There’s a time of each year that we always hold dear, good old summertime;
with the birds and the trees and the sweet scented breezes, good old summertime….
In the good old summertime, in the good old summertime,
strolling through a shady lane with your baby mine.
You hold her hand and she holds yours, and that’s a very good sign
that she’s your tootsie wootsie in the good old summertime.
While I never watched Judy Garland sing “In the Good Old Summertime” in the 1949 musical by the same name, I have fond memories of that song from my childhood. I used to have a Fisher Price Little People Musical Ferris Wheel that played a beautiful instrumental rendition of “In the Good Old Summertime.” It was such a nice combination of a toy and a music box, as an adult I wished that I still had it. Finally I found one on eBay and now I can enjoy it again!
What comes to mind when you think of summertime? Backyard barbeques… picnics… camping… beach parties… sandcastles… sailing… swimming… raspberry picking… lemonade… watermelon… ice cream… flowers… fireworks… family reunions…?
In summer, the crops that were planted in the spring grow to their fullest. Flowers blossom and fruit ripens. According to these lines from a Mother Goose rhyme: “June brings tulips, lilies, roses, fills the children’s hands with poises. Hot July brings cooling showers, apricots and gillyflowers. August brings the sheaves of corn, then the harvest home is borne.”
As the earth orbits the sun and spins on its tilted axis, one hemisphere is exposed to more direct rays from the sun during part of the year. This is the summer season. It’s the hottest time of year, with longer daylight hours. In the Northern Hemisphere, summer starts on June 21 and lasts until about September 23. When it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
July and August are the most popular months for summer vacations. Many people travel to the beach or mountains to cool off. Independence Day with its parades and fireworks falls on July 4. Canadians celebrate their national holiday, Dominion Day, on July 1. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is the last official summer holiday in the U.S.
Here are some ideas for things to do this summer:
Clean, de-clutter, and re-decorate your room.
Gather up all of your loose photos, organize them, and place them in albums.
Put together a scrapbook of mementos from the prior school year.
Research your family history and interview your grandparents.
Set up an exercise program that you can do in hot weather. Perhaps you have an indoor exercise bike or even better, a swimming pool!
Begin a hobby or craft that you’ve always wanted to learn, such as sewing, quilting, painting, ceramics, scrapbooking, or playing an instrument.
Develop a skill such as cooking, baking, typing, or knot-tying.
Start a collection of rocks, stamps, coins, or whatever interests you.
Learn how to do some magic tricks.
Perform a skit, play, or puppet show. Write a script, design a set, create costumes or popsicle stick puppets, and hand out tickets.
Make your own movie.
Adopt your favorite character’s identity for a day. It could be someone from history or even a cartoon character.
Read books to your younger brother or sister.
Get two plastic wading pools. Fill one with water and the other with sand for a miniature backyard beach.
Build a solar oven and experiment with cooking different foods in it.
Get a field guide and learn about the wildlife in your area.
Keep a record of birds and other animals you see, or take an inventory of the plants in your yard.
Draw the layout of your house and a map of your yard on graph paper. Build a scale model out of cardboard or foam core board.
Memorize a favorite poem or Bible verse.
Keep a journal in which you write down your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, or a trip diary telling about where you go and what you do.
Write letters to friends and family.
Send care packages to military personnel stationed overseas.
Study a foreign language. Even if you don’t become fluent, you will gain some familiarity with it. Research the regions and people who speak that language.
Learn sign language. Even young children will have fun signing the alphabet.
Have a chess or checker tournament, play a role-playing game, board game, or charades.
Put together a jigsaw puzzle.
Spend a leisurely afternoon in the air-conditioned public library and check out a variety of books.
Help out at a local child care center, church, or charitable organization.
Join a club or other group such as an astronomy club or reading group.
Enroll in a class at a college, community center, or on-line.
Spend a day at the science museum, taking time to do all of the hands-on exhibits.
Travel through time to a history museum, historical site, or living history village.
Take a tour of the state capital building and learn about the history of your state.
Visit an art museum. Decide which work of art you like best, learn more about it and the artist.
Arrange a trip to a factory or manufacturer that offers tours, such as a candy company.
Go to the zoo and choose an animal to learn more about.
Find a farm where you can pick your own fruit, or go to a farmers market to see the fresh produce.
Visit a tourist information website or Chamber of Commerce to obtain information on things to do and places to see in your state.
Plan a family vacation or weekend trip. Even short trips are great for family bonding and making memories.
Look for a cool spot to go camping, hiking, canoeing, biking, or fishing.