Making Summer Break Fun for Everyone

At Spinnaker Pediatric Dentistry, we want kids to have happy smiles all year round, and we know the biggest smiles come from long summer days and nights spent with family and friends. Celebrate summer sun and fun with your kids and call us when it’s time for a checkup or if you have a concern about your child’s dental health. Make the most of summer break this year by trying some (or all!) of the suggestions below.

1. Do some summer reading.

When the day is too hot to play outside, take the kids to the library to spend an afternoon. Many libraries offer summer reading programs for kids or have storytime events for little ones. Let kids pick out books and music that they can enjoy inside where it’s cool when the thermometer rises. Summer break reading is fantastic for helping kids develop their imaginations.

2. Play neighborhood games.

This summer, teach your kids how to make friends in person and not online. Get the kids from the neighborhood together for some good old-fashioned neighborhood games. Neighborhood-wide games of hide-and-seek will keep the kids on their toes. Don’t forget about classic games like red rover, capture the flag, and kickball. Friendships forged during a late-night neighborhood game of red rover can last a lifetime.

3. Have a movie night under the stars.

Skip the movie theater this summer and have a movie night under the stars in your own backyard instead. Set up inflatable wading pools in the yard and fill them with blankets and pillows instead of water. A projector with Wi-Fi can stream your favorite family movies onto a screen, a garage door, or even the back of the house. Set up snacks and drinks and settle in for some family movie fun.

4. Create a lemonade stand.

Your kids can take advantage of the hot weather and earn some pocket money by creating a lemonade stand. Start with a shopping trip for lemons, sugar, and cups and then go home to create a stand. You may have to help them make the lemonade, but let them help create and decorate the stand. If you share photos of their stand on social media, it may help them get more business! Encourage them to do something charitable with their earnings, like donate money to the local animal shelter.

5. Set up a free library.

Summer break is a great time to clean out the old and make room for the new. You can give new life to the books and toys your children have outgrown by setting up a little, free library in front of your house that’s just for kids. Fill it with the books that your children have loved over the years and any toys that they don’t play with anymore so that other children in the neighborhood can enjoy them.

6. Be a tourist in your town.

You don’t need to go away for vacation to have a great time discovering new places and activities! Be a tourist in your own town by exploring parks that you haven’t visited before, like Bush’s Pasture Park or Minto-Brown Island Park. Family bike rides around town are always fun, and so is visiting unique or historical places in town. Head to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum for some fun family activities. Don’t miss the Willamette Heritage Center, where kids can see the old yarn mill and find out more about the history of the city.

7. Learn a new craft.

Summer is the perfect time for kids to pursue some new interests. If you have kids that love crafts, Create A Memory is a fun place to go. Kids can paint their own pottery and glass after seeing artisans make pottery and blow glass on the property. Your child may discover that they have a passion for hands-on crafts!

8. Do a little backyard camping.

When the kids are getting a little restless, have a backyard camping adventure. Set up tents in the backyard and use a firepit to make traditional camping food, like s’mores and roasted marshmallows. Invite the neighborhood kids over to sleep in the backyard, which really means stay up all night talking, playing, reading, and telling scary stories. Your kids will remember those long summer nights for the rest of their lives.

9. Plant a garden.

You can make education fun by starting a vegetable garden with your kids this summer. Choosing what vegetables to plant, preparing the garden beds, planting seeds, and watching the vegetables grow will fascinate your kids while teaching them about how food is grown. When the vegetables are grown, kids can pick them and help you turn them into delicious, healthy meals. If you have older kids, you can teach them how to can vegetables and turn strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries into delicious jam that they can enjoy on their lunch sandwiches when school starts again.

10. Give your kids experiences.

No matter what activities you do with your kids this summer, they will be special because you’ll be together as a family. Kids will remember these moments and experiences as well as the science and history they learn. Enjoy the summer with your kids, and call us anytime if you run into a dental emergency or need to make an appointment for a preventive cleaning or evaluation.