We’re only weeks away from the official start of summer. Around the country, teachers are saying their farewells to students, pools are opening up, and the days are getting progressively longer. This can only mean one thing: It’s time to go on an adventure!

There’s no season like the summer to play, explore, and make the most of every minute. We know you’ve been stuck inside for a while, so we’re here to help deliver some much-needed inspiration. Today, we’re sharing a list of 8 things that every kid should experience over these next few months, bare feet and all.

1. Camp out in the backyard.

Many campgrounds are reopening their doors after being closed for a while, but even if you can’t make it to an official RV campsite, you can still enjoy plenty of outdoor fun. This summer, why not bring the tent up from the basement, grab the ingredients for s’mores, and take turns telling stories around the backyard fire pit? Print out a kid-friendly summer constellation map and see how many you can find in the night sky!

2. Run through the sprinkler.

Yes, there are more tech-savvy toys and gadgets today than ever before. Yet, sometimes the simplest things are the best.

That’s especially the case with a classic lawn sprinkler. Available for less than $20, you can hook it up to your garden hose and enjoy hours of good, old-fashioned fun. As you watch the little ones play, go ahead and run through a few times yourself! There are few things as invigorating and nostalgic.

3. Join a sandcastle contest.

Do you plan to visit the beach this year? If so, there are bound to be plenty of hours spent waterside, plastic shovel and bucket in hand. As you help your kids create fanciful castles and alligator moats, encourage them to take it a step further and duke it out! Host a family sandcastle contest to see who can make the biggest, most elaborate creation. The winner gets to enjoy the first ice-cream cone after dinner!

4. Go to the dentist.

Dental practices around the country are re-opening, and ours is no exception. That means we’re excited to see those pint-sized smiles!

As they plan their season of summer fun, visiting the dentist might not rank at the very top of your kid’s list. However, it’s smart to go ahead and take care of this appointment now. That way, if there are any issues to address, we can do so as soon as possible. This is especially the case for kids with orthodontic needs.

In most cases, it’s more cost-effective and easier for your child if you take a proactive approach to orthodontics. Over time, small issues can snowball into big problems as primary teeth fall out and permanent teeth replace them. By taking care of any concerns now, you can free up your family to kick back and soak in every sight, sound, and taste that this season offers.

5. Make a time capsule.

There’s no denying that 2020 has been an unprecedented year. Make this summer one to remember forever by creating a family time capsule!

To make one, start by collecting personal items, such as:

  • Family pictures.
  • School artwork.
  • Holiday or birthday cards.
  • Letters from loved ones.

In addition, don’t forget to add mementos of current events, including:

  • Magazine or newspaper articles.
  • A list of popular movies, music, and expressions.
  • Clothing catalogs.

Put everything into a special, sealed storage container and put it somewhere protected. Then, set a date to open your time capsule in the future together!

6. Perfect the art of skipping stones.

Many have tried, but few have perfected the art of skipping stones. A long-ago pastime reminiscent of balmy days spent by the water, this simple activity helps develop hand-eye coordination and encourages little explorers to dig into the earth in search of the perfect rock.

Turns out, there’s a pretty exact skill that helps your stone skip merrily along the creekside, rather than plunging straight into it. Pack a picnic lunch, learn the right moves with your brood, and spend the afternoon trying to master the long-lost art.

7. Catch (and release) fireflies.

Few things signal the onset of summer quite like the first glimpse of the night sky alight with fireflies. Whether your kids like to catch them in a mason jar (make sure there are holes in the top), or simply cup their tiny hands around them in awe, they’re a sight to behold.

At least once this season, take your evening activities outdoors and let the sun start to set on your crew. Then, when the temperature drops a little and the very first stars appear, keep your eyes peeled for these neon wonders.

Want to encourage as many of them as possible to take up residence at your home? This article shows you how to build a firefly habitat that they’ll return to time and again.

8. Watch an outdoor movie.

The summer is always a great season to catch the latest box-office flicks. However, while the cool air conditioner might be a welcome reprieve, you don’t have to stick with traditional theaters when the latest release comes out.

Instead, why not set up a home cinema space? This way, your kids can relax, spread out, and enjoy the show. Plus, snacks and beverages are always within arm’s reach! If setting up a theater at home sounds daunting, check out these tips on how to set one up in under an hour!

Enjoy the summertime safely and together.

No other season encourages expressive play and merrymaking quite like the summertime. Whether you’re heading out to a family vacation or staying put at home, there are plenty of ways you can cast aside the screens, bond as a family, and make some incredible memories.

These 8 activities are only the tip of the ice-cream cone. Feel free to think of your own itineraries and fill your days to the brim with laughter, smiles, and plenty of sunshine.

Along the way, we’d love to see you in our office for an exam. Schedule an appointment today and let’s kick off the summer together.