10 ways to make memories this summer holiday

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Summer holidays are almost here (whoop!) and we can bet that everyone in your family is looking forward to some serious chill time. What a year, right? Phew! Time to kick back, relax and reconnect with your nearest and dearest.

If there’s ever a time to do fun stuff together, this upcoming holiday is it! Good weather is almost always guaranteed, and SA just loves to show off in summertime. You don’t even have to go away on holiday to make the most of the next few weeks. Memories can be made right on your doorstep.

It just takes a little bit of planning...

Here are 10 ideas to inspire your summer holiday memories:

1. Picnic time!

A summer picnic is one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors. Soft, green grass, a shady spot under a tree, plenty of snacks, fun in the sun, maybe even a little snooze… it doesn’t get much better than that. Whether you head to the beach, a local park, or even camp out in your backyard, a picnic is the perfect screen-free opportunity to reconnect.

If you have little ones, here are some ideas for a “paw-fect” teddy bears picnic that your kiddos will love.

Don’t forget your picnic essentials:
  • Waterproof blankets
  • Camping chairs
  • Picnic basket filled with snacks
  • Plates and utensils
  • Napkins and cups
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunhats and caps
  • Cooler box with water and drinks
  • Wipes for messy hands
  • Plastic bag for cleanup
  • Plastic containers or Ziploc bags for leftovers
  • Insect repellent
  • Bats, balls, frisbees, bubbles

2. Baking sessions

The Festive Season and New Year leaves plenty of opportunity for family baking and cooking sessions. It seems like such a simple thing, but being together in the kitchen is the perfect space for fun, meaningful moments and connections. The kitchen is the hub of the home, where everything and everyone comes together, family, friends and food.

Check out our handy list of pantry-essentials to make sure your cupboard is fully stocked with everything you need.

Make the most of your kitchen to make memories this summer:
  • Let your kids put on a cooking show
  • Whip up some yummy Christmas cookies
  • Play a round of ‘Ready! Steady! Cook!’
  • Build a gingerbread house
  • Reorganise your pantry together with cool containers and printed labels
  • Make homemade pizzas

3. Road trip!

When your kids reach a certain age, hitting the open road can actually be fun! Whether you just do a lazy day trip or head somewhere a bit further, a good old road trip with the family holds potential for lasting memories. Plan plenty of pit stops beforehand, and maybe even get the kids to suggest where they’d like to visit along your route.

Here are a few ways to make an uneventful drive awesome:
  • Download your ultimate family road trip playlist
  • Download an audiobook or podcasts
  • Play road trip bingo
  • Pack fun puzzles, crayons, sticker books, etc.
  • Prep some conversation starters
  • Stop for a roadside picnic
  • Take selfies at interesting landmarks
  • Grab an ice cream at a farm stall
  • Pack epic snacks in travel snack boxes
Check out these fuss-free road trip snack ideas that will see you all through to your destination with less whining and more snack happiness.

4. Summer bucket list

It might be tempting to veg out and spend most of your holiday on the couch, but not many epic memories were made in front of the TV. Why not take some time to create a summer bucket list together as a family and plan to do at least two or three interesting things each week? Set dates and stick to them - you won’t regret it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Go camping
  • Learn to fish
  • Try a watersport, like surfing or stand-up paddleboarding
  • Do a family spa day at home
  • Go strawberry picking
  • Plan a road trip
  • Be a tourist in your city
  • Have a water balloon fight
  • Camp out in the backyard
  • Run or walk a 5k
  • Read a novel
  • Watch a sunrise or sunset
  • Make S’mores around the fire
  • Visit local museums

5. Family movie nights

Making memories doesn’t get much better than a family movie night, right? With Christmas just around the corner, doing a Christmas movie marathon is a fun family tradition that everyone will love. List everyone’s favourite Christmas movies on slips of paper, pop the names into a hat, and get your kids to select the evening movie randomly from the hat. Fun!

Don’t forget your movie night essentials:

6. Family photoshoots

You can never have too many family photos, and the summer holidays are the ideal opportunity to get the best snaps, especially if you have family or friends down for a visit. Having a handy tripod for your phone is so useful, and will free you up to actually be in the pictures for a change, without the awkwardness of trying to squeeze everyone into a selfie! Simply set the timer and say “cheese!”

Fun ideas for your next family photoshoot:
  • All-red with Christmas hats, tinsel and candy canes
  • Beach party with funky glasses, sun hats, Hawaiian shirts, and inflatable pool toys
  • Cheesy Christmas sweaters and mugs of hot chocolate 
  • Photo booth style with Christmas or New Year props

7. Start a veggie garden

A family project is so good for bonding and strengthening connections. The summer holidays are an ideal time to start that veggie patch you’ve always wanted. You can get the kids involved in everything from shopping for soil, seeds, and seedlings, to preparing a plot, laying the soil, planting, maintaining the plants, and eventually… harvesting!

Great fruits, veggies and herbs to start with include chilli plants, strawberries, tomatoes, basil, carrots, peppers, lettuce, peas and beans. It’s so rewarding being able to watch something grow that you’ve lovingly nurtured - much like your relationships. Having a veggie garden can teach kids valuable things like patience, gentleness, never giving up, and how to enjoy nature.

8. Hiking and biking

Getting out into nature is one of the best ways to enjoy summer and each other! Whether you set out on foot or on wheels, taking in some vitamin D together and enjoying the great outdoors is a recipe for memory-making.

Exercising together as a family is a healthy habit that offers plenty of benefits:
  • Exercise becomes a way of life
  • It makes excellent bonding time
  • There are opportunities for conversations and encouragement
  • It builds a sense of teamwork
  • It boosts physical, mental and emotional health

9. Make stuff!

If you’re handy or love a little DIY, making something useful together for your home is another great way to make memories as a family. The beauty of projects like this is that they don’t have to be perfect - they’re meant to be fun! Maybe even funny, especially if something comes out quite a bit different to the original picture! ‘Weird and wonky’ is what makes us human - perfectly imperfect.

Here are some ideas for things you can put together... together!
  • Build a bird feeder or bird house
  • Build a bookcase
  • Create a family photo frame wall
  • Give a wall, shed, book shelf, or furniture a new lick of paint
  • Sand and varnish an old table or chairs
  • Decorate a Christmas wreath
  • Make your own Christmas decorations
  • Try origami, mosaic, or decoupage
  • Design handmade place cards and menus for your festive gatherings

10. Scavenger hunts

Scavenger hunts are great for little ones, and summertime offers the perfect backdrop for some fun out in the sunshine. There’s something so special about seeing the world through a child’s eyes as they look out for plants, flowers, trees, objects, and all creatures great and small.

The best part is that you don’t really need to plan anything - the wonderful world wide web has loads of scavenger hunt ideas that you can simply print out, hand to your kids, and let them run free. Check out these awesome ideas for fun scavenger hunts at home.

We hope these ideas will spark some inspiration for fun, games, lots of laughs, and of course, amazing memories.

Be sure to have your camera ready to capture those special moments.
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