5 Ideas to Brighten a Family's Summer

JULY 17, 2018  /  LINDSEY SHANTZ  / 

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family's Summer
Going through a difficult time is never easy. For a family with children at home for the summer, experiencing an unexpected illness or death in the family can be especially challenging. Even something as exciting as the arrival of new baby can add to the chaos and crazy of summer.
Routines and schedules are often off despite our best efforts to maintain a sense of normal. Chances are sibling rivalry increases too right along with the outside temperatures. And most moms I know want to make the summer special and memorable for their family, even when it's a difficult season.
If you are caring for a family this summer here are 5 ways in addition to providing a meal that can brighten their day and provide a much-needed boost and encouragement.

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family

1. Help to start the day off right
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. While we all know this, it's hard to accomplish when faced with an illness, lack of sleep, stress and feeling overwhelmed. Including a few kid-friendly breakfast items like yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, waffles, pancakes, banana muffins or freezer breakfast sandwiches can make a big difference.
You are giving the gift of a smoother, saner morning. The family can then focus on other more important decisions and tasks in their day ahead. Not having to use the physical or mental energy to plan and prepare breakfast is life giving when extra help is needed.

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family

2. Share items to engage and entertain
My favorite summer day at our house is when my kids have a stack of new library books. They are engaged, entertained and ecstatic to have new books in their hands. Consider asking the family what books or series their kids most enjoy - and offer to pick up and deliver and return the library books when they are due. You could also offer to take the kids to the library for story hour and let them select books to take home.
Board games and card games are often enjoyed by a variety of ages. Often thrift stores have a wide selection of games and puzzles at very inexpensive prices. You could even swap games with a good friend. New games can happily occupy kids and break up the boredom of a long summer day at home. One of our family's favorite card games is Spot It! Gone Camping. Numerous other Spot It versions are available too.

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family

3. Schedule outdoor play dates
The great outdoors is wonderful for exploring nature, burning off some energy and giving kids the freedom for creative play. And most all parks are free! Offer to take the kids to the park for the morning or afternoon and give the family a much-needed break. Often a family's time might be divided between medical appointments and the hospital or they might just need time to grieve and rest in a quiet house.
Did you know with our 'Multiple Meals Per Day' feature you can customize the schedule to include extras like park play dates, childcare help, help with house cleaning and laundry and mowing help? Summer is such a busy time and the possibilities are endless how you could customize the schedule in addition to meals. Scheduling play dates or other services through the website simplifies the process for the family and requires less coordination when they are already overwhelmed with other details.

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family

4. Provide cool summer treats
Remember as a child how much fun you had on a summer afternoon running through a sprinkler in the backyard? And it was even better when you had popsicles or an ice cream cone to cool down from the heat. These are some of the simple summer pleasures that make childhood memorable.
You can be part of bringing joy and happiness to a household that really might need lifted up this summer. Consider including fruit popsicles, ice cream, waffle cones, sprinkles or dairy-free ice cream sandwiches when you provide a meal. While it may seem like a small gesture, believe me the kids will remember this as a big gesture from your heart!

5 Ideas to Brighten a Family

5. Add some sunshine during a difficult time
Give some thought to that one little item you could bring along with the meal to brighten someone's day. Keep in mind the ages of the kids and even ask the family what their kids are interested in and might like. I'm thinking classic and creative play items such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles, play dough, card games, s'more kit, craft supplies, coloring books, Frisbee, kick ball or soccer ball, etc.
A meal coordinator could even organize a sunshine box for an ill child or family going through a difficult time. Others could contribute small wrapped items and then each day the family has something to look forward to opening. Even if a summer day doesn't seem full of sunshine for a family --- you can be the sunshine and encouragement they need.

Read other recent articles by Lindsey Shantz:


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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

Welcome! We're thrilled you stopped by. Our own joys and sorrows have taught us that a well-timed meal delivered by a friend is one of the best gifts imaginable. In this space, we share our favorite recipes to take to friends, meal-taking tips, and other ways to care for those who are dear to you.

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