In our previous post, we talked about how the beauty and leisure of summer vacation can be a special time for families to grow in togetherness and faith.
Here’s the list we’ve compiled of ways to weave faith and prayer into your summer fun!
1. Turn some ‘no’s’ into ‘yesses.’ So often during the school year, we say “no” more than we say “yes.” “Can I stay up late to finish this game?” No. “Can I have another scoop of ice cream?” No. “Can I wear this same shirt 4 days in a row?” No. “Can you play with me?” No, I’m busy. No. No. No. Summer provides a great opportunity to say “YES” more often to our children.
2. Live outside. If you’re in the Midwest or Northeast reading this, you probably need this reminder. Summer is warm! Even at night! Live outside. Consider backyard tent camping--a favorite for kids. Dine together by candlelight in the yard--and leave electronic devices inside the house. Invite the neighbors over for a BBQ, for no particular reason. Take lunch to the park, or don backpacks and head to the nearest nature preserve to hike and picnic. Things our kids love to do outside: puzzles and coloring.
3. Pray outside. Take your family prayer to the great outdoors. There’s something wonderful about connecting with God in the context of the beauty of nature. The awesomeness of God is so close at hand. When you take your children on hikes, tote your Bible, your prayer books and your hymnals, and give children the experience of praying to God and singing hymns in the beauty of His creation.
4. Make Sunday a delight. Sleep in. Go to the later service. If you’re Catholic, read the Mass readings out loud on the way to church. Go on a picnic and hike afterwards. Get ice cream! Watch a family movie in the evening. Spend special prayer time together around the dinner table. Sing songs. Read a book out loud to the family. Consider a family art project. Make Sunday, the Lord’s Day, a precious day full of joy for your children--especially with our Mass Kit or My Little Church Magnet Play Set.
5. Bring back bedtime prayer. During the school year, did your special time to pray, read books and snuggle before bed get lost in the shuffle? Regain that important time by praying with your children before bed. Our singing and praying Lil’ Prayer Buddies are soft and squishable--and they help you teach bedtime prayers and timeless hymns to your tot.
6. Plant a prayer garden. Consider a prayer garden, even if it’s a potted one. Your children will delight in caring for their plants and watching them grow. They’ll receive so much satisfaction from praying with the family in a garden they planted and helped nurture!
7. Add mission and service to your summer. Spend some of that free time at the local food pantry or doing some fun at-home service projects! “Christmas in July” is a great time to bring children to sing songs at the local nursing home, when many older adults are forgotten. Remind children all through the summer that there is joy in service and self-gift! Here’s to a happy, healthy and holy summer season!