our summer slip through my fingers.

When we run to Target, the aisles are filled with Back to School items. Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte is set to release August 28th (whaaat?!). Emails are beginning to pour through about the start of school, orientation, Summer Teas, etc. While I’m looking forward to returning to the routine, I’m also already grieving the long, relaxing days of nowhere to be and no one to see.

Instead of getting swept up in the hype of “Back to School” I’ve decided to find ways to keep that summer feeling alive well into fall and even into the holiday season. In order to do that, I had to figure out what it was that I loved so much about summer…

Here are 4 ways to summer all year:

Spontaneous Trips

I love being able to hop in the car and end up somewhere new and exciting. It’s a change in the routine and something I desperately look forward to at the end of a long week. In the summer, we tend to do this all the time, but in the winter, we end up hibernating and losing out on really awesome opportunities to travel.

Seattle’s fall is absolutely beautiful to explore. I know our family is going to check out the guesthouse that our multi-day teacher Jodi Spitalli owns on Orcas Island. Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian town nestled in the mountains, and so fun during the holiday season. The Olympic Game Farm in Sequim allows you to drive through and feed all sorts of animals like buffalo, llamas, deer, and more. I’m just saying, we have really awesome places to visit if we look for them year-round.

Goal: Schedule one family (or parents only) getaway a month.

Outdoor Time

For me, outdoor time literally quadruples in the summer time. Of course, the wonderful sunshine contributes to this, but that just means I have to get creative with ways to get out even once the rain and cold weather arrive.

The first thing I need to be better prepared for the fall and winter weather is getting the appropriate clothing. I don’t know about you, but I always have the greatest gear for my children and never for myself. So, while they’re hamming it up outside, my feet are soggy and I’m freezing. This year, I’m going to get good rain and snow gear for myself so that I can withstand the long outdoor hours that truly bring me so much joy when I’m not shivering cold.

Here’s a list of what I would like to get this fall season to keep the outdoor time alive:

  1. Rain boots
  2. Rain pants and these also work wonderfully to pull over your clothes on rainy preschool work days (just saying).
  3. Rain coat Can you believe I live in Washington and somehow do not have a rain coat?
  4. Gloves

Please shop AmazonSmile to benefit the preschool if you need any of the above items!

Goal: Get outside for at least 2 hours a day.

Unstructured Time

I have a love/hate relationship with unstructured time. At first, I hate it…but after a couple weeks I can’t imagine a life where I’d actually have to be somewhere by a certain time. I love getting ready for the day at noon. I love when the first thing we do in the morning is open the back door and run outside.

Maintaining unstructured time is essential to keep that summer-time feeling. One solution that was brought up in a previous blog post is to keep one day a week absolutely empty. My personal favorite day to do that is Thursday. In multi-day, our children go to school Monday through Wednesday, so by Thursday my child is pretty much toasted and ready for a day to just relax at home and connect with our family.

This also allows for spontaneity if a friend wants to have an impromptu playdate or you wake up and decide you want to go to the zoo, you can! Spontaneity is the spice of summer.

Goal: Keep Thursday free all year.

Date Nights

I’m not sure what it is about summer, but my partner and I are WAY better at scheduling regular date nights. My theory is with the longer daylight hours, it presents the illusion that we have more time to spend together at night.

Even when we spend nights at home together after the children fall asleep, we connect more in the summer because instead of cuddling up on the couch and silently watching a show, we end up on the back porch playing cards, talking, and relaxing in each other’s company. I feel like I get so much more quality time with him in the summers.

Goal: Schedule a monthly date night or organize creative date nights at home.

What Do You Love About Summer?

I challenge you to reflect on what it is that you love about summer and how, specifically, you can keep connecting with your children and partner all year long. We don’t have to succumb to the madness of back to school if we don’t want to. By setting short, simple, and attainable goals, we can keep summer alive all year long.

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