By Matt Norman
I admit it. I don't like August. I never have. It's hot, school is just around the corner, and you've done pretty much all the summertime activities there are to do. Aside from my youngest child's birthday, I really can't think of any redeeming value to the month of August.
Needless to say, the late summer blues hit me pretty hard each year come August 1st. The same can be said of my children, who have been hit by a particularly rough case of heat-induced doldrums. This year, however, we're going to try something new to break through: We're going to try to enjoy August. We're going to hit the eighth month of the year right in the teeth with a Chuck Norris-esque roundhouse kick. We're not going to do it by going places. Oh no, we're going to do it in the comfort of our own home.
Cataloguing Those Summertime Memories
It really has been a great couple of months of fun for my family, and we have tons of pictures and tickets and other simple souvenirs to show for it. One of the things we're going to work on this month is making a summertime scrapbook. We'll print a handful of the photos we've taken throughout the summer and glue them into a cheap-o scrap book. My kids are young, so small and cheap works. If your kids are older they might not go for something as simple as a spiral notebook with the words "SUMMER SCRAPBOOK" scrawled across the front. Choose wisely.
Anyway, let your kids cut the pictures and draw doodles or add silly captions to go along with the images. When you look back at the book, you'll see Summer 2016 through your kids' eyes, and that's pretty magical.
Get Low with a Family Dance Party
This one is easy. Turn on the radio or your favorite album and start dancing. It's free, it's fun, and it eases some of that it's-too-hot-to-go-outside tension. Plus, you could get a million hits on YouTube.
OK, this one I'm not actually letting my kids do just yet, but I think it's an awesome idea for kids who are a little older.
Open an Instagram account for your kids and let them take pictures of their world. You set the guidelines on what is and what isn't appropriate to post. I suggest letting them take all the pictures they want during the day, then you sit down together and pick a couple to post together. This gives you a chance to see the world through their eyes while at the same time allowing you to teach your kids about responsible social media use from an early age. It's the world we live in, so why not embrace it?
Retro Movie Nights
By now your kids have probably seen all the new movies. But have they seen the classics? Find a copy of your favorite movies from your childhood and watch them together. There's nothing quite as satisfying as seeing your child fall in love with Buttercup from "The Princess Bride" or light up when Falcor and Atreyu fly across Fantasia during "The Neverending Story".
It's Not Too Late For Summer Camp
OK, it's getting close to being too late for summer camps, but there are still camps available for you kids to attend in August. Don't forget: You can search for them for FREE at NurtureMyChild.com!
Regardless of how you decide to perk up the end of your summer, remember to keep it fun and keep it relaxed. August is only 31 days long, and before you know it autumn will be here. In early December. This is Austin, after all.